Excuse me, Sorry – Is this Job Taken?

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If there’s one thing that is quintessentially British (as well as the word quintessential) it’s that many of us are too modest for our own good. People respond to compliments with a negative and we often apologise endlessly when it’s completely unnecessary. It’s something that the famous twitter account Very British Problems has captured really well! So when it comes to the Job Application, a situation where you literally have to sell yourself and brag about your accomplishments, how can us Brits approach this without coming off as arrogant?


Don’t worry! There is a way to nail the job hunt whilst keeping your dignity intact:


Back it up

Whether it’s submitting your CV or facing the CEO in the interview you will need to show that you have the skills / experience that the company requested in the initial job spec. Don’t just reel off a long list of achievements though (remember it’s all about the modesty) but make sure that you demonstrate why you have the relevant skills / experience with detailed examples. So if you apply for a role that states they need someone who can lead a team then back it up with an example of how you have managed a team / project or helped with training / development in a previous role? Specific examples will also help you stand out from the dozens of dull applications they receive too!

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Make it snappy

We’ve all seen the dreaded ‘elevator pitch’ on shows like The Apprentice, and the fact is sometimes we do only have a short window to make an impression upon potential employers. Whether you’re writing a CV or preparing for an interview you should have a few key snappy points you can include which will sell yourself as best as possible. So it could be: “I lead a design project for one of the UK’s Top fashion Retailers that resulted in two industry awards earlier this year’” or “I helped grow our current client base acquiring 5 new Fortune 500 companies in the last 6 months” etc. Facts that include numbers or achievements, and more importantly facts that are relevant will go a long way to helping your application.

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Solve their problem

Interviews are about selling yourself sure, but does anybody care how great you are at blogging when you are applying for a role in sales? You’ve got to show how you will solve all of their problems otherwise they are not going to hire you. This is where that job spec comes into play again! Make sure you go over the key responsibilities of the role and find a way to show that you can help! For example if a company is looking to launch a new product you could demonstrate ways you have helped other brands do this through events / digital marketing campaigns etc.


Put it in writing

If you find it difficult to sit in front of a team of people talking about how great you are then why not write it down before you get to the interview. Make a punchy presentation / bring along a portfolio with evidence of your achievements – that way if you start to panic and forget to sell yourself then you have solid proof in front of you to discuss!

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Fake it

Not your experience but your confidence! Sure we don’t like to wax lyrical about how awesome we are, I mean even Beyoncé has to adopt her alter ego ‘Sasha Fierce’ to pull out her confidence on stage, so all you need to do is channel your ‘interview alter ego’. No that doesn’t mean strutting into the interview with a personal wind machine – just adopt a few body language hacks to make you appear more at ease than you actual feel. Sit up straight, make eye contact, smile, keep your arms uncrossed and don’t forget to breathe.



So there you have it – 5 Steps to sell yourself in the Job Hunt without losing your modesty! For more information on how you can stand out in the job hunt visit Searchability.

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