3 Step Guide to Selling Yourself Your Dream Job via Personal Branding


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Getting a job isn’t easy. Everyone expects you to have experience.

“Do you have any internship experience?” Often sound more like “why the hell don’t you have any? Were you lazy, or just not good enough to get one?”


Yes, experience counts. And even if you are chosen amongst the many, and get an internship, gaining valuable experience isn’t always the case.

How about selling? Have you ever sold something? Corporate sales is a tough place to be, where everyone has that particular bias towards sales people.

Getting a job is tough. Reaching out to grasp your dream job is harder. And it’s much similar to selling.

Below is the classic tactic salespeople like to use, the law of averages.


Spam Numbers Game

Imagine that you are trying to woo the love of your life. Your soul mate is incomparable, and many others are vying for their attention.

Seeing what everyone else does, you follow the same tactic. You write some horrid love poem and buy roses. Like everyone else, you bring yet another cringe-inducing poem with the same flowers every day.

But the law of averages is bound to win out, right? It’s a numbers game, after all.

Shockingly, your dream lover doesn’t reply to any of the poems or flowers. Not just you, but to everyone.


Employers are much the same. They are wooed with resumes and view profiles with the same boring information and keywords. And most never respond. Are they being cruel just for a laugh?

No. They are weary, seeing the same old profile over and over again. How do you sell yourself, to grasp job opportunities and your dream job?


Personal Branding to Sell Yourself

Personal branding is like that new kid in town. Everything about them is new and intriguing.

And believe me, ‘selling’ isn’t part of the formula with personal branding, or at least the traditional take on selling. Personal branding is about letting people in and telling a story about your life. By portraying what employers want to hear, in their voice, you draw them in and win them over.

Below are the steps you need to take to polish your profile and resumes.


Step 1. Speak, Don’t ‘Terminologise’ Everything

Terminology is useful in pinpointing roles and dividing up professionals. But it’s dreary and more, when used as a title or headline on your LinkedIn Profile.

“Commerce Degree, Major in Financial Accounting” says nothing about the person behind that profile. It’s deadpan and has as much personality as a sign post.

Compare it to the description below.

“I am fascinated about how numbers can tell a story about an organisation’s history. That is why I majored in Financial Accounting, where my passion is to organise stories and make them transparent and useful for others to use.”

A little bit of your backstory makes it personal. It says why you chose your particular major, what you find fascinating and where your focus lies.


Key Tip: Write as if you are speaking to someone. Imagine someone telling you what they do along these lines: “I am a Financial Accountant. I draft financial statements. I am responsible for my division in accounting measures.”

No one talks like this to another person, and surprise surprise, guess who is reading your profile on LinkedIn? A living breathing employer.


Step 2. Sell by Showing, not Claiming

From an early age, we were taught to sell ourselves. Particularly in resumes, your pops and older friends advise you to use adjectives and words to package yourself.

Life’s lessons: Ever heard being humble is a good trait to have, and to live by? It clashes with the other life lessons we received from wise adults.

Employer’s view: This person has quite the opinion of themselves. I think they are insecure and are praising themselves because they don’t know how else to show their true qualities.


Use stories, instances where you did amazing things.

“As a volunteer, I saw opportunity in social media campaigns. I campaigned on Facebook and Twitter, also inviting my friends on LinkedIn and their professional networks. Using images and videos, I highlighted the need for natural disaster relief, like the recent earthquakes in Nepal. This boosted our fundraising threefold, 80% coming from my friend’s company X.”


Step 3. Authentic Branding to Garner Trust

Achievements, medals and trophies hold a special place in many households. Hanging from walls and placed on wooden bookshelves (for the best-desired effect), they are the pride of our parents.

Employers and companies aren’t your parents. It’s not to say they aren’t impressed. But it’s getting in the way of ‘you’, the person they want to know. And they want to know, whether you are fit as a job candidate.

Essentially, tooting your own horn and bamboozling everyone with your awards is: hiding behind past glory. You are portraying your fear and your reliance on using these as a front.


Authentic branding: Personal branding is about pushing across your human self. What strong beliefs do you have? Who are you behind all those qualifications and awards?

Employers want to see what choices you would make, guided by your values alone.


In Closing

Personal branding isn’t about tooting your own horn, but giving a glimpse of your authentic self.

So please remember: show your qualities and worth by sharing your human side. Use stories to show your achievements, not adjectives that point to insecurity.

A compelling and powerful brand is one built on your authentic self. Rebuild your resume and online profiles, and give it a bit of personality.

Yes, it takes time. But telling people about yourself is natural, so don’t be afraid or lazy for that matter. You are talking to a human being, on another screen in a hiring manager’s office.


What is your brand like? Do you share a lot of your personal struggles and triumphs online?

Please share your experiences and tips in the comments below.

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