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Recently, I had lunch with an HR Generalist here at work. We had a great conversation. I have a tremendous amount of respect for her and asked her what she thought my greatest weakness is.

She said that I need to learn how to brag about myself more. That not enough of my success stories become known. She said that I need to learn how to tell people about my projects and success, but to do it in a humble manner.

How do I do this? It certainly doesn't come naturally.

Mark's picture

We have a cast or two on that scheduled for next year. It's a delicate subject. Some folks need NO help there, and if they engaged in some of these techniques they would backfire. But we recognize that many of our listeners need help here, so it's in the queue.

Mark

jprlopez's picture

This is another podcast I'm looking forward to.

One good feedback I recently got was that I write accomplishments like an engineer. Focusing on the end result... project delivered, against schedule, against budget, delivered X% improvement.

But not enough meat to describe the difficulty in between AND the skills utilized to make the project a success.

One suggestion I got was to talk to a more marketing inclined person and see how they would package the same accomplishments. There may be other ways and it would really be great to know them.

Joseph

Mark's picture

Joseph-

I'm sorry this has taken me so long. I regret my absence.

I actually would tell you to stay with your model. Just add adjectives. "significant" "unique" "unprecedented" "largest" "best".

You're saying the right thing, in the right order...but without the sizzle. Don't become a huckster....just use their tricks. ;-)

Again, my apologies.

Mark

jprlopez's picture

Thanks Mark, No apologies needed :)

Just a bit of clarification as I may have misread the topic a bit and was thinking of self appraisals during performance cycles. Apologies if I wasn't more clear with the more meat comment.

Let me give an example. This is how I normally write.
[i]Provided 10% cost reduction by delivering XYZ project within budget and within schedule.[/i]

The suggestion was to have the same statement then add something like:
[i]This was achieved despite lack of initial resources by communicating with various departments and suppliers to meet the needs.[/i]

or something to that effect.... any thoughts?

Thanks

wendii's picture

Joesph,

for me, that 'despite' turns a positive sentance into a negative - it implys 'they' didn't give me everything I needed, didn't appreciate the magnitude of the task, etc etc.

However,

provided 10% cost reduction by delivering XYZ project within budget and within schedule, by communicating with production and delivery departments and suppliers to meet the needs

feels more powerful to me, because it tells me what you achieved and how. I think there might be more hints in the podcasts around resumes and the one about linking your achievements to your resume. I cant find either of them at the moment (probably because I remember them using really odd naming conventions, like the 'one I listened to in the bath!'). I think it's Julia that's really good at finding them, so if you can't we can ask her after the weekend.

I hope that helps some,

Wendii

[/i]

jprlopez's picture

ahhh! Big difference, thanks for the wonderful comment Wendii.
It helps a lot.

I believe I have those podcasts you are referring to and they have been very valuable resources.

thanks again and have a great weekend

Mark's picture

Wendii's right. Watch out for standing out above someone else.

Mark

asteriskrntt1's picture

Regarding the self promotion, whether it be verbal or on your resume, it is wise to note that anyone giving you recommendations is doing it through their biases and filters. That being said, M&M and posters like Wendii have gifts for seeing things more clearly than most.

I think M&M mentioned it in one of the recruiter podcasts - don't ask the recruiter what they think of your resume and don't ask people what they think of your presentation slides. Almost everyone will ask you to tweak it. Though I don't want to put words in M&M's mouths, I suspect this might also apply to asking about one's weaknesses.

This particular HR Generalist might like people who promote themselves very agressively while others in the organization might not like that level of aggression. Listen to the Disc Series and the "Pay better attention" podcast so that you can read your audiences better.

And I applaud your efforts with regard to self discovery and improvement.

*RNTT