“There’s nothing wrong with blowing your own trumpet…

Jazz mood, originally uploaded by Mirko Macari.

…after all, blowing someone else’s is unhygienic.” – Shortlist magazine

Being able to “sell myself” to potential employers has been something I’ve struggled with.  Often landing a job without really knowing why – even landing one of my last jobs after having what I consider to be the “worst interview of my life”, and coming away wanting to beat myself up for not performing well and presenting myself really badly…. or so I thought.

Well, let’s put the interview aside.  What about getting invited for an interview in the first place, via the initial application process?  Writing and sending in the CV and/or application form – showing how well you and your skills fit with what they’re looking for.

Well, at this, I had and have various CVs geared towards different fields of work, but over the past few weeks I’ve felt a need to update and improve them.  To go over them, rewording, restructuring parts to make the possibility of employing me more appealing.

So I decided to start off by writing down all the skills, tasks and knowledge I have gained in past 18months in this particular field of work.  It was a lot.  I’ve produces a list of 115 things to date and know there’s more to add.

Doing this, in itself, changed my professional perception of myself from “Someone who does a job” to “A valuable asset to the company”.  So that was great.

My next task was to incorporate some of this into the “Award winning CV” I planned to write.  How did that go?  As of yet, I still haven’t typed it.

What’s stopped me?  Well, when I asked myself that question, the answer was my inability to “Sell myself”, to “Blow my own trumpet” when it comes to my employability.

I felt uncomfortable at the thought of using words such as “exceptional, outstanding, expertise and impressive”.  Partly because in this particular field of work I judged my skills to be average to good and not “exceptional” as employers and companies were looking for and I imagined the nightmare of writing so leading to squirming in an interview where I’d have to prove these, so called, “exceptional” skills and talents.

The other thing was all the past messages I’ve heard warning against blowing your own trumpet, appearing big-headed, no one likes a show off etc.

Now this, for me, is where it becomes really interesting…

As I turned on the computer to begin some kind of self-development exercise to challenge what I labelled as my “mis-thinking about my skills and inaccurate view of my self”, I decided to have a quick look to see the latest job adverts and one caught my eye.

The next thing I knew 3 hours had passed in which I’d restructured, partly rewritten one of my CV’s, composed an in depth cover letter and emailed them both to this prospective employer.  And as for the content, throughout both were words and phrases such as “Excellent…”; “Someone such as myself who has extensive knowledge and experience…; “As my area of expertise….” all traces of the pre-mentioned fears and baggage about blowing my own trumpet or being someone who down-plays their skills went out the window and were no where to be seen.

What this taught me was when I want something enough, the ability to “sell my skills to the max” happens without effort.  It doesn’t have to be forced, encouraged or cajoled, it happens as if it’s second nature.  Because it is second nature.

Blowing ones own trumpet happens naturally when working towards what one really and truly desires.

As for the job application, only time will tell if I succeeded in being offered it and whether they agree that I have what their looking for.  Either way whatever happens, it’s been an eye opener of a lesson for me, which is worthwhile in itself.

So the message is simple.  Blow your own trumpet and blow it loud and clear for the world to hear.  And as for the type of job that had me trumpeting to the hilt, all I can say is, “It’s what I want, what I really, really want” 🙂

(c) Prosperity X


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