That, my friend, is a cold hard fact of life.
And most job seekers I meet get a sour look on their face when they think of themselves as 'selling' themselves.
They're OK having conversations with people, happy to talk about themselves and even bat around ideas, but when they think of selling, they think of:
And a dozen other words that describe the streotypical bad salesmen.
And those people exist - we both know that.
But at some point you're going to start getting interviews, and if you don't know how to sell effectively, you're going to leave yourself at the same competitive level as everyone else...skills and experience.
In this market you'l lose at that level 99 times out of 100, and you have literally NO control or influence over the hiring decision.
GOOD sales people rarely get enough credit for how and what they do. They are the ones that help companies dig down, figure out the real problem, develop a solution, and stitch it all together.
If you can get your arms around 'selling' yourself in a way that mimicks what these good salespeople do, you'll not only stand out, but you won't leave interviews feeling like you did a great job, and then get gobsmacked by the dreaded, "We've decided to go with another candidate" letter.
What's a good sales person do?
Selling for the "no."
That's right. Bad sales people (see the list above) put the sale and commission above the customer's needs. Good salespeople are looking for any and every reason to disqualify their product and service by asking as many stringent questions as they can.
Simple as that. They walk into the conversation expecting that their primary role is to be of help, and they ask questions designed to get past the surface level issues and discover the true motives behind those surface level issues.
Most interviews are guided by interviewers who have not been trained in interview skills (or won't take the time to interview well), and so they are NOT asking the right questions. Your job as a 'seller' of yourself is to force the interview down to the right level.
Not "x,y,z skills" but "What will x,y and z allow you to accomplish better given the tasks ahead of you?" Or "X, Y and Z are great - why are they important to you at this particular point on this particular hire?"
If you've seen my Self-Marketing Pyramid then you know that the reason most resumes fail as marketing tools is that they don't get past skills and experiences to the real problems companies are trying to solve.
It's the same in interviews. NO ONE gets hired at the skills and experience level. People get hired because the 'buyer' trusts that you understand and wil be 100% committed to helping them solve their problems, challenges and opportunities.
Even if they can't articulate it or ask you the right questions to see whether you can or can't.
A good salesperson knows that if they rely on the customer to connect all the dots, they'll lose the vast majority of the time.
But if they develop a system (and the right mindsetO to guide potential customers through a discovery (question and answer) process faster, they'll eliminate non-fitting deals faster, levaing them more time to win more of the deals they SHOULD be winning.
And if they develop solid, credible answers to the top 8 or 10 objections they regularly hear, they'll sell even more.
How are your sales skills?