Are you uncomfortable “bragging” about yourself—that is, do you hesitate to use your professional resume as a self-promotion tool? While modesty can be refreshing, going overboard will probably defeat the essential purpose of a resume.
What is that purpose? To catch—and hold—the attention of the employers you’re targeting. If you don’t take steps to make your resume an effective attention-getter, you might as well not bother to create one.
Bragging in Your Resume isn’t Cool
A large part of the problem stems from confusing self-confidence with bragging. If you believe it’s bragging to talk honestly about your professional accomplishments, you might hold back from sharing them in your resume, which would be a mistake.
Let’s look at “bragging” for a moment. Here’s how English Oxford Dictionaries describes it: “Excessively proud and boastful talk about one’s achievements or possessions.”
The key here is “excessively proud and boastful.” If that’s what you’re putting in your professional resume, then you are bragging and need to find a better way of presenting yourself!
Confidence is Your Job Search “Friend”
If you don’t share your value with potential employers, how are they going to find out about it? They can’t absorb it through osmosis! You need to communicate that value to them in the most appropriate and effective way—which is not bragging.
Confidence needs to infuse all of your job search methods. However, the resume is often an employer’s first contact with you, so confidence in the value of what you’re offering has to come through clearly in its message.
Self-confidence and over-confidence are not one and the same. Over-confidence and bragging often go hand-in-hand. When you create a resume that appropriately says you’re on top of things—and backs it up with evidence of your claim—that’s true confidence.
Essentially, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that approach and everything right.
How Can You Build Confidence into Your Professional Resume?
You can start by asking yourself these questions:
- What have I done with each employer or position that has made a positive contribution? For example, consider these classic points: saved time, saved money, brought in money, solved a problem, prevented a problem, or opened up new opportunities.
- How big a difference did it make? Did I collaborate with or manage others who contributed value? For example, did I build, lead or inspire a team that completed a critical project two weeks ahead of schedule and within budget?
- What kind of situation (challenge, problem, etc.) did I “inherit” when I took on a particular position? For example, was the department in serious difficulty—declining revenues, poor team member performance, political in-fighting, etc.?
Important to remember: You can share your value without bragging and do much more for your professional career prospects than “hot air” bragging ever could! Confidence works.