Tips for the perfect LinkedIn humble brag

by Michelle Singer | 4 October 2023 | Social Media Tips

Tips for the perfect LinkedIn humble brag (and how to ignore tall poppy syndrome and tell people you’re a winner baby, and that’s the truth)

Confession: I daydream about winning awards. I’d rank it among my top three favourite thoughts as I plod along a footpath, the first being winning a shedload of money followed by what would it be like to live on Mars?

This daydream involves winning a hypothetical award in an unspecified industry of which I’ve done little to no work to achieve the accolade other than to be picked from obscurity. Come to think of it, it’s mostly thoughts on what I would wear – strapless, sequins or ballgown darling – so it’s quite possible my sub-conscious thinks I should do some retail therapy.

Nevertheless, I have had some very tenuous examples of award success as a professional and who can ignore the crushing need to share that news to friends and complete strangers on LinkedIn?

However, I have had a lot of experience in advising others on how best to navigate this ego-filled minefield. Sometimes it’s easier for someone else to toot your trumpet.

That’s probably because LinkedIn content can feel cringy and braggy. But let’s face it, unless it’s an encouragement award for merely turning up to the office some of the time accompanied by a Happy Meal voucher, an award is a professional big deal so why not lean in and celebrate it? A win’s a win? Even when it’s not.

But how to do it even if you’re dying inside because you know your old high school mates are going to screenshot whatever you post and send it around in your WhatsApp group chat titled ‘The Overqualified Underachievers’.

The closest I have come to award glory as an adult in a non-sporting capacity (excuse me while a brush the dust of my medal box years 1990 to 1996) was not even as a winner, but a finalist. And yes, I posted about it, because I was genuinely proud of the achievement because it was a team effort and even though we didn’t win, our entry encapsulated the monumental contribution and impact was had on the business. I was so busy surviving day-to-day I had no idea how productive two people could be. It felt good to be able to turn a humble brad into a career milestone and of course an excellent hook on which to hang my hat when the time came to ask for more money.

While I don’t recommend making an award post an opportunity to test your comedic skills, I do insist you take the time to post a gracious and genuine thank you – at the very least. It’s another feather in your personal brand cap and becomes a reference point for performance reviews, new jobs or business opportunities.

Let’s look at some of the other things you could, and should, include in an award post.

  • Start with a thank you – express gratitude and don’t forget the relevant tags
  • Share emotions – briefly convey your feelings whether it’s excitement, pride, don’t be afraid to let people know what the award win means to you
  • Personal connection – explain why the award is a big deal to you by explaining how it aligns with your values or goals
  • Showcase the award – post a professional photo of the award, event organisers or yourself accepting the award (best be avoiding the post-award dance floor)
  • Engage – Respond to comments and messages from followers (also important on the organiser’s post-event announcement post)
  • Stay humble – this is not a promotional opportunity
  • Commitment – if you haven’t written an essay, neatly finish the post by reasserting your love/passion or commitment to the cause
  • Tag – remember to tag organisers, sponsors or other team members

Humble brag example

What an honour it was to receive the [AWARD NAME HERE] last night.

For the past [TIME PERIOD] I have proudly [DESCRIPTION] as [POSITION], implementing [CONTEXT].

[KICKER PERSONAL CONNECTION HERE] that has been instrumental [MAYBE EVEN PIVOTAL] in making significant progress towards [THE CAUSE] that has only been possible due to the dedication of all team members.

Winning this award is testament to the hard work that goes on around me and I am more committed to [CAUSE] within the [INDUSTRY] than ever.

Thank you [TAG SPONSORS and SUPPORTERS] for the recognition. 🙏

#RELEVANTHASHTAG #EVENT #CAUSE

Other humble brag considerations

Absolutely get on to LinkedIn and respond in the comments to the original organiser’s announcement post, if there is one, with a thank you and authentic response.

Same rules apply, be humble and genuine. Avoid references to the open bar and choice of DJ. Be sure to recognise team members or others who have been influential or instrumental in support or encouragement on your way to winning the award.

And you should ask your business or company, or if you’re the multi-hat wearer marketing manager of your SME, to share the organiser’s post with a gracious and original thank you comment to the top of the shared post.

If you’ve won an award recently, congratulations, that’s awesome, you’re awesome. Really. I hope your old high school mates are really proud of you and that you’ve sung from the top of the LinkedIn feed about your accomplishments. If not, why not?

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