Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(under)sell yourself (short)

sell yourself shortundersell yourself
Meaning(s)
1) fail to promote your own capabilities, especially to other people
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional MediumSocial
    • don't sell yourself short/cheap, you are better than that
  • Analysis

    When you undersell yourself, you fail to promote yourself in such a way that someone gets a strong, positive impression of your capabilities. The same applies to 'selling yourself short'. Both expressions just mean that you don't get the results you deserve, especially if you have put in a lot of work. You will hear this used in both social or professional contexts, but more so in professional contexts, especially in relation to interview performance or with someone pursuing their career goals.

  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. Jack is never one to sell himself short. Whenever he does anything he's proud of, he can't wait to tell everyone how great he is.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. The reason Jenny struggles to impress in job interviews is because she keeps selling herself short. She needs to build up her confidence and realize that she has a lot to offer.
    2. After the success of the project, the manager sold his team short to the executives so that he could take the lion's share of the credit.
    3. I think I didn't get the job because I undersold myself in the interview.
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