Are you hiding your talents?

In a conversation with a senior management client recently it was interesting to observe that even with a list of impressive and significant accomplishments they were very reluctant to talk about them, even admit them and certainly not willing to put them down on paper.

They are currently working for a large Fortune 500 company where a strong internal profile and personal brand is key to getting the next opportunity or promotion, but no-one has even shown them how to do it - authentically.

This was their dilemma. How to brag without appearing brash, arrogant or just plain big headed?

Here are some ways that you can market your talents, whether you are employed or not, without feeling unclean or sleazy!

1. Know exactly what it is you do to or for others.
You need to be able to express this in a very short, memorable sentence, so that when people have a particular issue that you can solve they immediately think of you. Most 'branders' will tell you it has to be 12 or less words, some say 7, some say even 2 or 3. Whatever it ends up being make it impactful.

2. Make it impossible someone to say no to you after they have met you.
If you have managed to do all the hard work and gained someone’s attention, make sure that you provide them with enough that they feel they cannot leave the interaction without wanting more. Might be another meeting, a request to follow up or to see a portfolio.

3. Do not shy away from what you do and love what it does for others.
If you are not passionate about what it is you do, if you are embarrassed when people ask, then its draining and negatively impacting on all that you do. Find something that connects with your values and delivers a difference. This is perfectly possible in a corporate environment.

4. Do not be like the cobbler and his children.
Quite often I hear the phrase "Typical, its like the cobbler who's children had no shoes.....” I will admit it, even I am guilty of this sometimes. But bottom line is that we should always be walking our talk - if you are in finance be sure your personal money is in order, if you are in IT don't have an overflowing inbox, if you are in marketing have a portfolio that reflects that.

5. Do more of what you are good at, leverage your talents.
What are you particularly known for, your unique ability? How can this be weaved more consistently in to your everyday actions? Become known for something that proves to be invaluable, because then you are.

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Paul Copcutt is a Personal Brand Architect who is fiercely committed to helping professionals and executives and the teams they lead to take control and build their careers by design not by chance.
Paul contributed to the Boot Camp: Kick Start Your Job Search series for BlueSteps senior executives – our most rigorous and comprehensive training package to date featuring six 90 minute webinars delivered by 5 industry leading industry experts.
You can contact Paul Copcutt by e-mail ( or LinkedIn, and access the bootcamp series by joining BlueSteps.


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