Does the thought of writing about yourself make you want to vomit? You are not alone! So many people are afraid and unable to write about themselves in a way that puts their best foot forward. This is true when it comes to job applications, pitching themselves, and writing project proposals.
Potential Partners, clients, and collaborators are looking for people who are confident in themselves and know their worth. Not only that, but they are also able to articulate it. The good news is you don’t have to do this alone. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years when it comes to creating a big picture view of everything you have to offer and how to write about yourself.
Pitching, Job Applications, Project Proposals
One of the most important things we must learn to do is to find out how to set the tone and what our job applications or job proposals will include. You must be honest about your accomplishments and how amazing you are. I’m not exaggerating you are amazing!
Most people who make job applications and project proposals sell themselves short because they are afraid of underwhelming, or under-delivering for their potential client or employer. Many of us suffer from that problem of underestimating our skills, you are not alone. We have all been there. This is especially true for female-identifying people, over and over again, we see women, including myself, undersell their talents, skills, and abilities.
“You are more talented than you think you are.”
If being honest is the most important thing, you could say that the cover letter is the second most important when it comes to pitching, job applications, and project proposals. The cover letter is your chance to show that you’ve done your research, read the guidelines/instructions, and understand the problem they are trying to solve.
I recommend a customized cover letter for each application. This is a place to highlight why you want to work with them and why you are the solution they need. And what project most closely relates or aligns with what they’re looking for.
The cover letter is also an opportunity to connect the dots. Here are a few instances that you might want to remind the recipient of:
- Someone they know referred you
- If there’s a previous professional relationship
- You’ve connected on social eg. had a conversation on Twitter
- You’ve met before at a professional event
This should be done organically and gracefully, not in a hit you over the headway. If you are unsure of how to work it in, check out this Glassdoor article which includes a template.
The first few words of a paragraph might be the most important in a cover letter. Having strong words that say you are confident and ready and willing to grow with someone or a company will help keep the reader continuing through your letter or resume.
Resumes & CVs
In the quest to show the world what we can do, we have powerful tools such as resumes and CVs. One of them will accompany our cover letter and should not be forgotten.
Although they look the same, they are not! In both, you will present your background, skills, and achievements.
In a CV, you will be more specific about your experience and include technical information.
They typically include:
- high profile brand work
- work experience
- awards, scholarships, or grants you have earned
- research projects
- Any additional details of you as a professional
Only submit a CV if it is requested. Not every job requires one and if you don’t have one already you may not need it until you get to a certain level.
Resumes are not necessarily a laundry list of everything you’ve ever done, but rather a chance to highlight and spotlight. Specifically, what you have done that can help you grow into the role or support the person out of the gate.
We can see them as a quick overview of what you’re capable of, and if you only have one page, which you really should only have a one-page resume, then that resume needs to be tailored to the job, or job pitching or project proposal that you’re going for.
This might mean that you have a couple of different resumes in rotation. I have a couple of resumes in rotation!
Just for fun… Here is a my current Resume
Portfolios & Case Studies
Portfolios and case studies are a great way to showcase work you’ve done. They also offer more ways to learn how to write about yourself. A portfolio is a laundry list of everything you’ve done. Case studies are in-depth reviews, reflections, and analysis of your work. What you actually send out could be called a showcase or are the top 3-5 projects that are most closely aligned with the company’s goals/mission. Always read the instructions/guidelines first and then determine what you need to send.
Case studies are a way of organizing information and laying out a story that’s related to the work you’ve completed. Examples of completed work could be:
- website design,
- articles you’ve written,
- projects you’ve worked on,
- problems you’ve solved, and
- productions you’ve been in working on.
This is what I suggest you include in your case studies:
- Problem you solved
- Relevant background information
- Skills you used to solve the problem
- Overview of the process you used
- Images and multimedia when applicable
Bio’s & About Pages
A correctly written Bio (or About Page) can open an untold number of doors for you and bring you closer to your goals. You are writing small Bios about yourself everyday on social platforms. But let’s be honest, writing about ourselves is horrible. Ever try filling out a dating profile by yourself? I bet it was awesome.
When I talk about a bio, I’m talking about the love letter that you never wrote to yourself! Consider that writing this love letter to yourself means bringing you closer to your professional goal! That’s why it’s so important that you go to someone with experience in the area. This is the time to show what makes us unique, to show who you are, and what you work at, which is a way for employers and potential collaborators or partners to see if you are in line with them.
One thing I’m passionate about is helping people craft powerful professional bios that help them put their best foot forward on any platform. If you need help creating a fantastic bio and showing off your awesomeness, click here.
How to Write About Yourself to Put Your Best Foot Forward
When we write about ourselves, we tend to forget our light, our joy, and all of the things that we make other people feel because we can’t see it. Talk to someone who loves you and ask them to have a conversation with you about your strengths and things you’re passionate about. If you are comfortable, record the conversation. Then listen back to it and hear how they described you. Think about how you felt when they were talking about you and telling you how amazing you are. Use that as your basis to write about you.
If you don’t have anyone to turn to and aren’t sure how to write about yourself, I would love to chat with you about joining the cowork! As part of the road to cowork membership, we get to have a chat. 😍 I would be happy to tell you how incredible you are and how you can write about yourself.
One of the things that we tend to forget is word choice. The way we talk is so important. Using words that have negative connotations or elicit negative feelings will make a reader potentially feel like you don’t value yourself. They will remember this feeling long after they have finished reading or scanning your cover letter, bio, or CV. When it comes to decision time, they won’t remember how qualified you are, they will only remember that you didn’t believe in yourself.
With Love From,