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Confidently Writing About Yourself

I recently helped a friend prepare for a promotion conversation, and another friend update his “About” section on LinkedIn. Both said to me, “Ugh… I hate writing about myself. It’s so hard!” I totally understand this sentiment.

I used to feel that way myself a few years ago. It took a lot of practice through speaking engagements, podcasts, and updating my own resume and LinkedIn profile that I got comfortable using my voice to confidently describe what I do and the value I bring. (Check out my blog post on what to include in your LinkedIn about section) How you write about yourself can positively impact your career and getting contacted about awesome opportunities.

Check out my best tips below to confidently write about yourself!

Write it all down.

Write it all out first without thinking too much. Get all your thoughts down. Your achievements, skills, strengths, positive feedback you’ve gotten from others, what you’re known for, why people like working with you, projects you’ve completed and how you went about it, etc.

Why are you writing this? Depending on why you’re doing this exercise such as a promotion conversation, looking for a new job, prepping to intro yourself at the beginning of a podcast, etc be specific to that. Especially if you’ve been given questions to answer, focus on those. Go back through and add more details to make sure you’re answering given questions, highlighting transferable skills, or adding any highlights you missed before.

Now get more specific. Pair down the information that is most relevant to what you’re targeting or trying to achieve. Again make sure you’re answering any questions given, providing the information about your background that the audience for this specific situation will resonate with, etc

I am vs. I’d like to think I am. My favorite and most important tip – I find it very common when reviewing others’ writing that a lot of “I’d like to think that,” “I believe,” and “I try to,” statements are being used. These can distract from your message.

Question: What makes you a great leader?

Sample (not so strong answer): I believe leadership is a very important trait. I try to lead by example at work.

Try this instead: Leadership of the team will be key to my success in this role. I lead by example by XYZ SPECIFIC EXAMPLE

Be sure to spend more time talking about what you’ve done, than reiterating the question and talking about what you believe/what you think you are. Also watch for statements such as “I’d like to think that I’m a great leader because…” and change to “I’m a great leader because…” Be confident in your experience and dive right in!

Say out loud and commit to memory. Sometimes I have to practice saying these types of statements out loud. Saying your thoughts out loud helps you commit them to memory and be more prepared for when you have to share this information in the moment you’ve been waiting for! Writing down positive and direct statements about myself helps as well! If you need to talk through crafting your story for a certain situation, send me a message! You have a lot to offer. You got this!

Originally published on the Claire Petrie HR & Training blog.

By Claire Petrie, MBA, SHRM-CP, PHROn May 11, 2021