Self-Branding Across Roles and Life Stages: Overview

Recently, Zarb School of Business Distinguished Professor Joel Evans of Hofstra University did an extended radio interview with Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D. on self-branding from different perspectives and across our diverse roles. Self-branding — how we see ourselves and how we want to be perceived by others — is a key to long-term personal and career success.

In this overview post, we are setting the stage for the interview, which is broken into three forthcoming parts/posts.

We have three major challenges in self-branding: (1) We must first understand ourselves and have personal clarity in deciding what self-brand we want to project to others. (2) There is often a gap between how we view ourselves and how others perceive us. We need to consider and act upon this. (3) Our self-brand must reflect EACH role we play; that is why we have multiple self-brands that we project to others (whether we realize it or not). Each role is usually distinctive: job professional, parent, friend, etc.

Consider these points from Professor Evans:

  • Honest self-assessment is a tough task for many people. We don’t like to think about our faults and hear that others have negative things to say about us. And self-assessment is time-consuming and needs to be conducted periodically – not just once. But self-assessment is perhaps the most important ingredient in crafting our self-brand for our various roles and life stages.
  • These are some factors to consider:
    • You must have a clear sense of your self-brand.
    • What are my short-term and long-term career and personal goals?
    • How close am I to reaching these goals?
    • What specific activities must I engage in/do (in each role and life stage) to reach these goals?
    • When I set my self-brand for each role & life stage, is it perceived that way by others? Can others get beyond stereotypes? Often, others do not see us as we see ourselves.
      • If I relate this to myself, I know there are clear differences in how I view myself and how others view me – and this has evolved through my own life stages and roles undertaken.
      • Today, I am a senior citizen by virtually every definition and seen as such by some others; but I don’t see myself that way.
      • For example, as a professor, even though I am the “old guy,” I run three blogs and I’m very active in social media. So, clearly, the stereotype about seniors and social media doesn’t apply to me.
      • Also as a professor, I understand that my students today see my gray hair, wrinkles, and bald spot and do not relate to me the same way now as they did when I started teaching. To address this, I wear loud and colorful ties and socks with fun patterns (such cats’ faces), and I show a lot of videos.
      • In another recent role, as father of the bride, my friends and family saw another side of me. But it was the other side that I wanted them to see.
    • Authenticity is imperative for a self-brand to be perceived as desired by others. Faking won’t cut it.

How can you translate your self-brand into a resume?

  • Join LinkedIn and browse through the profiles of others in the field you would like to have a career. Look at their descriptions of themselves.
  • Always do multiple drafts of a new resume and show them to people you trust. Include key words that are included in each job description.
  • You should always articulate your self-brand at the top of a resume. ( How – an example) Again, include buzz words from job descriptions.

Senior professor at Hofstra’s Zarb Business School. Long-time consultant. Leading textbook author. Active blogger & LI group manager. Motivated teacher. Frequent speaker. (22 words)

  • The resume should be modified to fit the job description. This is 2016, not 1976. There is no excuse for not modifying your resume to the position sought.
  • A self-brand statement should reflect the stage of your career that you are in currently.

Things I look for in a resume (starting from the top):

  1. Good grammar and spelling — reflects a lot on one’s self brand.
  2. A professional-looking e-mail address – NOT a birthday or other cute address.
  3. A clear, distinctive self-branding statement in no more than 25 words. Includes:
    1. The type of position sought.
    2. Unique skill set.
    3. Motivation/enthusiasm.
    4. Team player.
    5. The statement varies by career stage and should brand the person appropriately.
  4. Work experience:
    1. ALWAYS include buzz words related to a specific job opening.
    2. Position/self-brand each job properly.
    3. Place greater emphasis on recent jobs. Use bullet points. Cite numerical accomplishments.
    4. Older jobs and internships should be shorter and focus on accomplishment. Do NOT “dumb down” these jobs.
    5. Your work experience should reflect upward mobility/advancement and changes your self-brand over time.
    6. Be creative in citing job dates if you have been a job hopper – such as linking related positions together with a broader date range.
  5. Education:
    1. Site school, degree, major, date of graduation for each job.
    2. If you have little work experience, Be sure that you cite courses that reflect your self-brand.
    3. Only cite your GPA if it is high.
    4. Education goes first ONLY if this is the key attribute you have to offer early in your career.
  6. Special skills: Cite only distinctive or job-required skills, such as experienced with social media content or business analytics specialist.
  7. Don’t forget to have a strong LinkedIn profile and shoot to have at least 100 connections to show that you are known in the business world.

How can you use self-branding to consider what you want to do after college?

  • Click on the self-assessment test URL at the Radio America page for this program. http://goo.gl/Fwdy9r

How can you use self-branding after retirement?

  • We have to first ask ourselves what we want to do in our retirement? Be a volunteer, travel more, work part-time, be more active as a grandparent, serve on local boards, etc.?
  • For each of these roles, we need a different (and maybe new)  self-brand) that we can project to others.
  • Our self-brand should be reflective of the role we are pursuing.

 

 

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