Show, Don't Tell: Show Off Your Skills to Get the Career You Want


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Working hard alone will get you nowhere if no one knows what you're capable of. Share your work to show off your skills and get the career you want. Whether you're looking for that next job or you want to create new opportunities, let others connect with you by showing your work.

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Show, Don't Tell: Show Off Your Skills to Get the Career You Want

  3. 3. SHARE& Introduction You’re in the middle of interviewing for a job when the hiring manager asks, “What makes you think that you will be successful in this position?” You answer by talking about your experience and many skills. The interviewer looks happy with your response. Now imagine the same question but instead of answering the question by describing your past experience and skills, you hand the interviewer your phone and show them the last mobile app you created. Which do you think made a bigger impression on the interviewer? You might be thinking, well of course showing the interviewer what you can do will make a bigger impression but not everyone can do that. The truth is that you have the opportunity to do just that. You have the opportunity to grab the attention you need to get the interview and the chance to wow them in the interview. Whether you’re after a new job in or out of your company, or you’re looking for a new project, showing rather than telling someone what you’re capable of can get you what you want. PR METHEANBRAND
  4. 4. SHARE& BRAND SHOW WHO YOU ARE “Brand yourself for the career you want, not the job you have.” -  Dan Schawbel, Founder of Millennial Branding & Author of Promote Yourself PR METHEANBRAND
  5. 5. SHARE& Personal Branding Before you dive into sharing your latest presentation or creating a portfolio for your designs, you need to take a look at your personal brand. The term “personal brand” has been thrown around a lot lately. Some of you may think it’s about self-promotion and bragging or pretending to be someone you’re not. & The truth is that everything you do and say makes up your personal brand. & You already represent yourself. Whether you’re at work, at home or out with your friends, you never stop being you. And your personal brand is right there with you. Still, while everything you do is part of your personal brand, there are certain things you’ll want to highlight in order to meet your goals. This is where personal branding comes in. Personal branding is the management of your personal brand. Basically, it’s choosing what you want to share and with who. PR METHEANBRAND
  6. 6. SHARE& This is important because you don’t want to share anything that won’t help you get the job or project you want. For example, you might have a lot of samples of your writing but what you really want to do is design new systems. If you started applying for computer system design jobs but hiring managers could only find samples of your writing, they might question your level of experience or true interest in the field. To help you start building the right personal branding strategy, you need to identify what you’re passionate about first. Think about the following questions. What can you do for hours without realizing? What were you doing the last time you felt “in the zone?” What tasks or projects are you constantly being pulled towards? The answers to these questions can help shine some light on what you’re passionate about and where you would like your career to go. Focus on what you actually enjoy doing and make that the end-goal of your personal branding strategy. PR METHEANBRAND
  7. 7. SHARE& To make things easier for you, try to answer at least one of the questions below before you start sharing your work. What’s the one thing you want people to remember about you? This can be a specific skill, accomplishment or idea. What do you do better than anyone you know? This can be more than one thing and can include hard skills like financial analytics or soft skills like managing a team. [Again, try to be as specific as you can. Example: I can put together the best private events for new authors who really want to connect with their readers.] PR METHEANBRAND
  8. 8. SHARE& These are the things you want to focus on when you’re molding your personal brand. Knowing upfront what you want to be known for will allow you to build consistency into your personal brand. Plus, it will make it easier for you to figure out what you should share with others. Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be set in stone. You are always changing and, therefore, so is your brand. Don’t think that because you want to be known for your engaging content marketing today, that you can’t be the king or queen of web design later on. PR METHEANBRAND
  9. 9. SHARE& Focusing Your Brand Once you’ve figured out what you’re passionate about, you’ll want to line it up with the jobs or projects you’re interested in. So find a few examples of job posts or projects that you’re interested in. What skills seem to come up the most? What skills will make you the most successful in these positions or projects? If you’re having trouble figuring it out, try taking the job or project description and pasting into an app like Wordle. Wordle will highlight the keywords – words used most often – by making them bigger. Once you have a list of skills, think about how they relate to your own experience, accomplishments and interests. With your personal brand, you want to focus on sharing information that supports your aptitude and experience in these skills. By connecting the dots ahead of time, you’ll make it easy for a hiring manager or your boss to see that you’re a clear choice for the job. PR METHEANBRAND
