Why Displaying Honours & Awards is Not Bragging it’s Good Personal Branding

A local brewery to me, Collective Arts, was recently recognized by LinkedIn as being a top 25 Start-Up Company in Canada. I love this company because not only are they successful and make good beer, but they also approach their branding, marketing and social responsibility in a unique way.  Each quarter they ask for artists to submit artwork for consideration as the designs on their cans.

If selected not only does the artist get to see their art on thousands of beer cans but they also get links back to their portfolios and websites AND get paid a royalty on every can sold. To date, the company has returned thousands of dollars to hundreds of artists. No doubt Collective Arts will be using their award in some way to raise their visibility and credibility.

And you have this opportunity too, with honours or awards that you have been given.

It’s not easy.  In fact, according to research, more of us would prefer to highlight other peoples accomplishments than our own. Most of us are humble and we feel like its bragging to display our success or write about it.

But in a world where we are making rapid decisions and people run the risk of all sounding the same, you have to stand out and if not you displaying that success then who will do it for you?

Awards are not only recognition for work well done or achievement of a certain standard but they also communicate to employers and clients that you perform above the average. You have been recognized by peers, bosses or vendors you are excellent at what you do. It is no longer enough to be good at what you do, today you have to excel.

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]It is no longer enough to be good at what you do, today you have to excel. [/tweet_box]

When it comes to your professional presence your LinkedIn profile is an obvious place to communicate these successes. Actually, LinkedIn had a section for this on the profile called Honours and Awards, but it ends up getting hidden right near the bottom of your profile, many readers may never get there.

Watch the video by clicking on the link below to see this and also all the other places recommended below.

Where to show honours and awards on your LinkedIn profile

So here are three more obvious places to have your honours or awards stand out;

  1. Headline – if the recognition is particularly distinctive it would not be too much to put that right in your headline. Now I am not talking Nobel prize winner (although that certainly warrants it) for example a national award like ‘Top 40 Uner 40’ or ‘EY Entrepreneur of the Year’ or reputable local award from a local company might also work, especially if you’re locally focused for your career or business.
  2. Summary – there are a couple of places to highlight recognition in your Summary. Ideally in the first 30-50 words before the ‘See more’ link comes up, mention the award. The summary area allows you space to give a little more detail too. Also visually at the bottom of the Summary can work if there is an image of the award or even video of your receiving the award.
  3. Experience – this is probably the most obvious talking about the award in the job and area related to when the award was accomplished. Again a visual representation can be used here.

Some things to bear in mind:

  • Don’t use awards or honours that have little or no relevance to your professional profile. Winning the egg and spoon race in grade 3 does not count!
  • Be authentic, do not make wild claims or overstate what the award means and certainly don’t claim ones that are not yours or included you.
  • Be sure you can back it up if asked to produce proof at some point.

Two areas on your profile that can also be used;

  1. In the Recommendations section. These in themselves are recognition for your work and can be a suitable alternative if you do not have any concrete awards or honours.
  2. Projects Section is an additional section that can be added to your profile. If you were in a team award this can be a place to highlight the award and tag the people who won the award with you.

This last point highlights that the awards or honours do not need to be individual, team or company ones can also be included, particularly if they are significant or you were one of the main leads on it.

Take a moment to reflect back on your professional life to date and see if you can identify an award or honour that are worthy of your mentioning on your profile and take a minute to add it and update your profile.

Let me know in the comments how you have highlighted your awards.

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