Marketing Yourself For Fun and Profit

As I put together my graduate school application last month, I rediscovered that I’m not the world’s greatest self-marketer. The experience set off a storm in my brain that has been raging ever since.

It started when a friend read a draft of one of the writing pieces I was to submit as part of the application. Overall, she said, it sounded as if I need them, instead of them needing me. After some revision I sent it to another friend, who said the same thing and suggested a few changes to be bolder.

It sounded like I was begging for admission because that’s exactly what was going through my head as I was writing the first draft. The program sounds perfect for me, and I was really hoping they would see it the same way.

If I hadn’t procrastinated on writing the piece, perhaps realizing it was essentially a marketing document would have been made when I still had plenty of time to reformulate the entire piece. It ended up decent in the end, but arguably not my best work.

In the aftermath my inner perfectionist has started demanding answers: how does one become a strong self-marketer? How do you discuss your own strengths confidently without coming across as a snake oil salesman? Normally I would say that practicing is the best way to build a skill, but how can you practice self-marketing on a regular basis? I definitely need easier access to my inner P.T. Barnum.

Do you have any ideas on how to become a better self-marketer? Please share them with the rest of the class!

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1 Comment

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One response to “Marketing Yourself For Fun and Profit

  1. Shirley Eugist

    One of the main things I have learned working in Human Resources, is that you have to make yourself stand apart from the rest of the masses by offering a unique perspective or skills that others do not possess. One way to do this is to review your resume’ and come up with a list of specific achievements from each job. You could also ask your professional references or your friends to come up with a quote about you, and find ways to include those in your “why you want me” essays.

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