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  • Personal Branding is Not Personal Bragging

    You have permission to talk about yourself in pleasant, glowing terms. You have permission to tell people about your accomplishments, and that you’ve done great and wonderful things that helped your employers or people who work for you.

    Too many people hesitate to talk about themselves, because they’ve been taught that to talk about their accomplishments is bragging. That they’re supposed to be quiet about what they’ve done, and that it’s boastful just to tell people that you won something, did something, sold something (or a lot of somethings), spoke somewhere, or did anything better than anyone else.

    This attitude can hold you back when you need to be visible, like during a job search. It can keep you from standing out when you’re trying to be noticed. When you need an employer to notice you among a big pile of Everyone Else.

    If you’re looking for a job, your first goal is to show your potential employer all the good you can do for them. All you have to do is show how valuable you have been to others, and then help them understand how you’ll be valuable to them. You can’t do that if all you’re doing is hiding your accomplishments behind a facade of humbleness and timidity.

    So while everyone else is sending in résumés that list out their job duties and responsibilities, you should detail your accomplishments, your victories, and the times you saved or earned your employer a lot of money. Talk about the awards you’ve won, the keynote talks you’ve given, and the national organizations you’ve served on.

    That’s the kind of thing your potential employer needs to know. That’s the kind of thing your new hiring manager is looking for. That’s what makes you more desirable to someone who wants to give you a nice big salary, and sends everyone else the form rejection email (if they send anything at all — but that’s a post for another day).

    You have permission to do these things. You are allowed to tell everyone all the great things you’ve done. Because you have the right, and the obligation, to take care of you and your family. If you can’t bring yourself to talk about yourself, do it for your family and your own ability to keep a roof over your head and food in your belly.


    Erik Deckers is the owner of Professional Blog Service, and the co-author of Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself and No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing.


    is the owner of Professional Blog Service, a newspaper humor columnist, and the co-author of Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing, and The Owned Media Doctrine.

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    4 comments on “Personal Branding is Not Personal Bragging
    1. avatar

      Erik, great post, points. The ISM- I, self, me stuff is important as long as you are celebrating your qualities, assets and accomplishments and results.. Sell the serve. Love this! Great job..

    2. avatar
      Warren says:

      I think if you can spend enough of your time helping others within your industry they will take care of the bragging for you. There have been times I’ve wondered if all the time spent helping someone was worth it, and then all of a sudden they turn around and either become one of your best customers, or personally refer you to someone else who becomes one. It’s definitely true, “what comes around, goes around!”

      • avatar
        Erik Deckers says:

        That’s absolutely true, Warren. I’m a big believer of that. I love making introductions between people who have and need opportunities, or who have similar ideas and different approaches. Oftentimes these introductions can lead to something bigger and better for both of them.

        The upside for me is that their opportunities may end up leading to bigger opportunities for me down the road. Not as a pay back or returning the favor (I never expect that). But rather, they may go on to bigger and better things, create opportunities for someone else, which can become something better for me later on.

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