I realize this is somewhat of a departure from the usual topics I discuss. Normally I choose a current business, marketing, advertising or graphic design topic. But today I want you to look at yourself objectively, as a hiring manager, a Human Resources Director or a new client might do. Now, go to the closest mirror and ask yourself this question: Would you hire you?
Imagine how different our approach to interacting with others would be if we knew how they really perceived our strengths and weaknesses. How often do our perceptions of “who we are”, “what we do” and “how we do it” coincide with the opinions of others whose job it is to evaluate us? Probably less often than we think. This is because human nature (and our egos) lead us to believe that we always project a desirable image from a hiring or selling perspective. Personal Branding requires that we pay attention to messaging and the manner in which we communicate these impressions. For more information you many enjoy my prior post on Selling and Personal Branding.
Introspective analysis such as this is valuable in these career/work situations:
– employee hiring
– contract employee hiring
– contractor or consultant engagement
As a marketing professional I frequently rely on mini focus groups for essential feedback. (For readers unfamiliar with this terminology the dictionary defines a focus group as “A group of people brought together to give their opinions on a issue or product, often for the purpose of market research.“)
I asked two professionals that I respect to honestly answer my hypothetical question “Would you hire YOU?” Their comments follow.
From Laurel Black, Laurel Black Design, Inc. –
“This is not an easy process. It helps to have a coach or similar along for the journey to keep on course and not veer off into assumptions, wishful thinking, defensiveness or other distractions. It requires a commitment to searching out and identifying the components about yourself that need to be considered for adjustment. Marketing is all about influencing other people’s behavior. That’s what you’re attempting when you apply for a job. If you cannot explain why the hirer should pick you instead of someone else, you’ll fail. Trying to get hired is just another form of marketing, and should be approached from that perspective. Bottom line: I would hire myself“.
From Stephen A. Doukas, Executive Director, Bay Pines Foundation, Inc. –
“From the perspective of a Human Resources Director reviewing my resume, I see a person with an undergraduate degree in accounting and an MBA in finance. His most recent positions don’t fully utilize his training (education). Because of his tenure (age), I wonder if he is willing to accept new ideas and will he be trainable to the ways of a new organization?
This person has over thirty (30) years of work experience with his most recent positions in a senior level leadership role. He will likely ‘delegate work’ based on the positions held rather than be a participant in the day-to-day work of his coworkers.
Upon reviewing his accomplishments throughout his career, he seems to view himself as a strategic thinker, a visionary and a cultural change agent. But I reserve judgement on his abilities as listed in the ‘significant accomplishments’ portion of his resume. Bottom line: I would hire myself.“
Regardless of how you prepare for this exercise look for some unexpected conclusions and perhaps a few surprises. It’s likely you’ll uncover some valuable insight. Personally, I discovered I needed to do a better job communicating my adaptive work style and technology expertise. Of course your mileage may vary!
And for those who are curious, I would hire myself.