In an ideal world, getting your dream job would depend solely on your capabilities and prior work experience. In the real world, though, snagging that opportunity is often just as much about the impression you make on your interviewer.
In this three-part series, Fortune talks to experts about how women can use their personal and speaking style, body language, and online presence to land that job offer.
For our first installment, we talk to executive coach Mary Civiello, who shares her biggest tips on how to communicate that you’re the perfect fit.
1. Talk yourself up. A lot.
“Women—more than men—have a difficult time patting themselves on the back, saying what they do really, really well,” says Mary Civiello. “Get over it.”
In practical terms, that means all your communication with the hiring manager should reinforce the point that you deserve the job. When it comes to email, you must grab the contact’s attention when asking for an interview—starting with the subject line. “Give them a reason to open it up,” she says. “Then, give them a reason to click on your resume.”
2. Stick to the rule of three.
“When preparing for the interview, come up with three qualities—things that you think really make you special,” says the executive coach. These can be anything from your ability to work effectively in a team to your creativity to your flexibility. Then, to really make yourself stand out, “think about little stories” that illustrate each of these qualities.
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3. Think like a storyteller.
In telling these stories, follow three steps, recommends Civiello. Step one is talking about a situation you faced—a way to put your interviewer in the moment. Step two: Present the challenge in front of you. Finally, talk him or her through the thought process and execution of your solution.
4. Be confident in your body language. (Or at least fake it.)
“People make judgments about you…within less than a second so make sure when you walk in—even if you’re nervous—you have that big smile ready to go,” she says. Things like a firm handshake, upright posture, and leaning forward instead of back while seated can go a long way.