Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Describe Yourself ... But in Marketing Materials

Here's a YouTube video in which a number of people are asked to describe themselves in one or a few words. Have a look at it first.

Now think about describing yourself to a possible employer. Just to consider one possible self-description, there are employers who look for “bubbly” employees. So I’m not going to advise you to avoid describing yourself that way in the first instance—or most others.

What I would say though is that most of us are wary of the self-descriptions of others. If someone tells you that she is invariably cheerful, and sympathetic to the needs of others where do your thoughts go? Most of us may be unwilling to believe the worst about this individual but we do start to think about the accuracy of this particular aspect of the person’s self-assessment. Likewise, employers are wary of applicant’s self-descriptions in resum├ęs, blogs, networking cards and job interviews.

It’s usually a lot better to demonstrate your characteristics to an employer than to simply claim them.

With this in mind, here’s a very practical exercise. Select one of the traits that you honestly believe is characteristic of you, name it or describe it and then describe two recent circumstances in which you have demonstrated this characteristic. If you really are bubbly then it should be easy to find times when you have been bubbly in the past day or two, right? What happened? For more points, how did your bubbliness enhance the lives of those around you?

I’d love to read what you create in the comments to this posting! (You don't have to be bubbly either, right? You could be earnest, reliable, honest, trusting, empathetic, smart, smiling, musical, mechanical, driven, stern, gracious, graceful, ..., etc .)


C. L. Cotton said...

What a create "stimulus" exercise to a group discussion and/or activities related to marketing. Thank you for this and the series on "Persuasion" which I have yet to view but are on my 'must do" rather than "to do" list.

Bill Bell said...

Thanks, Carole!

ewlm said...

Astutely Creative

At first I just wrote down "Creative" as the word that best describes me. But after writing down two examples, I realized the description of myself had to be more than that.

Example #1 - I came up with helpful ideas in a brainstorming session with a friend concerning the potential of a site for her new business.

Example #2 - I saw a particular format or style of a resume and knew it was exactly what my friend needed to better his chances of getting noticed.

Bill Bell said...

Fantastic! Thank you, 'ewlm'. Your examples say so much more.

johnmccracken said...

Investigative, describes me. Meaning, I wanted to self-publish my own book so I took the time to research and learn how to do that.

I wanted a camera that would allow me to " stop action" fast action and still have a sharp picture. Took the time to research what I needed, budget wise also and now I have what I needed to achieve mt photo goals.

John McCracken

Bill Bell said...

OK, John. Now, let me take this a step further and ask you, putting yourself in the position of an employer, what could have been said to make it clear that your investigative nature could work on behalf of the employer?