Sold on You

You have something vitally important to sell.


We’ve all heard that familiar expression, “we’re all in sales.” And it’s true. While we may not have the title “Sales Representative” on our business card, and a sell sheet for some product or service we’re pushing, we’re still responsible for selling our most important asset.


Your resume (and/or LinkedIn profile) is your sell sheet. And YOU are the Director of Sales.

Now, if I’m going to “buy” you as an employee, or partner, or supplier, what is it that I most need to hear? (hint: it’s not some list of resume bullet points. And it’s not a jumble of keywords).

  1. I want the WIIFM (What’s in it For Me).
  2. I want your story.

This is where most resumes fall short. They are bullet lists of accomplishments, roles, titles, and tasks. But there’s often no clear statement of what role you are seeking. There’s no summary statement of the value you’ll bring to a company. And there’s no compelling narrative.

Strike 1-2-3.

SellMeYou have a lot to offer – right? But can you put it in language that, within a few moments, makes it clear what you have to offer me? Sell me on who you are, don’t just tell me where you’ve been.

It’s actually not the potential employer’s job to figure out what you’re great at. They are not equipped to understand how you’ve evolved, and where you’re headed. That’s the message for YOU, the Director of Sales, to craft.

In advising many people in career transition, I regularly see tons of talent hiding behind an uncertain message. Extremely successful and competent people who aren’t entirely sold on who they are and what they can do, often because they’ve been occupying roles that are a mis-match for their makeup.

Here’s one of the most interesting dynamics I’ve observed over many years – it’s very helpful to get someone outside of yourself sold on you (able to see your best strengths and opportunities), who can then turn around and sell you on yourself!

Sell yourself to someone else. Let them sell you on you. Then you’ll be more ready to sell yourself on the open marketplace.

I remember a new manager many years ago who had several deflated employees to motivate (I was one of them). He quickly identified our unique areas of ability, built us up in the eyes of the other company stakeholders, and then had our job responsibilities re-crafted to reflect our best skills. He sold us, most importantly, on ourselves. And our professional stories changed as self-doubt yielded to confidence.

What gives you the juice to sell yourself into next position? Being sold on your most important “product.” You.

Are you sold on you? And does your resume help tell that story?



Also on the blog: Don’t Forget to Speak Human

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