  10. 10. SHARE& Action Steps Pinpoint&at&least&one&thing&that&you’re& passionate&about& Write&down&the&one&thing&you&want&to&be& known&for&or&that&you&do&be?er&than&anyone& you&know& Make&a&list&of&skills&to&show&off& PR METHEANBRAND
  11. 11. SHARE SHOW OFF WHAT YOU’VE DONE “You prove your worth with your actions, not with your mouth.” - Jean Paul
  12. 12. SHARE& Showtime Now that you have an idea of what you should share, you’re ready to start sharing and grabbing people’s attention. You can start by putting together samples of the work you’ve already done. Remember, you want to focus on highlighting the work you’ve done related to your career goals. You don’t want to showcase everything and seem inconsistent in your interests. Here are a few ideas of work samples you can share: 1.  Samples of your writing or designs 2.  A copy of a presentation you’ve put together or a video of you giving a presentation 3.  Pictures or videos of you on the job 4.  A link to your portfolio 5.  A more visual resume 6.  A video bio or resume 7.  Links to sites put together for a project or campaign you worked on 8.  A video of your colleagues providing feedback on you and your work PR METHEANBRAND
  13. 13. SHARE& Portfolios A portfolio is an easy way to showcase your work without spending a lot of time putting it together. Websites like, and Strikingly make the whole process quick and simple. You just add links to your work samples, links to your social media profiles, a picture of yourself and you’re good to go. If you think a website with multiple pages is what you need, try Wix. All of the website design is done through drag-and-drop and they have plenty of templates to choose from. So there’s no coding required and you don’t have to start from scratch. If you want a more specialized portfolio, there are some field-specific options out there. For designers, Behance and Dribbble are widely used. For writers or journalist, you can check out Then there’s sites like which are for designers, writers, coders or basically anyone creating something. If you’re looking for some inspiration to help you get started, take a look at 35 Brilliant Design Portfolios to Inspire You. PR METHEANBRAND
  14. 14. SHARE& For work samples that don’t already have a link, you’ll need to upload them somewhere. To avoid having to re-upload your work later, stick to the more commonly used apps which are compatible and available on most portfolio sites. For slide presentations – SlideShare, Prezi For pictures – Flickr, Instagram For video – YouTube, Vimeo For audio – AudioBoo,, SoundCloud PR METHEANBRAND
  15. 15. SHARE& Visual Resumes Whether you’re looking for a new job or applying to a new position within your company, you’ll likely be asked to provide a resume. And while you should provide a standard resume when going for a new job or position, it doesn’t hurt to add a link to a much more interesting resume at the top. Adding a link to your LinkedIn profile or personal website on your resume has become more common as candidates fight to have a better chance to show what they can do. But not everyone is in a field where they have samples of their work to share. Enter the visual resume. Visual resumes give everyone an opportunity to highlight their skills in a visual way that is more appealing than a standard resume. These can include interactive resumes, slide resumes, infographic resumes and more. If you’re interested in creating an interactive resume, take a look at Prezi. For an infographic resume, check out or If you create a slide resume, head over to SlideShare to upload it. For steps on creating these types resumes and some inspiration, take a look at 3 Graphics for Non-Creative Types to Use on Linkedin. PR METHEANBRAND
  16. 16. SHARE& Share Your Work Now that you have all your work uploaded and available online, you’ll want to share it where it will make the most impact. Below is a list of places where you should add links to your work or portfolio. The goal here is to either help you with a job or position you’re applying to or to make it easy for your professional network to see what you’re capable of. 1.  If you’ve recently applied to any jobs or new positions online, there’s a good chance there was a spot for you to add in additional information as to why they should choose you. Go ahead and add links to your work there. 2.  Any forums or websites related to your field where you are active and have your own profile (example: GitHub, Quora). 3.  Your personal website and/or your LinkedIn profile. 4.  Your social media profiles. 5.  Your email signature. PR METHEANBRAND
  17. 17. SHARE& Action Steps Collect&samples&of&your&work& Make&sure&they&are&in&line&with&your& career&goals&& Share&your&amazing&skills&with&everyone& PR METHEANBRAND
  18. 18. SHARE& CREATE SHOW WHAT YOU CAN DO “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” - Leonardo da Vinci PR METHEANBRAND
