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How to Effectively Sell Your Skills (Without Bragging)

You know that when you are looking for a job, you need to promote your skills.  You have to persuade the employer that you are the best candidate for the position.  However, since you don't like to brag, you are uncomfortable with this.  You would rather just let your experience speak for itself.  Unfortunately, that approach only works in a relaxed job market, where there are a lot of positions available.  The current labour market is competitive, and if you aren't willing to promote your skills, there are hundreds of other applicants who will.  If you want the job, you need to play the game.  Here are some guidelines to help you promote your skills without sounding arrogant:

Keep it related to the specific position.  If you stay focused on the position, it will feel less like bragging.  For example, you are not saying that you are the best accountant in the world, you are just saying that you have ten years of accounting experience in the non-profit sector.  Facts that demonstrate that you are a good fit for the role are credible and impressive.

Show it, don't say it.  Instead of saying, "I am an amazing salesperson.", say, "I increased sales in my department by 50% in one year."  Employers are more impressed by your accomplishments than they are by your assertions. 

Don't be shy.  This is not the time to be a wallflower.  You absolutely must tell the employer about your relevant skills.  They are not familiar with your background, so they may not initially see why you would be a great fit.  You need to make the connection for them.

Be gracious.  The highest performing employees are appreciative of the support that they receive from their coworkers.  It is a delicate balance- don't give someone else credit for work that you did, but do show that you are a team player.

Selling your skills is part of the process of looking for a job.  Employers expect it.  If you don't make the effort to promote yourself, the employer may assume that you are not particularly interested in the position.  Never be afraid to talk about your accomplishments.

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