How To Promote Your Skills Effectively Without Being A Brag

July 25, 2013

As an interview coach, I am seeing that a lot of clients find talking about themselves quite challenging.

A lot of people think that self-promotion is simply bragging and that they just should be recognised for their effort and rewarded accordingly.

However, in today’s competitive workplace, if your plan to get ahead is based on the assumption that hard work alone is enough; you might be left behind by those who haven’t shied away from self-promotion.

Talking about yourself can be a difficult challenge when making a career move or when wanting to get support for your business.

How can you talk about yourself I interviews or in networking meeting without sounding like you’re bragging?

And the answer is simple. You need to change your perspective.

Instead of thinking of it as bragging, feel confident in knowing that you are simply sharing information what educates relevant people about who you are, what value you have to offer and how you’d like to add more of it.

The truth is people are not going to know how talented and accomplished you are unless you tell them!

Failing to ensure that those who can help you accomplish more in your career know not just who you are but the value you have (or want to contribute) – doesn’t serve anyone.

Let’s talk about principles of promoting yourself with grace and confidence:

1. Don’t Promote Yourself, Promote Your Value

Even if you feel uncomfortable talking about your achievements, you won’t get noticed, let alone hired, if you don’t talk about them! Therefore, talk about specific projects you’ve worked on or teams you’ve contributed to and the value you’ve delivered to an organisation. Remember to quantify your results!

What were the key success metrics of your projects and how did you deliver against them? To stand out among others, quantify your results with numbers or percentages. Talk about how you’ve saved costs, increased revenue or saved time.

2. Demonstrate Confidence & Passion!

Confidence and passion are very important when looking for a new job. I’ve seen confident people succeed over and over again while their often more talented peers were left behind. When you transition into a new role or a company, you need to show the hiring manager that you have confidence in yourself and know that you’ll be successful in the job.

If you are a business owner, how can people trust your products or services, if you don’t feel confident about them yourself?

Sharing examples of something that you’ve done that conveys your accomplishments and capabilities is very powerful. If you are a business owner, share stories of how your product or service has helped to solve a specific problem.

3. Understand Your Audience/Market

Be mindful of who your audience is and whether or not what you have to share is relevant to them. You need to strategic in what you share, whom you share it with and how you communicate your experience.

Therefore, you need to decide what specific accomplishments are most relevant to share. Let’s suppose you are aiming for a leadership role. The results you’ve achieved in an individual contributor’s role – while impressive – might be less relevant than examples where you have set strategy or opened a new market.

4. Get Some Outside Help

Third party recommendations can help you get ahead. If you don’t have them already, ask your previous colleagues or bosses to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn. If you are a business owner, make sure you have testimonials on your website sharing specific and tangible results your clients got 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

There will always be some people who won’t like you or what you say. So what? Their criticism is generally saying more about themselves, their insecurity or fear or being left behind, than about you.

Letting the fear of being criticised determine what you do will never let you achieve what you want in work or in life.

We all have value to add and potential to fulfill – therefore it is your responsibility to ensure that those who can help you in your career or business know how talented and invaluable you are! There are a lot of people who will benefit from knowing more about you.

Guest Blog by Margaret Buj. Margaret is an Interview Coach who’s helped hundreds of professionals across Europe and the US to get the jobs and promotions they really wanted. Margaret also has 9 years of experience recruiting for a variety of positions at all levels across Europe and in the US, primarily in technology and e-commerce sectors. For her free video course ‘You’re HIRED!’ and 3-day ‘How to win a job interviews’ e-course, please visit

(Image by Michal Marcol at

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