I Like Advertising…But I Don’t Like Advertising

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Confused yet? Good, because I am too. I think it’s pretty clear by this point that I adore advertising. I love researching all the newest commercials and sharing my opinions about their awesomeness (or not-so-awesomeness) and I enjoy thinking about possible slogans or campaigns for companies. But when it comes to promoting myself, I tend to fall short. It’s easier for some than others to talk about themselves, and seeing as I’m in the promotion business, logically this should be a breeze. But for some reason, promoting myself is so much harder than promoting someone else.

I will be graduating from college this May (woot woot!) so right now it’s crunch time for my classes and finding a job. And summing up all the advice I’ve received, I think the most often repeated words of wisdom were to sell myself to find my future job (but not in a prostitution sense–I’d like to think a bachelors degree will get me more than that). These mentors advised me to think about what employers are looking for, and then sell them on the reasons why I my abilities are to infinity and beyond and that I’m the most extraordinary college grad they’ll ever encounter.

The only problem with that? It makes me uncomfortable to promote myself. The most terrifying job interview question is “Why are you a good fit for this company?” and I usually end up looking like a deer in the headlights, trying to think of a way to come across as competent, but not boastful.  It’s confusing, because I’m trying to convince people that I have what it takes to sell a product, yet I’m uncomfortable trying to sell my own skills.

So I do love advertising in general, because I think selling ideas is interesting and fun. But I don’t like having to advertise and promote myself, because explaining why I’m amazing is much more difficult and uncomfortable to me than explaining a new slogan or tagline.

Is it just me? Or are there others out there who sometimes have trouble “selling themselves”?

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4 comments

  1. I completely agree with this. I’m signed up to a few freelance copywriting websites that all have boxes telling me to describe myself so potential clients can get a jist of what I’m like. They always say something like “Describe Yourself?”, “Tell us about you?” or “Write about yourself”. I always start out by saying my name, age and where I’m from… But why would they care about that? So I delete it and try and think of something intelligent, witty, and creative to say, but I fall short every time. I have absolutely no problem describing a product or another human being, but describing myself just seems impossible. So I’m glad it’s not just me suffering from this ‘describe yourself’ issue!

    1. Thank you! It feels like there’s so much pressure as a wannabe copywriter, because I know potential clients/hiring managers will be judging every word I write. But I’m relieved it’s not just me. Good luck on the freelancing!

  2. Hi Alex! Thanks for your comment–it’s good to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. The “Tell me about yourself” question is another toughie, you’re right. There’s a fine line between coming across as a good, genuine person or a stuck-up, pretentious snob. It’s difficult to appear impressive to the employer yet humble at the same time.

    I like that you take a more creative approach by bringing in items that describe you. I’m sure that will help hiring managers remember you well, and hopefully will make you more at ease, too :)

  3. Hello there, Katie. I have the same thing. The worst thing for me is when in the interview they ask “about you” question. In that moment I don’t really know what to say (I want to come across as a good person). So now I bring a few possessions of mine (Mad Men Box, miniature piano etc) and just talk about the things I like and do.

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