While working on my resume, I've had a TON of good advice from a the Slack server of CodeConnector and they have actually been the source material for some of my other posts. But, one of the best bits of advice that I got was to actually ask my closest coworkers what they would tell someone about me. Specific questions listed below with answers given in line. I expected answers about being a hard worker or some other generic crap, but the answers that I got were much more substantial, and I've been working on ways to embrace these answers and play to my strengths. This includes an ongoing effort to incorporate these qualities into my personal brand.
- What are his strengths? What would you say make him a good/unique developer/coworker?
- Desire to do the right thing, code most efficiently, works well within team and outside of a team, well organized
- Ability to challenge any idea/motive if there seems to be a better alternative, no matter to who, not being afraid to speak up to anyone
- Willingness to take up a new, and unfamiliar idea and learn all he can about it in order to better apply his skills and knowledge to the solution
- Speaking his mind, calling BS when he sees it, and always looking for improvements
- Desire to do the right thing, code
- Asking questions, solid coding skills, good at explaining complicated topics
- What would you tell me that I don't already know? How would you sell me to someone else?
- Corey is organized and timely. He works well with his team members and folks outside of his team. He asks thorough questions. He is dependable and easy to work with.
- I can't think of anything you don't already know, but I'd sell Corey as a determined go-getter who will figure things out, knock down walls, and pester whoever needs pestering to get the job done.
This is all pretty specific, and not things that I have ever considered when asked in interviews how others would describe me. I can now present a better answer to that recurring interview question. I am also working to tweak my resume statements, and to include these qualities in the bio portions of my website.
As another point, whether it's personal development or brand development, you need to know your weaknesses or the negative side of your strengths. In these examples my strengths were listed, but each of these could be weaknesses. Desire to do the right thing can be irritability at what is seen as incorrect, challenging processes can be distraction from the work at hand, unafraid to speak up can be constant talking. Knowing these things is the first step to mitigating these issues in how you work.
You can't make your brand better if you don't really know what it is.