Most of us aren’t salespeople. Or so we think. But it’s actually something we all do. If you have kids, you sell them the benefits of eating their vegetables. And if you discuss any topic that you have an opinion on, you sell that opinion. Basically, everyone is a salesperson, and perhaps it’s not such a bad thing. So, when you’re applying for jobs, don’t be afraid to sell yourself! Your resume can be so much more than a piece of paper, it’s a chance for you to market yourself and demonstrate your incredible skillset!

Before we begin…

…ask yourself these questions:

Is my resume clear and concise?

Is my experience clearly visible?

Does it use headers and bullet points etc. to highlight key points?

If the answer to any of these is no, then some basic changes need to be made. This video from the Business Insider has some great tips and tricks about effective CV formatting.

Know what you have to sell

Are you creative? Practical? Experienced? Write down everything that you have to offer an organisation and focus on how that can help them. Try to back each point up with examples where you can.

Introduce yourself with enthusiasm

How you introduce yourself is just as important as the words within the introduction. Be enthusiastic, clear and engaging and deliver a great first impression. Let your personality shine through, just as you would if you were speaking to someone face-to-face.

Market yourself with your resume and cover letter

Marketing is all about showing what you have to offer. It’s also about sharing your product with those who need it or could benefit from it. Applying for jobs is the same. You have something that a company wants and it’s your task to demonstrate this. You wouldn’t be applying if you didn’t think that you had something to offer, right?

Mention all of your relevant work experience and skills in your resume. If you’re studying a VET qualification, then look at the units you studied and select your best skills from there. Make your resume clear and let the employer find what they’re looking for easily.

Don’t be intimidated by skills in the job advert that you don’t have

Just because you didn’t study that topic, doesn’t mean you can’t do that job. A trained chemist could become a wine journalist and someone who studied history could work with start-ups. Don’t worry about whether your training and experience exactly matches a job role – assess whether your skills and passions match it instead. Many skills are transferable across a variety of industries and lots of companies will offer training to fill skills gaps.

Proofread your resume and cover letter

We all want to make a good first impression. But if you submit a resume filled with spelling and grammatical errors then it presents a sloppy work ethic. Check your resume a few times and use a spell-checking tool. Grammarly has a free option that will do a basic, but through scan of your work.

Don’t sell yourself with lies

Lies told in a job application will always get found out, whether in the interview or worse, after hiring. Don’t waste the recruiter’s and your time by pretending that you have specific skills and experience. If you want that job but don’t yet have those skills, get trained. VET courses (such as those offered by Central Australian College) provide a fast and affordable way to attain highly-sought-after, industry-specific skills.

Try something new to grab an employer’s attention

If your resume contains all essential information but isn’t getting a positive response, it could be time to get creative. Think about who is reading your application. Employers and recruiters look through resumes every day, and it can be a monotonous and frustrating task. Make your application interesting, show your passion, and entice the employer with what you have to offer.

Creative resume layouts can be found using a simple Google search. Take a look at what other people have done with their CVs and see what you could apply to your own application.

Also consider alternative submission media. The recruitment space is littered with black and white typed pieces of paper, so why not make a video or a digital presentation instead? There are many free and easy-to-use content creation tools available online. Canva allows users to create videos and images that are easy to make and share. Flipsnack compiles your work into a digital flipbook or magazine. And Venngage will help you put together attention-grabbing infographics. No matter what job you’re applying for, there is always a way to supercharge your application and get noticed.

Don’t use star ratings in your resume!

This relatively new trend is a controversial one. Star ratings are a system of self-evaluation that shows employers what skills you have and how competent you think you are, as indicated by a specific number of stars. However, this is not a reliable way to demonstrate your talents or expertise.

There are 2 main reasons to avoid star ratings:

1. The recruiter can’t understand your personal rating system. Are you rating yourself against industry professionals? Or are you giving yourself 5 stars because it’s your top skill? The recruiter also won’t know whether you are being modest or boastful. It’s better to prove your skills with explained examples.

2. Some graphics may not print well or be viewable in particular programs. Applicant tracking systems may also reject this type of information. If you are going to use them, make sure you use a file format that is easily viewable.

Update your LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn profile is another great place to sell yourself. Here, you can go into more detail about your experience and show yourself in your best light. Employers will often check your online profile after reading your application, so make sure it looks great!

Some employers also search for candidates through LinkedIn. If your profile reads like your resume, then you could have recruiters offering you jobs!