Do you feel uncomfortable bragging about your achievements or boasting about what makes you good at your job? You’re not alone, but the problem is that knowing how to promote yourself well is an essential ingredient in any successful career and something that many shy away from because they feel uncomfortable talking about what makes them great! 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. Thankfully there are 3 easy steps you can take to start promoting yourself well without needing a serenade or fanfare to be heard…
I help a lot of clients overhaul their resumes and one thing that most people are guilty of is listing their responsibilities instead of engaging the reader with examples of how they’re good at their job. This mindset also tends to flow through into interviews and performance appraisals where they do the same instead of really highlighting what they’ve achieved and how they’ve added value to the team or business they work in.
Promoting yourself well is more about mindset and feeling comfortable talking about your achievements. It doesn’t mean you need to ram your latest accolade down someones throat but you do need to do more than simply hope that the person you’re talking to will somehow miraculously realise how great you are.
Being able to tell others why you should be hired, promoted or referred to is an important component in career development and not something to shy away from. So to get started, there are 3 key areas that I recommend you get clear on so that when you’re in a position to promote yourself you draw attention to your best assets and feel comfortable in the process: –
1. Add Value
Being able to articulate how you add 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% paints a much clearer picture of how you’ve added value to that business.
Action: Write down at least 5 specific examples of how you’ve added value in your current job.
2. Solve 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 problem previously you instantly become more valuable than someone who avoids tricky situations.
Being able to tell your boss that you’ve solved an issue and how it’s beneficial to your team or company is a great way to improve your value in that organisation 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 was, attributing facts and figures that back up the results where possible.
3. Make/Save Money
Every business is about making money in some sense 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 worth 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 at work.
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.
Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting
Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.
You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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