I’m not sure why it’s so hard to figure out the question, “How much are you worth.” We sell ourselves all the time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook countless times a day. We never hold back telling everyone what amazing things we are doing, awards we win and all the delicious vacations we go on. It feels so easy when we’re on social media, but get in front of a hiring manager and it’s a totally different ballgame.
It used to be that you got a degree and then rolled out into the best job ever, but let’s face it, it isn’t that way anymore. We’ve got stiff competition because of a high unemployment rate. Sometimes we are competing against someone in their 50’s who has a lot more experience, but needs a job. This means that we’ve got to be even better at selling our skills and communicating our value (this is not the time to be super humble). Here are some tips to figuring out how much are you worth.
- What’s the salary. You’ve got to know what the average salary is for the job you are applying for. Two good places to look are salary.com and payscale. com. Here you can find out the average salaries in your area and have a good feel when you go into your interview. Know your numbers (remember I talk about that all the time).
- Got Skills. You’ve got to do a skills check-up on yourself. Take a piece of paper out and write every single skill that you have. Think about any volunteering, hobbies, friends, unpaid work, internships, etc. that you can dig up some skills from. Create a giant list, and don’t censor yourself. When you are done, then write what you are good at with those skills. For instance, if you started a local effort to raise money to feed the homeless in your city, then you should write down that you are good at leadership, marketing and organizing. See, it’s that easy. Some highly marketable skills are writing, negotiating, leadership, problem solving, communication and organization. Don’t sell yourself short!
- 30 Sec Commercial. Honestly, I think it’s got to be more like a 15 sec commercial, but the important thing is that it isn’t over 30 sec. Ever heard of the ole’ elevator speech? Love it or hate it, you’ve got to have one for yourself. Practice makes perfect, so write out your speech and then practice it over and over in the mirror. Who cares if you make a fool of yourself, the important thing is that you nail it in the interview. What’s in your 30 deco commercial? This is the answer to the popular question, “Tell me about yourself.” You want to talk about those skills you have and how you acquired then, and most importantly, why you would be an asset to this company. Always, always, always relate it back to the company.
- Get Linked. LinkedIn is one of the best tools out there to create a virtual resume. It is what hiring managers look for first before they call you back for an interview. Make sure you sell yourself in your profile. If you want an example, take a look at my profile for some ideas. It isn’t hard to figure out, it literally should mirror your resume so everything matches up, but the cool thing about LinkedIn is that you can post all sorts of documents, blog posts, videos and so on. All of those things wow future employers.
Lastly, you’ve got to make sure your social media profiles are flawless, or under lock and keep. The last you want is for a hiring manager to check out your Instagram profile and there are drunk pics of you from the party last weekend. That would be a definite turn off. Keep it clean, keep it neat, or lock it up.
As millennials, you already have so many things working against you in the world. You have high student loan debt, high unemployment and a lot of competition. Don’t worry though, if you know your skills, got your commercial down, and are able to communicate your value you can do this. You have the power to ignite your career and earning potential…so get to it!