  19. 19. SHARE& Create Something New Maybe you don’t have a lot of relatable experience for the job or project you want. But you know that you can do a great job and you wish you could have the opportunity to prove it. Well, you do have that opportunity. You can prove that you’re capable of doing something you haven’t been hired or asked to do before. You can prove that you have the right skills and the experience. How? By just doing it. If you want to design websites for your company then do it. If you want to write about the latest news in finance then do it. Before you have the job or position you want, show that you have what it takes by simply doing what you know will be required of you. You can do this by taking on a passion project or working for a company (or manager) before they hire you. PR METHEANBRAND
  20. 20. SHARE& Passion Project A passion project is about proving your genuine interest and skills in a specific field or topic. It’s not something that you’re paid to do. It’s something that can show a potential employer or manager that you have the right skills to perform a job before you have the job. Let yourself go down the rabbit hole of your passion to see where it takes you. Here are some great examples of passion projects from Anish Shah. If you want a career in investing: Build a site showcasing your weekly stock picks. Choose 5 stocks every month and give a detailed description of why you picked each stock. As a stock goes up and down, follow up with what has happened with each stock pick and give follow-up analysis of what you’d do next (Buy, Sell, Short, DOMINATE!)! PR METHEANBRAND
  21. 21. SHARE& If you want a career in social good: Build your own Kickstarter campaign for a cause that you’re excited about. Hit your fundraising goal and you now have a success under your belt. ! If you want a career in TV advertising: Create a regular blog with the best and worst advertisements. Detail exactly what you love about some of them, and how the rest went sorely wrong. ! If you want a career in fashion: Follow all the Fashion Weeks happening around the world and detail exactly which designers you’d love to work for, and why.! In the end, Anish is simply recommending that you go ahead and do what you want to do. You don’t have to wait for someone to hand you a job in marketing to design a marketing campaign. PR METHEANBRAND
  22. 22. SHARE& If you think that there isn’t any kind of passion project you can do based on your interests then consider the BBQ Queen. Laurie Morse-Dell created a scenario called the BBQ Queen to help clarify how an employee like a waitress that might seem “unbrandable” can build a strong personal brand. What it shows is what happens when you let your passion take you where it will. Here’s a recap of what happens with Jessie the BBQ Queen: Jessie is a waitress at a restaurant and has a true passion for barbecue. She gets a personalized license plate that says “BBQ Queen” which gets her friends and customers asking her about BBQ. So she decides to start a blog to answer some of their questions and share some of her favorite BBQ places. Some of the places she writes about start linking back to her blog referring to her as “The BBQ Queen.” Soon she’s getting questions about BBQ places she recommends in cities she’s never been to. So she decides to take a road trip and visit some new restaurants while writing about them on her blog. Her fans are also able to follow her trip on Twitter and Facebook. Then she starts interviewing BBQ chefs and customers at the new places she’s visiting, and shares this with her followers. PR METHEANBRAND
  23. 23. SHARE& She decides it’s time to learn more about BBQ so Jessie begins to visit other blogs and ask questions of their writers. She eventually becomes good friends with a BBQ expert in another state and is invited to judge a BBQ competition. She finds that she is considered an expert and has real credibility in the world of BBQ. Here’s a breakdown of the steps that Jessie took in following her passion for BBQ: 1.  Start a blog to answer questions 2.  Write reviews on BBQ places 3.  Take a road trip to visit new BBQ places 4.  Interview customers and owners of these BBQ places 5.  Share her trip with her followers 6.  Learn more about BBQ and how it’s made 7.  Build relationships with other BBQ bloggers 8.  Agree to judge a BBQ competition Jessie didn’t build credibility through her job or by just starting a blog. It was the combination of doing all of things above that solidified Jessie’s expertise in the BBQ field while working as a waitress. Did she do anything that you can’t do? PR METHEANBRAND
  24. 24. SHARE& Work For A Company (Before They Hire You) Working for a company before they hire is about you showing that you are genuinely interested in working for this specific company, not just anyone. It means providing real value to a company without a paycheck. How could they resist that? This also works well for you if you’re looking to take on a new project at work or move into a new position. Since this is within your company, you will likely have a better idea of what exactly is required of you in this new position or project. Which means you can start doing things now to help your soon-to-be manager or project manager. Just be sure that you’re not letting your work slip in your current position while you’re helping another manager. To get an idea of what this might look like, take a look at three stories from Kevin Donlin of candidates who decided to work for a company before they were hired. See how they understood that it’s hard to say no to someone who’s already a part of the team. PR METHEANBRAND
