sell yourself

How to Sell Yourself (and Why Your Career Depends On It)

To get ahead in life, you need to be in the business of selling. If this statement makes you cringe, it is probably because the word “sales” evokes images of annoying telemarketers and pushy car dealers. Relax, though, as this article is about a product so wonderful and special you should have no qualms in selling it. The product? You.

There are endless situations in life where the key to success is the ability to sell yourself to others. In your career, the ability to convince an interviewer that you are the best person for the job is critical. When it comes to relationships, your ability to show your best qualities can be the crucial factor in clinching a date with the girl or guy you want. When you think about it, if you cannot sell yourself as a person to others, you are going to have a difficult time selling them your ideas, your wishes, your needs, your ambitions, your skills, and your experience.

Despite the necessity of being able to sell yourself to others, for many people like myself it does not come naturally. Introversion, shyness, and lack of self-worth are just a few of the obstacles that can potentially get in the way. To overcome such obstacles, I suggest focusing on the following:

Be Sold on Yourself

This is the first, and perhaps most important, aspect to successfully selling yourself to others. Unless it comes naturally, this is probably also the hardest. Being sold on yourself comes down to this: you must be aware of your own self-worth. This means you believe in yourself, have faith in yourself, and have confidence in yourself.

Being sold on yourself is not something that usually happens overnight. For many years, I did not like myself. I can, however, personally attest that it is possible to change your life and gain a sense of self-worth when there was once none. If you struggle with your sense of self-worth, here are just 3 ideas that may help:

  • Live in such a way that you would want to be friends with yourself
  • Find some time to reflect on what you like about yourself. If this seems hard, start with the smallest of attributes.
  • Don’t do anything that will give you cause to feel ashamed later.

Have a Saleable Package

This article is predominately about letting others know about the inner contents of your package. That being said, there is no getting around the fact that people judge others based on their appearance. Some questions you may consider asking yourself are: am I looking after my appearance to the best of my ability? Are my clothes appropriate for the image I wish to project?

Be Positive and Enthusiastic

Can you remember the last time you received poor customer service? Did the person look bored, disinterested, and as if they wanted to be anywhere but that place? Don’t be that person. Positivity and enthusiasm can both be developed, but once again it takes work. Here are a few tips to help you:

  • Look for the best in people
  • Associate with positive people
  • Care deeply about something
  • See life as an adventure
  • Smile

Be Real and Authentic

Rather than being about who you appear to be, selling yourself is about letting others know who you are as a person. For this reason, lies and half-truths are a recipe for disaster later down the line. By telling the truth, you will earn both trust and respect which, in turn, will help you build a great reputation. Not only that, it will make you feel good about yourself. The last thing you want to do is sell yourself out by compromising your values and principles.

Peter writes about how to change your life at The Change Blog. He also runs a blog for audio book lovers called Audio Book Downloads.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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