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