It’s a typical question asked millions of times at parties, reunions and interviews. “Tell me a little about yourself. What do you do?” For many of us, it’s hard to talk about ourselves with pride. It feels like we’re bragging. But being able to honestly assess and explain your work and accomplishments is a useful, lifetime skill. Start thinking about it today with these 5 tips:

1-Use “I” when appropriate. Yes, success at work is often a team effort and it’s important to give credit where due. But often we deflect, and credit the team for a goal we’ve met. Learn to acknowledge and explain your part of the team’s success.

2-Lead with the most important points. Even if you’re talking about yourself in a casual and conversational manner, talk about the most important work achievements first. It will be easy to show your enthusiasm for the work you do and why you’re proud of it.

3-Go around the job description. If you’re having some trouble describing what you do, and you don’t want to just repeat your job description, prepare a couple of simple sentences about your achievements. It could be a brief statement about how you made a simple change at work and saved the company X dollars, or even some recognition you received.

4-Be brief. Think about your most important and relevant accomplishments and prepare a 1-2 sentence statement explaining what you’re proud of and why. Practice saying it so that your delivery is casual.

5-It’s OK to include personal info. It’s hard to talk about yourself and not include something about family or outside interests. It’s how we connect with others. It’s OK to include this information, just don’t lead with it, especially if you find it easier to brag about your kids than yourself.

If you’d like more practice, stay tuned next week where we’ll provide some excellent questions that you can use to fine-tune your new skill.

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