How to Talk About Your Skills Without Being an Asshole

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by Kevin Nelson

On average, editors spend only a couple of minutes figuring out whether they want or do not want to give you a chance and publish your story. The thing is that they get so many of them for every opening, they have no time to go into greater details.

Given that a few minutes is not too much, you have no right to blow your chance to get a perfect job due to a lack of understanding of what a good query letter should look like.

And there is a perfect way to present yourself in the best light. This should be done in a query letter written according to the standards we are about to talk here.

Meanwhile, talking about yourself, your achievements and sharing your success stories is not easy, especially if you are extremely talented and have a solid experience under your belt.

Have you ever read a query letter that is not as much a letter but rather an essay called “How great I am and why you should hire me”?

If you have not, then you are just one lucky fellow, because every time you read it, you feel like a complete loser. It’s almost as if that person is so fantastically talented, that the only question remaining is “Why are you not the President yet?”

But there is another category of queries. Their authors seem to be underqualified. They lack experience, ambitions, goals and sufficient knowledge. All you can think about when looking at such a resume is “Why are you even applying?”

Thus, in order to help you here and prevent from falling into either one of these categories, we have created a list of six ways to write about yourself right. Read them – and you won’t need to ask essay writing services to help you!

Six tips on how to talk about yourself:

1. Show, but don’t brag.

You might have an immense experience in some areas, but unless you tell people about it, they will have no idea. However, there is a thin line between sharing your experience and bragging. And that thin line is in your motives. You do no good to your positive image with bragging. Therefore, after you introduce yourself to the person receiving the message make sure to present your achievements (prizes, title, etc) in a humble way.

2. Tell the story.

Do not try to exaggerate your talent and unique insights in an essay but rather share it as it was. Mention your input and original investment, how it shaped you into who you are today, and why you believe that it is interesting and useful. You can feel the difference. When composing a piece on such narrative essay topics, you show how your written piece can influence the end reader. And if you are only driven by fame and success, the agents will feel it and leave your query letter with little to no attention.

3. Don’t be afraid to look vulnerable.

Of course, the goal of every writer is to shake the floor with a fantastic story and remain in the memories of people as an amazing personality and a very gifted professional. And we are sure you have plenty of stories to support such your statement. However, do not strive to look perfect all the time. It is okay to be vulnerable and real. People want to see that you are no different from them and that you are also a human being with his ups and downs on the way to success. Give your talent a shadow of a doubt but without damaging your positive image.

4. Don`t dive into self-analysis and empty talks.

Value the agent`s time: you are not the only applicant for the opening, and he has no time for empty long reads. So, keep it concise and to the point. Do not share «wisdom» especially if it right there, on the surface.

5. Humor it up.

Who doesn’t like to have a good laugh? You will hardly ever find such people. Therefore, as you talk about your piece of writing, add some humor to it. Relate to the agent and build bridges above the possible gaps with proper humor used in accordance with the tone of the correspondence. Nothing makes you closer and more real than a good joke to cheer even the most demanding agents up.

6. Don’t underestimate yourself.

Don’t hurt your reputation by failing to mention any achievements at all. Your piece surely had some positive impact, as you have gone to great length to make it truly outstanding. So, mention it, but in a nice and modest way. And be upfront. Do not try to cover your bragging with some humble talk. You will only make it worse.

Even though writing is your primary professional activity, you might still feel intimidated with an idea of having to talk about yourself in a query letter. You can fail to get your piece accepted if you don’t do it right. It’s my hope that with these simple tips you can confidently write the paragraph or two you need.

And if you have interesting insights about this, do not hesitate to share them with us in the comments. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!


Kevin Nelson is a professional educator and private tutor who also writes for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media, and blogging. You can learn more about him HERE and HERE