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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Talking Yourself Up

After last week's "Taking the NO Out of InNOvation" presentation for the AAFKC "Get Charged Up" Symposium, I was talking with one attendee about the challenge of promoting oneself. Even for people who are great at marketing other people, products, and services, selling yourself can be a daunting task.

In response to her question about ideas on how to approach it, here are three suggestions:

  1. Do Some Homework - Invest time defining a personal category by exploring your distinctive talents and working through how you can accentuate them to set yourself apart.
  2. Ask a Fan for a Recommendation - I wrote a sincere, very favorable recommendation letter for a long-time business partner recently. His response, "(This guy) seems to be everything I doubt about myself." Everything in my letter was true, but it was a lot easier for me to say it than it was for him. You may be in the same situation. If you are, reach out to someone who understands your skills and can succinctly package them in a recommendation letter. Ideally, it will provide the basis for words and phrases you can use to promote yourself.
  3. Get Professional Help - If you're struggling with a resume, consider having a professional assist in preparing it. Select someone who puts you through the discipline of answering questions about your responsibilities and justifying the results you delivered. Being forced to think through answers to these types of in-depth questions is of value all by itself.

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Les Szpakowski said...

Just read the Article about Talking Yourself Up, and I absolutely agree. Doing your best is totally admirable and you deserve to give yourself the best. But, it has to be accepted that the do-it-yourself approach mightn't be giving you the best chance for success. So, seriously think about investing in yourself. After all, if you're expecting others to invest in you shouldn't you be prepared to invest in you?
Take a measured and considered look at the expertise you have, and if you need help, get it!
One word of advice...when it comes to your resume, look for a provider who is interested in you, in helping to bring out the best in you, and isn't simply chasing 'the order'.

Mike Brown said...

Thanks for the comment Les. I'm a big proponent of DIY in many instances, yet I've met so many people who have trouble positioning and marketing their capabilities effectively. That's when it's important to get an outside perspective!