I think that in some circumstances what you don’t say is more important than what you actually do say.
Sometimes your actions speak louder than any words that come from your mouth. Self-promotion is a tricky proposition. You don’t want come across looking overly overconfident or even worse arrogant, but you don’t want your talents to go unnoticed either. So how do you promote yourself without looking self-promotional?
I think you start by showing your value through your relationships with others, getting involved in your local community (not your online communities either), go volunteer at a homeless shelter, help build houses, volunteer to mentor kids. It’s hard to be self-promoting when you’re looking into the eyes of a 10 year-old child who doesn’t have food to eat or a yard to play in.
Be conscious of how you treat others, make sure you follow through by honoring and keeping your promises, and be the kind of person that others want to associate themselves with.
You always want to keep your resume updated, but make sure it is an accurate and true reflection of your skill set and accomplishments. Having a good resume, along with a true sense of “self-awareness” are key elements in promoting yourself successfully.
When I say self-awareness, I mean understanding what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, and have a good sense of how others perceive you. I think every business professional should take some type of personality assessment. Most can be completed within 30-45 minutes, and they provide a comprehensive look at your behavioral styles and characteristics. Once you know your personality type, and how those drivers impact your personal and professional relationships, you can really promote the “real you” …through your actions and not your words.