Self-Branding When You Have No Sense Of Self

How SFU students can build a professional persona first and an actual personality second

Written by Lubaba Mahmud, Staff Writer

We’re all aware of how important the concept of “personal branding” has become. And we’re also aware of the insecurities it can bring about, especially for the less spirited amongst us. How do you brand yourself when you barely even have a sense of self? How do you make yourself stand out to employers as a “driven, passionate creative thinker” when you haven’t had a personality since you were 10 years old?  (It doesn’t help that that personality was “young, naive, and confused about how to spell ‘entrepreneur,’” does it?) 

Fear not! If you’re scared of what will happen when “being genuine” leads people to realize that you’re a soulless mannequin whose most notable achievement is using proper grammar in a text message, follow these easy pieces of advice to help you brand yourself — inexperienced student or not. 

That’s right: we’re going to churn out the illusion that you’re a polished, productive member of our esteemed capitalist society — even if your lack of drive, opinions, and motivations has left you with no real skills but procrastination. That’s how I landed a job at The Peak, so I know what I’m talking about.


  • Download some basic motivational quotes. Why strain yourself to be inspirational when someone else can do it FOR you? Spray mottos like ”HUSTLE HARDER” all over your biography and your cover photo. Throw in a stolen meme now and then, because coming off as too serious will just make people notice your one-dimensionality. 🙂


  • Ditch the cliché pictures of food. People can’t know that spice is the closest thing you have to emotions. Instead, describe yourself as a “street photographer” in your bio and flood your feed with random pictures from your transit with a bazillion hashtags.


  • Focus your profile on what you’ve categorized as your soft skills. This will give the sense that you actually have a heart. For example, “problem-solving” is a soft skill. Remember when it snowed hard and you made the emotionally wise decision to curse SFU from the soft comfort of your home? Bam, problem-solver!


  • Format your resume correctly. Pepper your layout with tons of random colours, so your employer thinks you’re really creative and subversive. 😉 Who says black is the standard? Break the rules with bright pink subheaders, neon blue borders, vomit green contact info . . . It’s OK if it looks unreadable after all of this pizzazz. With fake skills like yours, maybe that’s how it should be!


  • It’s OK that you have no desires or achievements to speak of. Don’t waste time exaggerating some worthless career goals when asked about yourself: potential employers want to know that your interests fall outside the labour sphere. Leave the interviewer wanting more. They’ll be singing “I wish that I could be like the cool kids” as soon as they get the edgy, devil-may-care vibes off your blank stare and failure to adequately answer any of their questions, so you’ll be hired right away. 

Honestly, who needs to pay $400 for co-op workshops? Just send me a $4 cheque and I can give you more personalized tips, too. (I wouldn’t give out totally legit advice like this for free in THIS economy.)