  25. 25. SHARE& Tony: “Six candidates were interviewing for a sales position in Atlanta with an exclusive company that had just received about $83 million in funding,” says Ron McManmon, a former recruiter and Executive VP of Five candidates were “top gun” sales people who all came from industry leaders – and then there was Tony. He was young, with about five years of experience. But Tony was highly motivated and willing to go the extra mile. In his job interview, Tony not only mapped his accomplishments out on a PowerPoint presentation, he also demonstrated that he had already started working for the company. He did this by researching, assembling, and bringing with him a list of sales leads and contacts. His presentation consisted of past, present AND future. The other candidates did nothing like this. Did it work? “Tony was hired over five more-experienced candidates,” says McManmon. PR METHEANBRAND
  26. 26. SHARE& Kevin: This example is near and dear to my heart – it’s how I landed a job with a marketing communications firm back in the 1990s, when I worked for other people. After mailing in my resume, I was called by a receptionist to schedule an interview. During our conversation, I asked if she could send me back issues of their corporate publications. I explained that I wanted to research the writing styles of the magazines and newsletters I would be editing if I got the job. She immediately agreed, and had a nice package of materials couriered over to me the same day. It turned out to be a gold mine. I found three typos in one back issue of a magazine I would be proofreading in the position I was interviewing for. Here was proof I could do the job. Two days later at the interview, the subject of proofreading skills came up. I pulled out the magazine (with post-it notes marking the typos) and said: “I’ve been researching your publications and found these three errors. I can improve your image by preventing this kind of thing from happening again.” They hired me. PR METHEANBRAND
  27. 27. SHARE& Robin: “Robin, a woman from Los Angeles, had been interviewing with the same company for three months. She felt she was a perfect for the position, but the hiring manager was not responsive — he wouldn’t tell her yes or no about a decision to hire her,” says Ron McManmon. So Robin called McManmon to discuss her dilemma. His advice? “I suggested that she REALLY demonstrate her skills to the hiring manager. I encouraged her to call 100 potential customers and ask them, ‘Would you be interested in looking at a technology that would solve your problem with X and save you XX amount of dollars??? says McManmon. The next day, Robin walked into the manager’s office, put her contact list on his desk and said, “I’ve already started working for you. In fact, I have 100 customers who are interested in your technology.” What happened next? “Robin was hired on the spot,” says McManmon. PR METHEANBRAND
  28. 28. SHARE& Action Steps Create&something&that&shows&off&your& skills& Work&for&the&company&or&manager&you& want&to&work&for&before&they&hire&you& Share&what&you’ve&created&with&everyone& PR METHEANBRAND
  29. 29. SHARE& Conclusion With your personal brand figured out and some new material to share with your network, you’re ready to start creating your own career opportunities. Go on and prove that you know what you’re doing and you’re damn good at it. Some people will always complain that they can’t get hired because they don’t have the experience. But they can’t get experience without being hired. You know now that you can get experience without being hired. Don’t be afraid that you don’t know what you’re doing if you’re working on a passion project or working for a company before they hire. Just by trying, you’re doing more than those who are hoping that what they’ve never done will speak for them. Your work will speak for you and it will take your career anywhere you want it to. PR METHEANBRAND
  30. 30. SHARE& If you’ve created or shared something you’re really proud of, share it with other Promethean Brand readers. Tweet links to your work with the hashtag #showedit. You’ll inspire others, get some new ideas, and grow your network all in one little tweet. Click here to share your amazing work! #showedit & If you want more tips on personal branding, managing your career, or finding your dream job, check out Or sign up for the Promethean Brand newsletter to have new guides, templates, articles and tips delivered right to your inbox. & PR METHEANBRAND
  31. 31. SHARE& Resources PR METHEANBRAND
  32. 32. SHARE& Website Guide - Application used to create word clouds and help pick out keywords. - Portfolio website. - Portfolio website. - Portfolio website. - Easy-to-use (and free!) website builder. - Portfolio website for designers. - Portfolio website for designers. - Portfolio website for writers and journalists. PR METHEANBRAND
  33. 33. SHARE& - Portfolio website for anyone who creates something. - Create an interactive slide presentation. - Create an infographic resume. http://info.gram - Create an inforgraphic resume. - Create a slide resume. PR METHEANBRAND