Nobody likes a braggart. Big-mouthed boasters tend to rub us the wrong way. But here’s the, uh, rub: if you’ve actually done something worthy, then talking about it is pride and valuable self-worth, not bragging.
Of course, we all admire the humble superstar who deflects praise from her accomplishments or the top-notch professional who says he isn’t all that special, but admiration is one thing and getting paid what you’re worth is another. For that money-based part. humility is offering a discount where one isn’t needed.
We know the job market is tough. We know some people choose the route of “soft-peddling” their CVs so they can qualify for a job. We’re not saying, “Don’t do that,” what we’re saying is “Focus on what you have done to avoid losing value.” The upside is that by focusing on results, outcomes and successful goal attainment, you are not “over-selling” yourself (a close cousin of bragging), you are actually proving your value. That means that the other party can see beyond titles and positions to what you can do, a much better assessment for you. In the first method (titles and position) you can be deemed “overqualified” and set aside as a potential candidate, whereas in the second method (results/achievements) your excellence can be seen as a major asset that needs to be negotiated with to fit the budget.
Now which one of those two situations would you prefer? Exactly. And it ain’t bragging ’cause you’ve done it.
We can’t guarantee that every job opening you apply for will respond in this manner to your “done it” CV. But we do know that many more hiring decision-makers will want to look more closely at you because doers are interesting very few smart companies will pass on a doer to focus on a “bragger.”
And here’s another benefit of making your CV “done it”-oriented: it puts you in a more solid position to negotiate salary and benefits. Titles and positions don’t necessarily translate directly, but results do. If you improved sales by 17% for three straight quarters or cut logistical costs by 26% in one year, you have achievements that might be from a different market or industry, but speak the same language: bottom-line benefits. It won’t matter if your title then was Sales Manager or Head Chef, what matters is that you took n a challenge and succeeded splendidly. Your bottom-line impact is value and reflects your worth, so you are negotiating from a solid position.
Take a look at your CV and see how much “I’ve done it so I ain’t bragging” you can put in there. It’s an investment in yourself with short- and long-term benefits that you can start to reap immediately.
By Gil C. Schmidt, Sharpline Contributor
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