Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tooting Your Own Horn As a Shy Job Seeker

When looking for a job, it’s important to know your skills and how you can best use them. It’s equally important to be able to communicate your abilities to employers and to prove you can excel at the job.

Shy Job Seeker Blog: Toot Your Own Horn
Learn to toot your own horn
while job searching.

You Don’t Want to Brag

When you are shy or introverted, you may think that presenting yourself as skilled, accomplished, and capable will sound like bragging. In addition, it may be your nature to downplay your strengths, to attribute your accomplishments to luck and to others, and to not speak up when you need to stand out.

Holding Back Will Hurt You, So Use These Horn-Tooting Tips

Restraining yourself will hold you back in your job search and career. Here are some tips on how to toot your own horn during the job hunt. This advice applies to all job search communication, including resumes, cover letters, emails, phone calls, and interviews.
  • Sharpen your skills language. Rev up ho-hum descriptions of yourself so potential employers understand what you will bring to the job. For example, instead of saying “I can do data entry in your accounting software,” say “I can manage all aspects of your accounting software quickly and accurately. You won’t have to worry about your accounting and data entry again.” Not only are you telling employers what you can do, you are explaining the benefits to them as well.
  • Don’t think of it as persuasion. If you use sharp, action-based, and results-oriented wording to describe yourself and what you bring to the table, you won’t need to cajole a potential employer into hiring you. So instead of saying “I can do receiving at your warehouse,” say “I can unload a large volume of freight quickly and safely, accurately record the items received, and immediately flag discrepancies.” The right employer will be eager to get you on board.
  • Know you are telling the truth. If you are worried about sounding like a braggart, remind yourself you simply are being truthful.
  • Understand the difference between bragging and explaining. The following sounds like bragging: “I was awesome at my last job.” This sounds like explaining: “I completed every project on time and under budget.”
  • Let others speak for you. Use strong references, present compelling letters of recommendation, and add endorsements from others to your cover letter or resume.

Your Work Won’t Always Speak for Itself

Remember, your work won’t always speak for itself. Busy employers need help in seeing just how perfect you are for the job. So go ahead and toot your own horn in the job hunt.

What tips can you give to shy and introverted job seekers who fear tooting their own horn? Please share.

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