Women: How to Effectively Toot Your Own Horn on the Job Search

Posted by on March 26, 2012 at 9:00 am.

While you may have excellent references, a slew of experience, and an extensive list of skills, those aren’t the only things that will help you land a new job in a tight job market. Much of the job search is about your confidence in yourself, such as your ability to show potential employers the value you will bring to the company — which is not something every woman has experience with.

According to an article in Harvard Business Review, there are four ways women stunt their careers unintentionally:

  • Being overly modest – men are more willing to take public credit for their successes; women spend less effort ensuring they get the gold star next to their name
  • Not asking — women fail to get promoted because they fail to step up and apply
  • Blending in – some women go to great lengths to avoid attention; blending in causes missed opportunities
  • Remaining silent — failing to speak up and express yourself

Find yourself guilty of any of the above? You may be hurting your chances of landing a new job. In “Mastering the Art of Authentic Confident Self-Promotion,” on Forbes, Bonnie Marcus says, “People are too busy today to go out of their way to find you, recognize and reward you. The good news is, however, that you can create the visibility and credibility you need to move your career forward. You can control how others perceive you in the work environment.” Not only are her tips great for your current job, but they can also be applied to your job search.

She suggests the following to build your authentic self-promotion skills:

1. Understand your value proposition

Determine your value by identifying your strengths and accomplishments. Ask yourself, “How have these helped me in the past? How did they help me in my last position? What do they say about me?”

Identifying these can give you confidence to talk about yourself in a positive, confident manner.

2. Communicate your value

“Create your personal value proposition or value statement so that you can clearly articulate your value to others,” Marcus says. On your resume and cover letter, use language the company’s hiring manager or management will appreciate and understand in order to communicate your accomplishments.

3.  Demonstrate your value

After you have a clear understanding of your value, demonstrate it to establish credibility. On the job search, this might be by creating additional portfolio pieces, showing your expertise through blogging or creating other content, or working with a non-profit or volunteer group to keep your skills sharp.

“Guiltless self-promotion comes from a true understanding of who you are and what unique value you bring to your job, your community, and the world,” Marcus reminds us. In your job search, it is imperative that you have strong handle on your professional strengths — and clearly communicate them to potential employers.

Do you find it difficult to talk about yourself on the job search? Why or why not?

 

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