5 Tips For Perfecting the Professional Humblebrag

Published: Apr 02, 2015

 Interviewing       Job Search       Workplace Issues       
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Many people find it challenging to promote their own successes, worried that they’ll be viewed as overly boastful. However, whether you’ve been promoted, won an award, or just achieved a major milestone, it’s OK to occasionally toot your own horn — as long as you do it right! Here’s how to “humblebrag” in a way that is genuine and relatable. 


Watch Your Language 

Sometimes the key to not sounding overly boastful is as simple as choosing the appropriate phrasing. You may want to shout your exciting news from the rooftops, and you could fill a book with your enthusiasm, but keep it brief and keep it fairly calm. You’re not saving the world here, so put your news in perspective and share it accordingly. If you’re not sure how to go about it, ask yourself how you’d expect or prefer to hear similar news shared about someone else, and follow that model. Most importantly, find that balance between being overly enthusiastic and being blasé.


Choose Your Outlets Wisely

There are plenty of places where you can share your good news, but some are more appropriate than others. LinkedIn and Twitter are natural choices for quick, straightforward updates. Word of mouth is another good way to spread the news, if done carefully. Sending out a mass email trumpeting your success? Now we’re getting into shaky territory. Keep it classy.


Acknowledge Others

Chances are, you probably worked really hard to get where you are, but in most cases at least one other person helped you out at some point. Whether it’s your hard-working staff, a supportive manager, or a mentor, be sure to give a shout out to the people who helped you get to where you are today, even if they may have played a minor role in your journey. For instance, you may have beat a coworker out for a promotion, but if they helped to complete some crucial projects, it’s worth mentioning their role — no matter how small it was. Redirecting attention to others will ultimately make you look more professional.


Be Grateful

 One of the best ways to avoid sounding like a braggart is simply to say “thanks” — even if it’s directed at no one in particular. Again, take a moment to reflect on how you got to where you are, and express your gratefulness for those who’ve supported you along the journey. Instead of this: “I just hit a new company sales record — go me!” Say this: “Thank you to all of my clients who’ve helped me reach a company sales record. I couldn’t have done it without you!"


Be a Cheerleader — and Find a Few of Your Own

Sometimes having other people report on your achievements is more natural than mentioning them yourself. Rather than directly asking your friends and colleagues to brag about you (that might be slightly obnoxious), work to build a strong, supportive network that celebrates the successes of its members. When you see someone close to you doing well, congratulate them loudly and publicly. Hopefully when it’s your turn to shine, they’ll do the same.


Michelle Kruse is the Recruitment Editor and Content Manager at ResumeEdge, where she manages a team of 40 professional resume writers to make sure her clients achieve career success. When she’s not helping job seekers land their dream job, Michelle enjoys spending time with her three little girls, traveling the globe and going to concerts.