Most women were raised to be humble and to downplay their achievements. If their families had no part in this, then it was reinforced by their communities. People called it bragging. So did I. Now I call it personal branding. Or you could consider it to be showcasing.
Along came the 21st century. You’d think that women have gotten over that misguided 20th century thinking and learned how to make some noise about their achievements. Sadly, we haven’t. Most of us are still uncomfortable with talking about our achievements. It’s understandable. There is proof that men (and sometimes women) do not like it when women speak their minds.
If this gives you any motivation consider that bragging is out. Personal branding is in. It’s time to let yourself be known. Explaining your line of work in order to generate an income or just to network is a smart move. Here are some ideas to get you out of that shell of humility:
Know your strengths. Consider things like:
- raising a child,
- learning an instrument,
- running a marathon,
- running your own business,
- supporting your family,
- returning to grad school,
- being an activist,
- getting your GED and on and on.
Know your business. Be prepared to relate to people exactly the service or goods you provide and why they are advantageous to people.
Develop an elevator pitch. When a recruiter says tell me about yourself open with a strong background such as your educational credentials. If they aren’t especially strong or current enough, move to your job experience and finish with your skills and future ambition. None of this “I hope to…” Try “I expect to…” or “I am headed in the direction of…” and “this is how I plan to do it.”
When a recruiter says “what can you do for us?” this is your chance to shine. “Based on my experience as ….I developed skills in….your job description states you need someone with my exact qualities (give an exact example of something you did for your last company that matches what they are looking for) I can also bring….state an exact example such as “increased revenue. I am certain I can do the same for you.”
Bring the Book of You to your job interview with your top achievements. All kinds of information goes in it. Different websites make different recommendations. Here’s a good one. Make sure it’s on paper rather than in digital form so you can refer to it during the interview. It’s a great part of personal branding. Not bragging.