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Not sure how to sell yourself? Just the facts will do!

The Hiring Process Interviewing Strategies Job Search Inspiration


I know I need to tell the interviewer all the great things I can do for the company. But I’ve always been told never to brag on myself. What do I do?


Remember the famous line from the old “Dragnet” TV show: “Just the facts, ma’am.”

You don’t need to brag; you need to present facts, preferably with lots of detail. You don’t need, or want, to say, “I’m the world’s greatest teacher!” (For one thing, you aren’t.) But you can say, in all honesty, “I’ve been teaching for the last seven years. I’ve taught all grade levels from fifth grade through high school. Over six hundred students have benefited from my work. My master’s degree in elementary education from Hood College has enabled me to understand child and adolescent brain development, so my lesson plans are age-appropriate.” And so on.

Most of us learned as children that bragging just annoys people and does not win us friends (or now, jobs.) On the other hand, the employer doesn’t know you; he doesn’t know all the great things you can do for him. You have to tell him.

So don’t look at it as bragging, and don’t tell it as if you are stuck on yourself. Present the relevant facts that will help the interviewer make a good decision. He has to hire somebody; you apparently have the skills he wants, or you wouldn’t be there. Use numbers wherever you can; it helps him understand what you’ve done. Talk about your successes, and how you acquired them. Tell stories; the human brain is wired to love stories.

The interviewer wants the facts. Just the facts, ma’am.


About the Author

Beth Davis-Reinhold

Beth Davis-Reinhold is an instructor at Frederick County Workforce Services, where she has worked for over 20 years. She teaches job search seminars and basic computer skills. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, and is Internet and Computing Core Certified (IC3). Beth has been a member of Toastmasters International for more than 15 years, and is an Advanced Communicator Silver. A graduate of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Beth has also studied American Sign Language for many years. In addition to many sundry projects for FCWS, Beth writes its “Ask the Career Coach” blog.