Quick Tips for Creating a Personal Brand That Will Land You Your Dream Job

Good news: resumes and cover letters are dead. Being you is your greatest asset.

Nothing makes you question your self-worth quite like perusing GlassDoor for a perspective job. Resumes demand that we list our life experience on one page, formatted into clipped, well-framed phrases. Then, the slightly less villainous cover letter permits us to express our personality in “less than one paragraph.” Oh, and don’t forget to include your salary requirements (which may disqualify you as a candidate altogether), plus whether or not you’re planning on taking vacation any time soon.

Basically, our future—something that should be bright, exciting, and exotic to us—is made formulaic and downright boring by the red tape plastered all over the companies we’d like to one day be part of. The good news is that the tides are changing—we’re on the brink of entering a post-resume era.

Resumes are Dead—a sold out event that took place last week in New York City—brought together four personal brand experts to talk about finding your life’s purpose, navigating job transitions, engaging your social media audience and creating a kick-ass personal brand. Speakers included:

  • Patrycja Slawuta, a psychologist specializing in the complexity and non-linearity of the human psyche. Slawuta is the founder of SelfHackathon—events that bring together scientists and experts to hack, rewire and upgrade minds of high performers around the world. From serial entrepreneurs, via computer engineers, startups and  Fortune500 enterprises.
  • Jenna Tanenbaumfounder of GreenBlender—a smoothie delivery service that sends out all the pre-portioned ingredients and superfoods to make healthy, wholesome smoothies at home.
  • Tiffany Yu, founder of Diversability, an award-winning social enterprise to rebrand disability through the power of community.
  • Danielle Kayembe, co-founder of The FLOW Summit on Women’s Economic Empowerment—a global initiative to bring powerful women together to create solutions for women’s lack of access to financial capital, both in developed and developing countries

Here’s what these high-powered individuals had to say about creating a personal brand that’s as dynamic as you are.

On Finding Your Life’s Purpose

  • All the speaker’s agreed that finding your purpose is hard, but once you finally find it, the “juiciness” will be worth it.
  • It can be daunting to try to pick your number one, absolute life’s purpose. Instead, try breaking it down into smaller goals. Ask: What do I want to accomplish in the next week? Month? Year?
  • Find balance in looking for your purpose. Give yourself time to think about it, but also enjoy what you know you want in the moment.
  • Look for your purpose through community. Join your local run, writing, or coding clubs and start having conversations with people about what drives you. This community could lead you to discovering what you want.

On the Best Skills to Help You in the Transition to a New Job

  • Making genuine human connection is essential. Remember we are all human “beings” not human “doers.” Treat your prospective co-workers as you would like to be treated.
  • If you’re considering transitioning to a new job, but have not yet decided, try considering your current role. Ask yourself the question: “Am I growing? Am I learning?” If the answer is no, then kickstart your occupational transition full speed ahead.
  • Keep in mind that life is constantly transition, so spend time creating/spending time with your tribe. These people will remain relatively constant throughout your career trajectory.

On Engaging Your Social Media Audience

  • Pick one platform to focus on first. Whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or Squarespace, pick one and pour your all into that singular medium. Slawuta mainly leverages Facebook, Yu prefers Instagram, and Tanenbaum originally reached her audience through Tumblr.
  • Don’t force your identity. Be as real as possible on social media, and work on fine-tuning your unique voice.
  • Get your shit out there, and make it epic. Don’t re-read every post you put on your blog nineteen times. At some point, you just need to hit “publish” and be proud of yourself.
  • Hold yourself accountable. Even if no one’s looking over your shoulder, demanding you have that first draft on their desk by Friday, give yourself deadlines and expectations.
  • Remember that when you post on social media, you are reaching many people (just like you!) sitting at their computer somewhere. What would you want to read? What kind of content would make you excited?
  • As a minor, but key rule of thumb: make sure your handle remains consistent across all social media platforms. That way, people can find you in a gif.

On Maximizing Your Personal Brand

  • Have fun creating your personal brand. Think about it as an experiment, rather than an undertaking. If it’s not perfect, that’s fine. The more you create, the more you learn.
  • It may help you to conjure a tag line for yourself. Slawuta’s tagline is “Make epic sh*t happen.” What could yours be?
  • Do not undervalue your own skills. Women in particular tend to undersell their abilities. So, think critically about what you’re good at, then make it central to your personal brand.
  • Build your resume differently. Guess what? Your resume does not have to be an 8.5 x 11, Times New Roman, black and white document. If you’re a coder, make your resume into a website. If you’re a musician, incorporate scores alongside your skill set and previous experience. If you’re a photoshop mastermind, create something gorgeous that will catch the company’s eye.

 

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