How many times have you accomplished something A-M-A-Z-I-N-G at work but felt apprehensive about letting others know? If your answer is "often," you're in good company. The 2019 KPMG Women's Leadership Study found that women tend to be more task-oriented than self-assertive — meaning, happy to get the job done, but less likely to shout out their job accomplishments — in their careers, which can lead to less success over time. The truth is, more often than not, you're the one who will have to let others know about your wins. This is particularly important when applying for a job. Building a portfolio of your work wins can help you have all of those good things on hand when you next go for a job interview or salary negotiation.
Think of it like your own shine theory collaboration with yourself — you don't shine if you don't let others know how shiny you are. If you want to start polishing up your portfolio right freakin' now, online network Ladies Get Paid (LGP) has partnered with Squarespace to package the resources you need to build a website that promotes your awesomeness and showcases your wins, as well as a webinar to give you some tips for showing your worth.
"[Women] tend to be socialized to be modest. So when we have to talk about our accomplishments, it can feel like we’re bragging," LGP founder Claire Wasserman said in the webinar. However, in today's digital landscape, employers receive eleventy-million résumés for a single job opening. This means you have to shine right out of the gate, and you want to make it as easy as possible for your new potential employer to see that sparkle. Yes, my friendlies, this means building yourself a website, which is actually super easy.
"Creating a personal site allows you to control your narrative so when people look you up online, they learn what you want them to," Wasserman said. "It shows people not just what you do but who you are."
As a former hiring manager myself, I can tell you that if I had to spend a lot of time trying to figure out who the applicant was, I quickly moved on. Applicants with websites that clearly showcased their skills and accomplishments went to the top of the pile. In fact, this is how I ended up hiring a just-out-of college designer over more experienced applicants. Her website blew me away, and it was one of the best hiring decisions I ever made.
It turns out there's actually a pretty common reason hiring managers prioritize applicants that take the time to promote themselves. "The reality is our attention spans are approximately eight seconds. Which is actually one second less than a goldfish," Wasserman said. "You need to have an elevator pitch to express who you are in just a few short sentences." In your pitch, which should be clear on your website, you'll want to convey what you bring to the table and why you're uniquely qualified for X, Y, or Z.
A great way to remind yourself of your worth is by starting a compliments folder in your email or on your desktop. When you receive compliments or accolades, put them in the folder and ask the senders if you can use them as testimonials on your website. (This is also is nice to look back through if you're not having a good day.)
You can also screenshot any positive career feedback you get on social media. I totally do this — like the time Lady Gaga's mom tweeted one of my articles. Doing this will help you keep track of all of the things you've accomplished, which in turn makes it easier when you need to update your accolades. This practice was a lifesaver for me at a former job because it made it so much easier when I had to list my accomplishments for my annual performance review. Clearly outlining everything I'd accomplished also helped me successfully make a case for why I deserved a raise.
The bottom line is that you deserve to shine, and there's no shame in letting everyone know about your success. Taking the time to list all of your wins will also make you feel good because chances are you don't realize just how much you've done. If you want to start making your website, you can get 10 percent off your first year of hosting from Squarespace with the LGP discount code. Women's History Month may be drawing to a close, but you're just getting started. Go forth and slay like the boss you are.