Back in the day, you had to do a LOT more to apply for a job. Remember what it's like to send something by mail? Are “stamps” a word of the past now? Not too long ago you had to put in a lot of effort to send out a job application, one of which was making sure that you are actually qualified for the job. But NOW, with the boom of Linkedin, you can apply for 100 jobs in a day that you don’t have one single qualification for.
Technology makes it VERY easy to apply to jobs, but are you actually selling yourself correctly?
Kate Bradley Chernis, CEO of Lately and professional badass, sits down with Madeline Mann. Madeline is the INCREDIBLE founder of Self Made Millennial. She has half a million followers across a number of social channels, and offers world-class advice that has resulted in about a trillion (give or take) success stories. While that only scrapes the surface of what she can do, it's safe to say she knows what she's talking about.
TONS of people nowadays suffer from Imposter Syndrome, which is when you feel like a fraud and doubt your own abilities. This is especially prevalent in female professionals (because you know… internalized misogyny and such). This makes selling yourself REALLY hard.
And that doesn’t mean people who don’t suffer from minimizing their achievements are good at promoting themselves. It's a massive struggle that even the world's most successful people suffer with. Like, fortune 500 CEOs can’t do this. So don’t feel alone!
You’d think professional sellers and marketers would be masters of everything in their fields, NOPE. Most of them can NOT convey their actual value. Waaaaay too many people sell themselves short of their achievements!
One of the biggest problems is that we are too close to our own story. As Madeline describes, we are sitting in the bottle and we can’t read the label! It’s very difficult to put yourself in a third person perspective. Some things you may feel very emotional about or that you think are significant to your career story actually aren’t as compelling as you think!
And you definitely do NOT want to use your Linkedin like a Wikipedia page, you don’t need to start at your birth and cover absolutely everything that has ever happened in your life. We don’t need to hear about that one time you threw up at your 6th grade semi-formal that shaped the rest of your academic career. May we suggest therapy for that. Your Linkedin should look like a resume, a sales page! You need to give value to your achievements, and that is always made easier when you throw numbers into the mix. Numbers don’t lie, people!
Let’s hope that caught your attention. Truth is, the people that read resumes read a LOT of them, so whatever you can do to make their eyes stop while reading helps immensely. Humans scan very quickly, and one thing that makes eyes stop quickly and pay attention is NUMBERS.
Circling back to the being trapped in a bottle metaphor from earlier, something that could help you gain that third party perspective is asking for help! Your judgement gets cloudy when you are SO close to the situation, so you need external voices to help you see from alternative perspectives. With the help from people who aren’t as close to your stories as you are (and can pick out what works and what doesn’t) you will be able to effectively edit your Linkedin.
To work on the art of self-promotion, it’s helpful to create a plan and actually take a look at yourself to see your REAL value and interests. When you enter the job market you may feel the need to just apply for as many jobs as possible like you’re a hitch-hiker who is willing to get into anybody’s car. This can workout in some cases, but in most, you’ll just end up going somewhere you don’t want to. So be selective with where you accept employment, time spent at a job you hate is just time wasted. Watch for jobs with increasing values AND increasing openings. And listen, you’re not gonna watch a one hour seminar and then understand the mysteries of the universe and magically be able to fix everything, this ish takes WORK!
All in all, selling yourself short helps just about no one. So get out there and make sure that people know HOW great you are!
Madeline Mann is the Founder of Self Made Millennial, she has been named a top 50 person to follow on Linkedin and is a Linkedin Learning Instructor. Her brand has been featured on the New York Times and Forbes among many others. Follow her on Linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/madelinemann/, and take a peek at her youtube channel “Self Made Millennial” for TONS of helpful videos. You can also visit Standoutresume.com for more information on how you can find the glory in YOUR story.