Why You Have to Be Boastful on Your Job Application

Typing on computer

If you’re anything like me, you have trouble celebrating your big wins or accomplishments. It can be hard for someone who is naturally shy or more introverted to talk about the things they do well or have worked really hard to succeed at.

But when you’re searching for a new job you need to show a potential employer just how awesome you really are. All they will have to go off of is your resume and cover letter, so it’s important to showcase your skills, talents, and achievements.

Here are three reasons why you need to boast a little, and ways to do just that.

1. A Potential Employer Isn’t Familiar With Your Work

When you’re applying for a job that you think you’re the perfect fit for, your goal is to convince an employer of the same thing. In order to do that you need to show them how you’ve successfully completed projects, worked on a team, or succeeded in a role that was similar. And the only way to do that is to brag a bit about that project you did in record time or team you worked with that gave you great feedback — tactfully of course.

So, to showcase your wins without seeming unlikeable, give concrete examples of your success. If you worked on a cross-functional project that successfully streamlined a complex function and impacted the company’s bottom line, talk about it in terms of output not input. Answer questions like: What was the impact? Is there data you can use to show how it was impactful? This gives the reader a real idea of the project you worked on.

2. It’s All True

Yes, talking about yourself can feel a little...icky. But telling a true story of how you worked through conflict and came out on top, for example, is you giving an employer insight into what it would be like to work with you.

Use your cover letter to paint an accurate picture of your work style and how it’s led to a few key accomplishments that relate to the job you are applying to. Maybe you overhauled a legacy process and made it not only more efficient but more cost-effective. Explain in the most accurate, but easily understandable way, just how you did it. Let employers get a glimpse of your thought process and work style before they even talk to you.

3. You’re Convincing Someone to Hire You

Think about the last time you had to convince someone to do something. Maybe it was a friend to take a weekend trip with you, or your boss to let you work from home on Fridays. Whatever the case, you typically use specific language and your impeccable track record as leverage to persuade someone. The same goes on a job application.

The whole point of a resume and cover letter is to prove to the company that you are the best fit for the role and they shouldn’t even consider anyone else. Sounds a bit aggressive, but with the job market thriving it can be hard to stand out. Use active verbs and strong language in your application and quantify your wins whenever possible. If you come off as confident in your abilities, a potential manager will have no reason to second guess your qualifications either.

So when you’re putting together your next job application remember this is one of the times you can, and should, boast about how great of an employee you are. And if you start to second guess yourself, reread the above reasons for why it’s totally OK, and encouraged, to brag about your achievements.

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