Category Archives: Rising Talent Strategies

Create A Professional Profile For Self-Promotion

Rising Talent Strategies – Create A Professional Profile For Self-Promotion

The Art of Self Promotion – Part 5

Finding a way to create a professional profile for self-promotion, knowing what to say and how to approach a conversation is a challenge many professionals often tell me that they struggle with.

Companies are setting up talent portals, which host professional profiles of their employees and LinkedIn acts as a more public talent portal.  When managers have job openings to fill, they often look at these profiles first to get a feel for who has posted for the job.  Leaders also review these profiles as they are doing talent reviews for succession planning.  So, I’ll share some pointers for writing these profiles.

Create a Professional Profile for Self-Promotion

“I do not market ‘myself’, but the work and the outcomes. The key is to be seen as “relevant” to the organization. Thus, you will be viewed as an organizational asset. People tend to not like people who “self-promote” themselves. So, the strategy that you must employ is to do it in a manner that does not come across as offensive and turn people off.”

Al C. , Norton Healthcare

Remember, your overall approach to promoting yourself is important:

  • Promoting yourself is an ongoing process, not periodic events.  Daily opportunities exist around you.
  • Take advantage of a variety of opportunities to share and demonstrate your value.  It’s not always what you say about yourself, but what you do that tells your story.
  • Be a storyteller. Engaging the other person in the broader context can make it easier to weave in how you contributed to the outcome. However, don’t drag on too long. “I’m excited about some things that are going on and wanted to share them with you.”
  • Tell your story as part of the team’s story. Of course, you want to give credit where credit is due. But, others also need to know how you add value.  Teams don’t get promoted, individuals do. Incorporate your contributions into the story of the team’s overall accomplishments.
  • Be strategic in making connections. Build rapport and working relationships first.  You earn the privilege of the relationship and sharing your stories over time.  How you add value to the relationship is the first priority.
  • Show an interest in others. Ask others to share stories about their work first.  A lot of conversations begin with “What’s going on?” or “How are things going with that project?” Actively listen and engage in the conversation while the other person is talking.  The question will usually be thrown back to you.

“I listen first before I feel I need to contribute. I’ve always been that way and not every situation is comfortable.  If you know your stuff, whatever that stuff is, and your message is true, people will know you’re sincere. Then, presentations, or elevator speeches, or just chatting become second nature.”

Patrick. S., Fourth Wall Murals

Optimize your message

When planning how to tell your story, there are several factors to take into consideration. You can use the faithful W’s and H – Who, What, When, Where and How – to assist you.

  • Who – Consider your audience.  To whom will you be communicating? What is your current relationship? What do they care about?
  • What – What do you want others to know about you (values, skills, expertise, outcomes)? How do you add value to the business? What important business initiatives are you contributing to?
  • When – Focus on the recency of your contributions. What have you done for the business lately?  Use current examples.
  • Where – Consider deliberate and coincidental opportunities to share.  Is it a formal or an informal setting? Be conscientious of timing and how you approach someone.
  • How – What communication method(s) will be best for clearly getting your message across?  What communication method(s) will others be most receptive to?

An Example

When someone asks you the “What’s going on?” question, how do you respond?  Bingo, this is your cue!  Don’t complain about how busy you are, or the problems you’re facing. Use this as an opportunity to tell your story. For example, let’s say you’ve been working on how to cut costs.  Instead of saying, “It seems like we’ve been spending a lot of time chasing cost out projects.”, say something like “Things are going really well. I’m really excited about the cost savings we just implemented. We eliminated several redundant steps that, when I investigated the process, I found were also being done in other departments. We’ll save the company some money this quarter.”  Short and sweet, but it quickly communicates your contribution to the work of the team and the impact on the bottom line.

Optimizing Your Professional Profile for Self-Promotion

Don’t make the mistake of thinking these internal professional profiles are not a big deal. You may react, “What does HR have us doing now?”   Your professional profile represents you when you’re not there. It’s the Snapchat glimpse of who you are and what you bring to the table.  Leaders generate perceptions and make decisions based on what they see.

Here are a few rules of thumb when creating your profile:

  • Don’t just list your job responsibilities. Speak to the measurable outcomes and impact of your work as much as possible.
  • Emphasize how your work and accomplishments connect to the strategic priorities and success of the organization.
  • Include meaningful keywords and references that are important to the organization, such as values, leadership competencies, key initiatives, and strategic priorities.
  • Give some thought to what you’re good at so that your profile highlights your strengths.
  • Highlight your community service involvement and leadership roles.  This demonstrates your social responsibility,
  • Keep your profile current; update it at least quarterly and when you have new information to share, such as recent accomplishments, recognition, or a new position.
  • Use a professional photograph.  Get one taken if you don’t have one.

