As a Lead Recruiter for Expedia brand in Europe and an interview coach, I’ve noticed that many clients and candidates find talking about themselves rather difficult.
A lot of people (and you might be one of them if you’re reading this) think they should just be recognized for their effort and rewarded accordingly, without any need for self-promotion. Unfortunately, in today’s competitive workplace, if you assume that hard work alone is enough to get ahead, it’s very likely you will be left behind by those who haven’t shied away from self-promotion. (Click here to tweet this thought.)
Research shows that people who are comfortable with promoting themselves are not only more successful in landing a job from an interview, but go on to build stronger networks — within their organization and outside of it — and are more successful in business and throughout their careers.
Talking about what you’ve achieved and what you can do for others can be a difficult challenge for many, whether you’re a job seeker or a business owner. How can you talk about yourself in interviews or while networking without sounding like you’re bragging?
The answer is simple:
You Need to Change Your Perspective
Authentic self-promotion is about giving and sharing. You are not bragging; you’re giving and sharing your gifts with the world. You’re sharing ideas that can change a person’s life.
Self-promotion is about strategically building your personal brand to ensure that those who can help you accomplish more in your career will know not just who you are, but the value you have to offer and how you’d like to add more of it.
The truth is, people aren’t going to know how talented and accomplished you are unless you tell them! If those who can help you accomplish more in your career don’t know who you are and the value you have to provide, it doesn’t serve anyone.
Following are some tips for promoting yourself with confidence and ease:
1. Understand Your Audience
Be mindful of who your audience is and whether or not what you have to share is relevant to them. Be strategic in what you share, with whom you share it and how you communicate your experience.
You need to decide what specific accomplishments or stories are most relevant to your audience. Let’s assume you’re aiming for a leadership role. The results you’ve achieved in an individual contributor’s role — no matter how impressive — might be less relevant than examples that show how you’ve set strategy or opened a new market.
2. Promote Your Value, Not Yourself
Here’s the deal: You won’t get noticed, let alone hired, if you don’t talk about your achievements, no matter how uncomfortable that is for you. Therefore, talk about specific projects you’ve worked on and the value you’ve delivered to an organization.
Remember to quantify your results. It’s really important that you talk about key success metrics of your projects and how you’ve delivered against them. You won’t stand out amongst others if you don’t quantify your results with percentages or numbers, so talk about how you’ve saved costs, made or saved the company money or saved time.
3. Demonstrate Confidence and Passion
Confidence is so important, whether you’re in interviews or business meetings. When you transition into a new role or company, you need to show your superiors you have confidence in yourself and know you’ll be successful in the job. If you’re a business owner, if you don’t feel confident about your products or services, how can you expect your clients to trust them?
Sharing examples of things you’ve done that convey your accomplishments and capabilities is very powerful. If you’re a business owner, share stories of how your services or products have helped to solve specific problems.
4. Get Recommendations
Third-party recommendations can help you get a job or grow your business. If you don’t have them already, ask your previous colleagues or bosses to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn. For business owners, ensure you have testimonials on your website sharing specific results your clients achieved as a result of working with you.
The more people you can get to campaign on your behalf, the stronger your brand will be.
5. Reframe Disapproval
Let’s be honest: There will always be some people who won’t like you or what you do. In fact, the more successful you become, the more criticism you’re likely to attract.
So what? This criticism is rarely about you — the other person might simply feel fearful or insecure about themselves.
Letting the fear of being criticized determine what you do is a surefire way to never achieve what you want in work or in life. You have value to add and a potential to fulfill; therefore, it’s your duty to ensure that those who can help you in your career or business know how talented and invaluable you are!
Which of the above tips can you put into action today to start promoting yourself more?
Margaret Buj is an interview and career acceleration coach who specializes in helping professionals get any job they want at their best ever salary. If you want to find out how recruiters read resumes, why you’re not getting hired, how to sell yourself successfully in a job interview and how to negotiate your best salary yet, you can download her free “You’re HIRED!” video course.