Why It’s Important to Sell Yourself

Photo: Thinkstock/RossHelen

As an undergrad, I felt I excelled in writing and communications, and that I would have no problem developing my resume as I prepared to apply for dietetic internships. However, it wasn’t until my coursework in professional development, and eventually acting as a teaching assistant for the same course, that I realized I did not do a very good job of “selling myself.” Here’s what I have learned, and why it’s important.

Your Resume is a Quick Snapshot

First impressions are key. This doesn’t just apply to one-on-one interactions, but also to the first glance at your resume by a dietetic internship director or potential employer. Not only do you want to be concise and direct, but you want to distinguish yourself from the next candidate with similar experiences. Why It’s Important to Sell Yourself - resume writing Make the director, or manager, see why you stand out on paper so you get the chance to wow them in person, too.

Be Results-Oriented

Don’t just say what you did, demonstrate the outcome. Did you have a lasting impact on the organization? Start to think about these things while you are engaged in the experiences you intend to include on your resume. Are there numbers that changed because of your influence? Did you create materials that the organization uses even after you’ve left? Outcome measures show that you follow through, and this is a key quality that hiring managers and internship directors look for.

Don’t Be Afraid to Brag!

This is what I struggle with the most. It is OK to be confident about your skills and experiences! Write your resume as if you are talking about someone else, someone great who deserves the position to which they are applying. Sell yourself! Certainly don’t lie, but give the person looking at your resume a reason to call you for an interview. Use words like “excelled” and “effectively” – then provide facts about what you did to back up your words.

That piece of paper is your shot. Don’t be afraid to shine!

Kristen Allen
Kristen Allen graduated with her BS in Nutritional Sciences/Dietetics from Penn State University in 2015. She is currently pursuing her RDN as a dietetic intern at Geisinger Health System.