How & When to Humblebrag at Work
You go above and beyond and put your best foot forward when you’re at work, and you deserve to get noticed for it. But, at the same time, your manager can’t read your mind, nor do they keep tabs on all you do throughout the day or week (unless they are an extreme micro-manager). So, it’s up to you to do a bit of bragging to ensure the right people know about the work you’re doing.
Done right, showcasing your accomplishments at work can help advance your career. However, you don’t want to come across as obnoxious or arrogant. Here’s how to humble brag at work to get promotions and raises and advance your career successfully.
Track Your Accomplishments
Track your achievements weekly, including obstacles you dealt with, how you overcame them, and the results of your actions. Regularly tracking your accomplishments will also come in handy during performance appraisal time and when you’re ready to update your resume.
When considering how to list accomplishments for a raise or a promotion, be sure to quantify them. Using numbers to highlight your achievements provides your manager with specific details of how you add value to the company. For example, sharing that you “increased sales by 10% in two weeks” is more precise and detailed than simply stating you “increased sales for the company.” Or maybe you resolved a project bottleneck within 24 hours to keep a project on track for a client, which you should highlight in that way versus simply stating that you helped a project by resolving a bottleneck.
Provide Real-Time Updates
Take a moment to keep your supervisor informed in real-time when you have significant successes. Send a quick email announcing the news and then follow up with more details when appropriate (e.g., “Just landed two major clients! Look forward to sharing more details with you in our weekly meeting.”).
Spread the Good Word
You don’t want to come across as egotistical and self-centered by only sharing your accomplishments, especially when working as part of a team. Give credit where it’s due, and talk up your team members in a non-annoying way. As a bonus, you’ll be building positive professional relationships with your coworkers, leading to increased job satisfaction and support in the future should you ever need a job referral.
If you know of a client or patron who is thrilled to work with you or pleased with your work for them, ask them to email your supervisor or post a public review or testimonial to share their experiences. It’s great to be able to share your successes through healthy self-promotion, though it adds validity when others sing your praises as well.
Sign In and Find a Career to Brag About
How to Brag on Your Resume
First impressions can make or break your ability to land an interview. That’s why it’s necessary to give thoughtful consideration to how to brag on your resume without coming across as obnoxiously overconfident. To make a strong impression:
- Share your accomplishments with clarity and without over-embellishing.
- Provide quantitative examples to define your accomplishments — use lots of numbers throughout to help the hiring manager visualize how well you’ll perform in the new position.
- Use strong action verbs that bring life to your achievements (e.g., introduced, developed, initiated, spearheaded).
- Incorporate relevant promotions, awards, and recognition.
- Include a thorough list of your skills that align with the job description.
How to Create a Professional Brag Sheet
A brag sheet is a list of your achievements, education, skills, and awards that can be used to request a letter of recommendation, share with your manager to support a pay raise and promotion, or refer to in preparation for an interview or a job offer negotiation. It can also be used to boost your confidence as a reminder of all you’ve accomplished.
When creating a brag sheet for promotions and other purposes:
- Keep it simple—a Word document will suffice.
- Update it regularly, at least once per week.
- Include sections for data-driven results, comments from superiors, comments from peers, and professional activities or awards.
Professional Brag Sheet Example
Here is an example of what your professional brag sheet might include.
- Completed assessment and design requirements to land a $2.5 million project for the city of Houston:
- Led a team of four engineers to develop new processes to increase project efficiencies by 15%.
- Initiated monthly team meetings to increase team collaboration, efficiencies, and best practices within our department, and based on noticeably improved departmental morale over the following four months, five other departments implemented a similar practice.
Comments from Peers
- “Nice work in dealing with the challenging client last week! You were the only one out of three others who could take care of the issue and retain them as a client.”
- “You help us stay on top of things and make our team look good! Thank you!”
Comments from Superiors
- “I appreciate how well you work within the team. You are pivotal in ensuring all stay on top of their work and complete projects on time. Keep it up!”
- “When things are stressful for your coworkers, I know I can count on you to keep a level head and help others cope with their challenges. I appreciate your hard work and efforts!”
Professional Activities and Awards
- Leader of a local engineering youth group to support up-and-coming engineers with career goals and success at work
- Named 2019 New Professional Engineer of the Year by Engineering Monthly Magazine
Balanced Self-Promotion for Future Success
Learning how to self-promote in a balanced way can support your career journey to land promotions, pay increases, and the job of your dreams. Use the tips above to guide you.
For more advice on how to advance in your career, visit our Job Seeker Resource Center.
Sign In or Register to access all articles and insider tips for help in your job search.