Here's how not to overstep the self-promotion fine line in the new year.
In a world where tweeting “I’ve been promoted #blessed” or Instagramming “Just landed a huge project #braggingrights” is common practice, the line between promoting yourself and blowing your own trumpet has become thinner.
But the truth is, self-promotion and getting your name out there is an important part of branding yourself, getting the job, making contacts and meeting people who can push your career in the right direction. After all, if you don’t do it, who else is going to ensure you get the recognition you deserve?
So the question is how do you talk about your achievements without falling on the bragging side of the self-promotion spectrum? Here are a few notes to keep in mind:
First, know the difference between bragging and self-promotion
Self-promoting yourself is about telling relevant people i.e. recruiters, your colleagues, managers, etc., about your skills and how they add value to the company, the team or your career. On the other hand, bragging is telling anyone and everyone who cares to listen about your value with the sole purpose of making yourself superior.
Second, know how to strike a balance between bragging and telling the facts
You can tell a recruiter you’re interviewing with about growing the client base of your previous employer. That’s simply stating a fact. You can also speak about the hard work that went into finding creative strategies to get the new clients onboard, and how that took you many hours of research and fine-tuning the marketing concept. That’s still not bragging.
But if you say, “I’m a marketing guru who can easily reach targets without flinching", now that’s bragging.
When talking about yourself there is a major difference between mentioning something inherent, like being smart or having good looks, and something you did, such as being innovative.
Third, don’t avoid talking about your achievements
Exposing yourself to people's judgements is hard, we understand. But avoiding talking about your accomplishments at all costs can cost you more than you may realise. Self-promotion has become even more important in an economy where job stability is not guaranteed. Those who get promoted or get an increase in their salaries are usually the ones who aren’t afraid to speak up.
If nothing else, remember that self-promotion can literally mean the difference between an empty pocket and getting more money in the bank.
Fourth, be honest and genuine
When trying to build a network of people who can support your ideas and help you find career opportunities, it can be easy to give yourself more credit than is due. If you’re serious about getting people to buy into what you have to offer, don’t make the mistake of pretending to be someone or something you’re not. Pay close attention to the message you want to send out, and be ready to answer for it.
For instance, if you call yourself a “Business development guru” or a “Social media expert”, make sure you can walk the talk when you need to.
Lastly, avoid feeling guilty
Think of it like this: You're bringing home the bacon. Therefore, by being good at what you do, doing it well and telling those who need to know about it, you’re pushing your career forward.
Self-promotion is something that you need to practice every single day. In fact you need practice it to the point where you don’t even feel like you’re doing it anymore. Once you’re comfortable with talking about your achievements, it will be easier to crack interviews or and land that coveted role.