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“Sell yourself,” survey advises

Arrogance is not good. But confidence is.
Thus is the message from a recent survey showing that job candidates may not be selling themselves enough during job interviews. One-third of executives polled said that during interviews, applicants often are too humble in recounting their own achievements. Not that they want applicants to puff up their chests and sing their own praises. But a little self-promotion can go a long way.
Developed by Accountemps, a division of the Menlo Park, Calif.-based Robert Half International Inc., the survey was conducted by an independent research firm, which polled 150 executives from the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.
Of those questioned, 33 percent said applicants were either “much too reluctant” or “somewhat too reluctant” to sell themselves. Another 24 percent thought job candidates were “somewhat too aggressive” or “much too aggressive,” while 41 percent said neither and 2 percent were not sure.
“(The interview) is a job seeker’s one shot at convincing the interviewer of his or her abilities. It’s not a time to be timid or shy,” Accountemps chairman Max Messmer said in a news release. “It’s a delicate balance between putting yourself in the best light and sounding haughty. Still, many candidates make the mistake of underselling themselves.”
Accountemps is the world’s largest temporary-staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping positions. It has more than 175 offices in the United States, Canada and Europe, including one in Rochester.

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