How to Get a Promotion by Building Your Brand | Promotion and Performance Series

get a promotion by building your brand

Tired of getting passed over for that promotion yet again? It’s frustrating, especially when the person who did get the promotion has been with the company less time and doesn’t have the experience you do.

An event like this is what prompts many of us to search outside of our current company. However, it can big a bigger challenge to find a new role as an external candidate than an internal one.

Jobvite’s 2017 Recruiter Nation Study proves that. According to the study, 90% of candidates come from job boards, but only 45% of those lead to quality hires. On the other hand, 2% of candidates come from internal sources and result in 15% of hires. That means internal sources are 6X more effective – not to mention more economical.

As you probably know, the days when you’d be recognized for your hard work and get promoted are long gone. In order to position yourself for a promotion, you must build your personal brand. Here are five strategies to get started:

Get a Promotion by Building Your Brand

Make yourself famous in your organization

What is it that you like to do AND do well?  You can figure this out by doing assessments like StrengthsFinder or the Fascination Advantage. Better yet, send a simple email to your colleagues and ask them to pick three adjectives that describe you. While you await their responses write down the three adjectives you would select to describe yourself and then compare.

How does that align with your company’s values? This is how you want to start talking about your strengths with your colleagues.

Also read: 5 Signs Your Boss Wants to Promote You | Promotion and Performance Series

Volunteer for relevant projects and take credit

A great way to get noticed at work is to volunteer for projects that are relevant for your skills. This provides you the opportunity to show others in your organization what you are capable of.

Then take credit, and I don’t mean in a braggy way. Be gracious and thank the person who gave you the opportunity. Present a report about what was accomplished, learned, and what could be improved next time.


Speaking elevates your authority and expertise on a topic and gets you great exposure. It doesn’t have to be an external event either. Perhaps your organization has a sales kick-off meeting or an all-hands quarterly update. Ask for the opportunity to share your department’s wins and how your team can help others.

If you want to get brave and speak outside your organization, local chapters of industry associations often have opportunities to lead workshops or speak at events. Then you can invite colleagues to attend and share the content with your own organization.

Also read: Promotion Problems at Work: 13 Things That May Be Holding You Back | Promotion and Performance Series

Get quoted

Thought leadership can also help promote your knowledge and expertise. Publications and associations are always looking for content. You can author an article.

You can also be a source for journalists covering your particular trade. Sites like HARO (Help A Reporter Out), ProfNet, or Pressfarm offer opportunities to share your knowledge in articles.

Network beyond your immediate team

Eating lunch alone at your desk is not going to show anyone you are a hard worker. They will just notice that you’re not around much. Instead make an effort to walk around and get to know your colleagues, especially those outside your immediate team.

Bottom line is people promote people they know, like and trust. So it behooves you to put yourself out there and take charge of your career because if you don’t define your personal brand, it will be defined for you.

Get known and that promotion will definitely be within reach next time.

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About the Author

Self-proclaimed job search geek, Michelle Robin takes the often frustrating and miserable task of job search and makes it more enjoyable, perhaps even fun, for her clients. An award-winning dual-certified resume writer (NCRW, CPRW) and founder of Brand Your Career, Michelle helps sales and marketing executives transform their career marketing materials into a package that wows their target employer. Click HERE to register for Michelle’s free training, The 5-Step Game Plan to Land 6-Figure Marketing Roles Without Resumes or Attending Networking Events.