Don’t assume your good work will speak for itself and that talking about your accomplishments will make you look arrogant. I learned the hard way that if no one except you knows your accomplishments then it doesn’t really matter. Your ability to manage the perspective others have of you is in some ways more critical that what you actually do. If you have phenomenal Engineering experience but cannot capture it properly in a resume or interview then you are no better than an individual with no experience in the eyes of the Hiring Manager. There can also be a thin line between self promotion and bragging. While self promotion makes people aware of what you have done and your accomplishments. Bragging can have negative connotations and lead to you seeming arrogant. Let see How to market yourself for a job.
Below are 5 ways on How to market yourself for a job:
Ask your previous bosses to provide you a recommendation on Linkedin: This will immediately provide you with credibility since a review from a third party is significantly more credible than any resume. The more senior the individual that gives you the referral the better e.g. you would ideally take your Boss’s recommendation over a co-workers. When requesting the recommendation ensure that they talk about something specific that you did. Recommendations should also be aligned with your interests so if you worked a summer internship performing data entry; but don’t like the field then don’t ask for a recommendation on your data entry skills. It may be better to get something more generic e.g. Your attention to detail or ability to see patterns by reviewing lots of data.
Ensure your friends and family know what you do – Seeking a job can be challenging enough and it’s good to have ambassadors out there working on your behalf. If your friends and family know what you do for a living they will be more likely to remember you when they hear of opportunities. I used to feel very embarrassed about changing my status on Linkedin or facebook to say i was looking for a job but have realized that people can’t help you if they don’t know you need help. Ensure that you find opportunities to talk about what you do with friends and family. Very often people don’t want to speak about their work because it can be dull to bring up Structural welds at a family dinner or when you are out having drinks with friends. You can however have interesting stories from work you have done which you can use to start the conversations and make it less intrusive in social gatherings.
Prepare a list of your greatest achievements: We often trivialize our achievements and assume it’s our job/ responsibility to do the work we do. If you find yourself saying it’s no big deal when friends or coworkers complement you then you may be trivializing the quality of your work and effort. Don’t take your achievements for granted on your resume or in your daily conversations, take the time to understand what your top three achievements are in your field of interest and then work towards developing a pitch on telling your own story about how you were able to successfully do something.
Story telling – No one wants to hear you talk solely about yourself and if your work is quite boring it can be difficult to bring it up in social settings yet there is a way around this. I had a friend who was a master of telling fascinating stories about the work he did, he usually ended up being the hero at the end of each story yet it never seemed self centered. The stories were so entertaining that I usually didn’t know he was promoting himself until I found myself repeating the stories to other people and also promoting him without knowing. The key is to identify your greatest achievement and develop short narratives that make them interesting enough to share at a cocktail party then you will be a walking cover letter that people will be eager to listen to. If you also collect short factoids and interesting facts around your field it can make you very memorable.
Build a strong network – A good story with no audience will never be told the same way a status update with no followers wouldn’t be considered a broadcast. Get involved in activities and circles where you can find potential prospects that you can speak to. You can do this face to face by visiting sites like meetup.com and joining professional organizations involved in your field. You can also volunteer for activities sponsored by organizations of your interest. There are multiple ways to get involved online by joining groups that are associated with your field on Linkedin. Contributing to groups and adding individuals to your network can pay huge dividends. Some people say you shouldn’t add people you don’t know to Linkedin but this has worked for me and I find you just have to customize the wording of your request and most people will connect with you.
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