 

Now your career toolkit is loaded and ready to go with strategies to successfully share your ‘selfie’.   Please share your success stories with me.  You can even share your stories to encourage other professionals on the FuelForward Facebook Group.   I look forward to hearing from you!

optimize performance reviews

Rising Talent Strategies – Optimize Performance Reviews

How do you optimize performance reviews so that you present your results to promote yourself in your annual review?

Here are even more best practices from my personal experience and network of successful professionals who were eager to share their advice.  Thanks, again, to those of you who shared your ideas!

If you missed the prior posts in this series, you can check them out here: Seflie Promotion Part 1,  Selfie Promotion Part 2, and Selfie Promotion Part 3.

 

Optimize Performance Reviews

Be more proactive in leveraging your performance review as a way to toot your horn.  Don’t be so modest as you write and discuss your accomplishments.  Make sure you articulate your personal contributions toward successful outcomes.

Be intentional about adding value every day so that you have a number of positive contributions to share.

“I look for opportunities to contribute…to fill a need…or to make my bosses job easier.  Then, I strive for excellent results, and when the time is right, communicate those results in a confident, yet humble, manner.  Over time, other leaders and members of the executive team come to rely upon, and have confidence in, my team’s ability to accomplish projects and generate results.”

Dale S., The Kroger Company

Prepare for the discussion – Keep track of your accomplishments over the course of the year.  Use the template that I discussed from Marie R. in the second post in this series.  Organize your accomplishments based on how you’ve added value to the important priorities for your team and the organization.

Lead the discussion – Ask your boss if you can begin the discussion with your contributions to the team over the past year.  You should go first.

Highlight team & personal accomplishments – As part of a team, you want to give credit where credit is due.  But, make sure you give yourself some credit.  Performance reviews aren’t about the team.  Teams don’t get promoted or fired.  Individuals do.  Highlight how you contributed to the team’s success.

“I never forget to give credit where it’s due.  I believe humbleness, and grace, are as important as confidence.”

Dale S., The Kroger Company

Get constructive behavioral feedback – When discussing your development areas, ask for examples or situations where specific behaviors were observed.  Ask your boss to debrief a particular meeting, presentation, interaction, etc.  Ask for suggestions on what you might have done differently to get a better outcome.  Don’t forget to get feedback on the things you do well, too.

 

Reach and Relationships

Always be networking – internal and external

Careers are a lot like political campaigns.  You have to reach a target audience of leaders and other professionals to make them aware of who you are and the brand you represent. And, you have to remain visible. Make connections both internal and external to your current organization.  You never know where future opportunities may come from, or whom you can help in some way.

“What worked for me in terms of promoting myself was to always be networking.  This included membership in professional organizations in my own field and in vertical markets where I had expertise or wanted to gain some contacts.”

Bill B., Omega Management Group

“I often take trips to corporate or other locations where most of our employees are located.  Being in a remote office, it’s important for people to see me – so I have formal and informal conversations discussing the work we are doing and progress we are making.  These are great opportunities to promote your work and successes.”

Melanie S., Neustar, Inc.

Who Knows You

Building rapport & relationships with others is essential. This takes time and is earned. Reach out to get to know professionals in your network. Engage with others informally by taking advantage of hallway conversations.  Even a ‘hello’ and taking a minute to find out ‘what’s going on’ will show your interest in the other person. In turn, they’ll ask you to share what’s going on with you.

“Remember, your brand is represented by the track record of your execution and your character, and the impression you make as people observe and interact with you.  Leaders make most hiring and promotion decisions based on whom they know, what they know about them, and what they believe to be their potential.  Similar to politicians, you have to take advantage of opportunities to build connections, to expand your Reach so you’re on their minds when career-related decisions are made. Reach opens the door for greater awareness of your capabilities and skills in adding business value.”

Vivian Hairston Blade

FuelForward: Discover Proven Practices to Fuel Your Career Forward, Chapter 7,  p. 116

“When new leaders join the company – get on their calendar within the first 30 days.  This gives you an opportunity to position the value you and your team bring to the organization along with some things you could insert for them to help you with.

Connect your work to the corporate strategy – it’s important that you link what you do to the priorities of the company and speak about it that way.”

Melanie S., Neustar, Inc

 

Culture Plays a Role

As a leader, create an environment in your workplace where employees can feel comfortable sharing their contributions.  Create opportunities for the exchange, both formal and informal, and both with you and with the team.  This cross-sharing can benefit your organization in several ways.  You’ll grow a culture of openness, collaboration and creativity.  Your employee turnover rates are also likely to improve.

“I work with a group that seems to understand my worth. I don’t like to take that for granted and always check to see if my skill set could be an asset for them. Serve others, help them, be a good partner, let them drive and advocate for what they are doing and chances are that good stuff will come right back to you.”

Patrick. S., Fourth Wall Murals

Read Part 5 Of “The Art Of Self Promotion”