I Can’t Sell Myself, Am I Destined to Be Unemployed Forever?


September 25, 2009 by sparktalk

Dear Experts,

I’ve read all sorts of things about personal branding and the need to ’sell’ myself, but the reality is I’m terrible at it. I lack self-confidence and being unemployed for 2 months now has crushed me. How do I convince someone I’m a good hire when I’M not convinced? I struggle to write anything good in cover letters because I don’t know what to say without sounding A) fake or B) full-of-myself. I don’t go to networking events because I’m terrible at talking with strangers. What can I do?


It is a challenge to stay positive and maintain your self-esteem when unemployed!  But take heart – although it seems forever 2 months is not that long.  In a normal economy you can plan on a 1 month job search for every $10,000 per year you want to earn.  It isn’t a normal economy!

If you can avail yourself of any free or inexpensive counseling you might find it helpful (through your college, health department, church, other groups).  Otherwise, here are a few tips to help keep you moving forward:

  1. Write down everything you do to provide a concrete reminder of how much you are doing.
  2. It may sound silly, but post positive affirmations everywhere and read them allowed.
  3. Ask a friend or loved one for a list of positive attributes or characteristics about yourself (put them in writing)
  4. Develop a job search plan, again it is important to have it in writing so you can refer to it.
  5. Assess your plan weekly to ensure it is working for you. Do you need to change your approach?
  6. Consistently work your plan – be happy to have a plan and know it is moving you toward your goal of a new job.
  7. Reward yourself for putting forth your best effort at tasks that are difficult for you (like talking with strangers).
  8. Take breaks to do something you enjoy and take care of yourself each day.
  9. Engage in social activities everyday, include internet, but also in person activity.  Even if it is going to the local coffee shop and reading the paper, being with people and trying to connect in even the smallest way will help.
  10. Ask for help.  This is hard, but if you know someone who can balance     out your weaknesses it can really boost your progress and your mood!

Good luck!

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About Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Masters-prepared Certified Disability Management Specialist. Over eighteen years experience in vocational assessment, counseling, and testimony, primarily in rehabilitation services.
This entry was posted in advice, career change, RTW, Vocational Counseling and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to I Can’t Sell Myself, Am I Destined to Be Unemployed Forever?

  1. Great posting. This just reinforces some of the things I have been doing. It also helps to get involved in networking groups of fellow job seekers. You can exchange ideas – plus help pick each other up when discouragement or self-doubt creep in.

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