There’s a conversation I have with every client that comes to me wanting to know how to write a killer CV, nail an interview, or get a promotion, and it’s one that’s a real game changer if you’re serious about taking your career up a notch or two. But it requires effort and a change in thinking, so it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (frankly, most people are too lazy)…
When it comes to changing jobs, being able to promote yourself effectively is essential, but when I mention self-promotion many people automatically think ‘bragging’ and feel decidedly uncomfortable talking about their achievements and what makes them good at their job.
If that sounds like you, you’re not alone. However, playing yourself down, or simply keeping quiet when you’ve done a good job, won’t help you get ahead – and in fact can have quite the opposite effect on your career.
Self-promotion doesn’t mean you need to ram your latest accolade down someones throat, but you do need to do more than simply hope the person you’re talking to will somehow miraculously realise how great you are.
That rarely happens.
Being able to tell others why you should be hired, promoted or referred is an important component in career development and not something to shy away from.
So to get started, there are 3 key areas I recommend you get clear on so that – when you need to promote yourself – you draw attention to your best assets and feel prepared and comfortable for this type of critical conversation: –
1. Added Value
Being able to articulate how you’ve added value to a business and/or clients is something every hiring manager, boss and potential new client wants to hear. So it’s important you’re crystal clear on HOW you do that and are able to convey your message to others.
For example, talking about the fact that you manage a team is not how you add value – that’s simply listing a responsibility.
However, mentioning how you’ve grown your team and improved retention rates during a challenging restructure, and that productivity has improved by 35% for example, paints a much clearer picture of how you’ve truly added value to that team or organisation.
Action: Write down at least 5 specific examples of how you’ve added value in your current job.
2. Solved A Problem
Every team and business has a problem from time to time, some more than others, so if you can talk about how you’ve solved a specific issue previously you instantly become more valuable than someone who avoids tricky situations.
Being able to tell someone that you’ve solved an issue and how your expertise would be beneficial to their team or company is a great way to improve your perceived value and promote yourself as someone who’s an asset to the business.
Action: Write down at least 5 specific examples of how you’ve solved a problem in your career and what the outcome were, attributing facts and figures that back up the results where possible.
3. Made/Saved Money
Every business is about making money in one way or another, so being able to explain how you’ve personally helped make or save money in a organisation is another skill that’s definitely need promoting.
Any hiring manager worth their salt will be interested in specifics of this nature so whether you’re looking for a new job, or trying to get ahead in your current position, make sure you’re clear on how you’ve improved the bottom line and made or saved money in your career.
Action: Write down at least 5 specific examples of how you’ve saved or made money in your career so far and how you did that. Importantly, you don’t have to be in a sales role to be able to demonstrate this kind of information – just think about the bigger picture and how your job fits in to the objectives of the business. If you’re an Executive Assistant for example, perhaps you’ve organised an event where you negotiated a cheaper venue rate, or maybe the way you bulk order stationary saves the company money.
Once you have clear examples of these 3 key areas in your mind make sure you convey them on your resume, LinkedIn profile, in interview, at networking events and in meetings with your boss where appropriate. Getting clear on what makes you an asset will also help increase your confidence and help you feel more comfortable taking about your achievements to others.
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