• Kushagra Shah

Building Your Personal Brand – A stepping-stone to the desired career

Updated: May 5

The 2020 job market and placement scenario for MBA is rift with uncertainties and challenges. Job openings are going to shrink, and domestic applicants are going to increase. In such cutthroat competition, it’s imperative to have a distinguished personal brand to get spotted. As per Michael Goldhaber of Wired, “If there is nothing very special about your work, no matter how hard you apply yourself, you won’t get noticed, and that increasingly means you won’t get paid much, either.” Here Is the guide to develop your personal branding.

Importance of Personal Branding

In the gig economy, Social media has taken the place of resume or CV and cover letter as the first impression in front of recruiters. Someone Google you today and the first impression pops up is your personal brand. As per the 2018 Career Builder Survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process and 43% use it to check on current employees. Considering the gravity of the area, one needs to put conscious effort into building their consistent personal brand right from LinkedIn to Facebook.

What is Personal Brand

Personal Brand is how you present yourself to the world. It is a unique combination of your skills, experiences and personality which differentiate you from the world. You have a default brand, whether you are aware of it or not! Your default brand is evolved at the intersection of three factors. Your life experiences, your point of view and actions and the way others perceive you.

How to build your Personal Brand

“If you don’t invest in the brand as an asset like anything else, just like you would a factory, then you are going to lose market share and leadership. You have to maintain and replenish a brand over time.” – Don E Schultz, Prof. Northwestern University.

Brand is built primarily on four pillars i.e. Distinction, Trustworthiness, Consistency, and Excellence. So, try to position your brand on these pillars.

To create your distinct brand, first you need to understand your default brand. Also, identify for what do you want to be known for? Then consciously project your distinct contribution and talent, which leads to your brand promise.

An accurate understanding of the perception of your current personal brand is the prerequisite for commitment to inventing a new personal brand. As your action builds people’s perception about how you are, you need to first comprehend how people perceive you and then fill the gap between desired perception and actual perception of yours.

While building your brand try to answer the following questions through your brand:

  • What are my aspirations?

  • What am I passionate about?

  • What are my special strengths?

  • What is my contribution to my work, my team, my organization, and its strategic goals?

In a nutshell, your brand promise should cover your personal trademark, what makes you distinct and tag line.

Personal branding is an iterative process – a work in progress. Building and optimizing social media profiles, creating content about you and your work, identifying your goals and SWOT analysis, building a brand promise - this can feel overwhelming. But once you have established a strong foundation, maintaining it as per the brand strategy is easy-going.

Written By

Kushagra Shah

Kushagra is an IIM graduate and Ex L&Tite. He is a bibliophile who imbibed the philosophy of Kaizen in life.

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