Key Points:

When applying for a new job, a candidate should keep in mind the key points of a successful sales pitch.

You are a product, therefore you are a brand. As the latest BMW 7 Series has certain specific and quantifiable features designed to entice a certain level of the market to purchase, so do you.

From the start, have the mindset of selling yourself, as you would an internationally renowned product or service.

As any competent marketing manager would do with the products and services under their watch, you need to fairly assess your strengths, so they can be easily and quickly communicated to an employer.

It is vital to ensure prospective purchasers (employers) understand your value proposition and what you can add to their organisation.

Sadly, too many people who are Ferraris market themselves through the CV and interview process as Ladas.

The recruiter/manager can only judge you on the information supplied.

Therefore, if you are not selling yourself to your full potential, you are not giving the employers enough information to make a fair decision.

Define your selling points

Defining your achievements is not as difficult as it sounds.

Think about instances where you made a difference to your organisation.

Examples include:


Did you exceed your monthly/annual sales budget?

If so, by what dollar value or percentage?

Did you receive any awards or internal/external recognition of sales success?


Have you delivered proposals, talks or presentations?

If so, to an audience of what size?

System/process improvement:

Were you involved in the development of new systems in a business?

If so, what were the processes and how did these affect the business?

Human resources:

Did you complete any coaching or mentoring of staff members?

Were there any specific positive results that came from this?

Added Responsibility:

Were you awarded any extra authority in a position?

You may have commenced as a production manager, then been awarded full control of quality assurance for the firm after six months.

As with any good brochure, direct it as much as possible to the individual opportunity, ensuring the key themes in the prospective job description are captured in the CV.

This also means that you will have various versions of your CV that each have a slightly different flavour.

It's all about the sell. Manage your career search in the same way that a professional sales consultant would approach a potential customer.

Be secure in your selling points. Remember - your brand is valuable.

Tom O'Neil is managing director of and is a contributor on CV preparation to the world's best selling career guide, What Color Is Your Parachute? (over 10 million sold).