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Bragging vs. Marketing Yourself

I recently interviewed an exceptional candidate who has just started a confidential job search.  She has been with the same company since graduating college and now, 18 years later, she’s looking for a change.  She hasn’t interviewed in years and is unsure of how to really market herself.

Her resume is decent, but lacking detail on what her accomplishments are and what her value proposition is for a new company.  During our interview, she started discussing some of what she’s been able to accomplish and what she’s really proud of.  Her promotional track record is unbelievable!!  When I asked her why these “career nuggets” are not on her resume, her response was: “I don’t like to brag, I’m uncomfortable listing these on my resume.” 

I have to admit I hear this quite often from candidates and is a topic worth discussing.

There is a major difference between bragging and marketing.  In today’s competitive market, companies want to hire the best of the best, the true difference makers.  Candidates have to be prepared to discuss not only their scope of responsibilities, but what they’ve been able to accomplish for their employer.  What value do you bring to an organization?  You can have all of the responsibilities out there, but if you haven’t been able to accomplish anything, you’ll come up short in interviews.

It’s not bragging when you talk about things such as your career progression or number of promotions within an organization, dollars saved, processes improved, sales/revenue driven, teams built, examples of developing people on your team, etc…. these are what companies look for in top talent.  

Listing significant accomplishments that are quantitative & time related on your resume help differentiate you from your competition.  Having a great resume opens the door for an interview.  Once you are called in for an interview, taking a humble but confident approach, highlighting what you’ve done, and being able to back that up with data, works extremely well during an interview.  Don’t forget to let your personality shine! 

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