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Avoid Undervaluing Your Sellable Skills

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 9 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Sellable Skills Job Seekers Job

Sellable skills are an employee’s most valuable asset. Although it’s an employer’s market it’s never a good idea to undervalue your sellable skills, especially during the interview negotiating process.

Why Employees Undervalue their Sellable Skills

When the job market is in recession there is a strong temptation for job seekers to undervalue their sellable skills. Desperation can make job seekers accept the first offer without even trying to negotiate. Recruitment experts state that undervaluing sellable skills and not negotiating can have detrimental effects. Employees who accept initial pay offers can have a harder time in the future when it comes to employers valuing their true worth.

What Constitutes Sellable Skills?

A sellable skill is the factor that gives employees their worth to employers. This can be experience built up over the course of a career or skills that are hard to find elsewhere. Working for a wide variety of companies within a certain field will mean more experience, which is valuable to an employer. Recent qualifications that include the latest business techniques and methodologies are also sellable skills to employers. Skills that are a desired by an employer are always valuable and are a good negotiating point.

Why Undervaluing Sellable Skills is Detrimental

Employees who do not sell their skills can become locked into a position of constantly under earning. Work colleagues who push themselves and their skills can climb the career ladder faster and earn more money. There is nothing wrong with ‘blowing your own trumpet’ if the skills are valuable to employers. There is no point obtaining a vast amount of qualifications and work experience just to settle for a low paying job. Competition is big part of business and this also goes for employees and their sellable skills.

Employer Requirements and Sellable Skills

Jobseekers can be in a much stronger negotiating position under certain circumstances. If the job seeker's skills are hard to find, in a niche capacity, then this is a strong bargaining position when it comes to salary. Other facts can include how quickly the employer needs the position filled. These circumstances do mean that an employer may be willing to pay extra to obtain the job seeker's skills. Being aware of these factors will determine if negotiating can be applied during an interview.

Selling Skills and Experience on a CV

A CV is the first point of sale for a job seeker’s sellable skills. Although CVs are now becoming briefer they are still the first chance to get a foot in a company’s door. Skills and qualities that are relevant to the intended job should be highlighted on a CV. Avoid putting any mundane details into a CV; stick to strengths not weaknesses. Important aspects should take priority on a CV; if work experience is more of an asset than qualifications then place these first. CVs can be changed and tailored to suit the company; enhancement is good, lying is not.

Pitfalls to Avoid During an Interview

When it comes to negotiating don’t appear overly desperate to win the job. Sellable skills are an asset and are a valuable commodity. Employers can easily recognise when job seekers are overly anxious to win a job and will see this as a weakness. They may then think they can obtain an employee with valuable skills at a bargain price. Job seekers should never appear desperate during interviews. If pay is not up to expectations there is always the chance to negotiate by asking for extra employee benefits.

Sellable Skills and Interview Negotiations

Negotiation can be hard for some job seekers. Focussing on negatives will not win that job interview but some job seekers constantly do this. Points to remember when it comes to negotiations should include:

  • Sellable skills are an asset to the employer; getting to the interview stage means they already value these skills
  • Raise pay expectations; don’t keep accepting low pay offers
  • Learn how to negotiate; negotiating is in itself a valuable skill
  • If a pay offer is low, negotiate by informing the interviewer of the worth of your skills
  • Always research how much your skills are worth by checking pay rates within various similar companies
  • Take more risks, be more competitive, and learn to push your sellable skills
  • Make the employer aware of what you can bring to their company and your career aspirations
Sellable skills are one of the major negotiating factors during job interviews. Job seekers should always push these skills during negotiations and be aware of their worth. Highlighting sellable skills can be provide the edge over other job interviewees, and can make all the difference to winning that desired job.

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