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How to humble brag your way into a job

Ciara Bush is a writer for BUILT BY GIRLS, which prepares the next generation of female and non-binary leaders to step into their power and break into their careers. WAVE is the backbone of BUILT BY GIRLS: it’s a 1:1 matching program that connects high school and college students with top tech professionals across the country. For more information and to sign up check out

Do you ever feel like touting your accomplishments can come off as tacky and awkward? You know it’s important to sell yourself in the job search, but how do you talk about your accomplishments without bragging?

The quick answer? You brag! In an interview, it is imperative you brag about what you’ve done and how you uniquely can fill the role.

(Photo credit: BUILT BY GIRLS)
(Photo credit: BUILT BY GIRLS)

Imposter syndrome is when an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent, internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud" — and it’s much more common in women. So this might make it feel like people will doubt how much you really know when you start talking about your skills. On top of that, women are generally socialized to be humble so the idea of “bragging” seems like it may turn off the person you’re talking to.

But I’m here to tell you that making connections and getting your dream job is all about bragging. Here are some tips to help you feel a little more comfortable gloating:

Back it up with experience (even a tiny bit)

We all feel a little more confident when we’ve actually tried to do something before and know we can grow. Does a job list HTML as a requirement? Take a free Code Academy course to brush up on some basics so you can feel confident in your brag.

List out your accomplishments

As you’re gearing up for a networking night or job interview, start thinking about all of the projects you’ve ever worked on and how they say something about your skills.

Have you done a class project where you built an entire marketing plan for a fake business? Write it down and think about how it developed certain skills you want to brag about. Had an internship where you answered customer emails on end? Add it to the list! Everything counts, and you may know more than you realize.

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Be a good listener

The secret to any great conversation is to be a good listener and find natural ways to talk about your accomplishments. If you ask the right questions, you can steer the conversation, naturally bring up your skills, and show you really know what you’re talking about.

For example: “I’ve followed your company’s Instagram for a while. Did your recent re-brand affect your growth or engagement?”

And remember, while it can feel hard to brag and you might just want to stay humble, in order to change our culture to be more accepting of women's self-advocacy, it starts with us now. So let’s hear your brag!

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