Imagine you are in sales (maybe you are) and you are tasked with selling the company’s brand new product. In order to learn more about this new product, you have the following dialogue:
You: “What does the new product do?”
The Product Team: “It does a lot of things! It is so versatile.”
You: “Okay, how is it going to help customers? What is the value proposition?”
The Product Team: “We believe it will have a huge impact on customers, but we don’t have specific examples.”
You: “Well, did you market test it? What did people say when they tried it out.”
The Product Team: “We did market test it and performed really well. We didn’t keep notes of what people said or of anything specific though.”
Selling a product when you have no idea of what it does, what kind of impact it will make, or how it has performed in the past sounds like a losing proposition. However, this is exactly the situation most people are in when trying to market themselves in job search documents and interviews.
Plain and simple: To sell yourself, you have to know yourself. That means being aware of how you might specifically fit into an organization, the kind of impact you plan to make, and examples of how you have made a positive impact in the past.