How to Market Yourself

Monday, June 17, 2013 - 08:15

By Leon Gettler

In today's business climate, there is a lot more competition for the best jobs. Everyone is more qualified than ever before and companies are on the lookout to find the best and brightest. Then again, maybe you have just joined an organisation and you want people to know that you’re a quality player and not an unknown quantity. So what’s the best way of marketing yourself in this day and age?

Helen Coster at Forbes says aversion to self-promotion can actually hinder a career. She suggests a variety of techniques to do it: preparing a "bragalogue" - a short, pithy story that incorporates a few bits of information about who you are and what you’ve done; always speaking up at meetings and watching your body language; tracking your achievements, making sure that every time you accomplish something, you note what you did and how that achievement helped the business; networking furiously; highlighting your unique skills (do you speak a language, are you a whiz at Excel or on IT systems?); making yourself visible by taking on all the high profile jobs; lending a hand to people; accepting compliments; acting selflessly by helping other people and finally, making sure you find a style of self-promotion that works for your personality.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Linda Descano, the Managing Director and Head of Digital Partnerships, North America Marketing at Citi recommends building credibility by blogging, tweeting, speaking on panels or giving talks about issues, topics or products that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about.

Tom Krattenmaker at the Harvard Business Review says you have to pick the right moments so you don’t make people jealous. At the same time, he says, make your accomplishments known to others besides your boss.

"Some might think it sufficient to earn their supervisor’s appreciation; after all, she is the one with the most impact on a report’s evaluation, raise, and the other rewards of work. But the savviest strategists understand the importance of self-promoting to an even higher level, as well as horizontally to other units and their managers," he writes. "Your boss’s boss might be in a better position than your direct supervisor to give you a promotion or plum assignment. And a manager who shares rank with you today might be in a position of greater decision-making power tomorrow."

Tara Hunt at Inc.com says it’s important to accept compliments but throw an "aw shucks" moment into it. (e.g. "We just managed to get this job done. It was tough but I’d love your feedback."). It just makes that a bit more authentic, with less bragging.

She also suggests acknowledging the support and advice of people you are close with. ("If it weren’t for those late-night chats, I would have never gotten through the rough parts."). And finally, enlist the help of friends to get the word out. As she says, there are ways to toot your horn without losing friends.