Building a personal brand for a career and education abroad
Building a personal brand for a career and education abroad
skill 10 1

10 Required Student Skills at Harvard University

Skill number 10. Building a personal brand

I want to end this series with an article on the importance of building a personal brand. Personal brand, you think ?! Yes, yes, exactly ... And no matter how surprising it is, you already have it. You can omit this beautiful professional term for a second and it turns out that these are just those feelings and emotions, images and associations that arise in different people when they hear your name. Why is a personal brand so important and why should its construction be given no less time than for personal and career development?

Emotions are stronger than rational thinking.

No matter how we like to think and make decisions rationally and to think that this is exactly what happens, our world is driven by emotions. If we talk about the labor market, then here you will be perceived on an emotional level. I don’t want to compare a person with a product, but essentially any person on the labor market is a “product” that competes with others due to its values, functionality and emotional attractiveness. And if you want to choose just among the many worthy, it makes sense to adapt to the demand and expectations of the audience.

What emotions are in your resume? Every detail gives you the impression of being a professional. You guess what is read between the lines in the names of the mailbox “thebestgirlinthewholeworld” or “the_brightest_star” or from an inappropriate photograph in the kitchen with half-breasted? What does a personal assessment of a foreign language at the “Advanced” level look like in a summary full of banal errors, like the inconsistency of times and others? For the first time communicating by telephone, according to the tone of your words: your goodwill or lack thereof, an image is formed about you, which is either conducive to communication or prompts you to end the conversation immediately and forever. Not to mention personal contact. Your look and smile, speech and appearance, thoughts and manners, gestures and tact - all together form a very clear emotion towards you. And no matter how chic your resume may seem in terms of professional experience, the emotional center of your audience is sometimes stronger than their rational thinking.

Personal brand perception subjectivity

Even when we consciously form a positive image, our personality is perceived subjectively. Everyone, as they say, will not please you. Different people perceive information in different ways. Any new information and image is passed by other people through the prism of their personal previous experience, which subconsciously forms a positive or negative perception. Therefore, if your professional career depends on other people, it is important that you clearly understand what kind of audience it is, what its expectations are, and design your brand in such a way that it is perceived as unambiguously as possible. It's like a story with Apple, which causes clear understandable emotions in almost its entire audience.

The multichannel and public availability of information about you

In the era of social networks, when your personal and professional information is practically in the public lifelong access, everything related to your name can somehow affect the sustainability of the development of your brand. Therefore, it is important to evaluate what information about you is available on social networks, and what image it forms about you in the long run. Imagine that what you are going to put on a social network cannot be deleted? Will you do it anyway? Would you like to be hired by a potential employer if you accidentally stumble upon such information on the Internet?

Personal brand value

The development of a strong sustainable brand is impossible if it does not carry any value. What is your value as an interlocutor, as a friend, as a professional, or simply as an individual? Can you articulate this clearly? In fact, understanding and the ability to articulate your value for a particular audience is an important aspect of fruitful and mutually beneficial communication. You must have been in a situation where the appointment was canceled, and you sighed with relief. Apparently, either the interlocutor did not represent value to you, or you had nothing to offer in return. Any communication is based on the principle of a tacit mutually beneficial contract.

Personal Brand Development History

In addition to brand value and an understanding of “why” I am doing this or that, it’s important to be able to tell the story of the brand’s development. The ability to tell a story about your life, which connects the individual stages into a coherent, coherent story, overcoming life's difficulties, emphasizing your strengths and achievements, as well as the uniqueness of your personality, will set you apart from others. The ability to tell stories, or “storytelling”, is not only a powerful literary device, but also a marketing tool, since it takes into account the peculiarities of the formation of long-term memory. A coherent storyline and unexpected turns, accompanied by emotions and metaphors, will allow us to perceive information at an emotional level that nourishes a person’s long-term memory. Any story, its tone, syllable, style and actual content should correspond to the listener, his values ​​and expectations. Therefore, having a foundation, do not forget to adapt your story so that it is completely naturally perceived by your real audience. Good old ways to ask questions and hear your interlocutor will allow you not only to attract an audience, but also to adapt your story.

The development of a personal brand is a constant conscious work not only on determining one's personal values, but also on one’s qualities as an interlocutor. This can be studied endlessly and improved throughout life. You can start with the answers to three simple questions that you can ask yourself or others:

  1. Why do people like to spend time with you?
  2. What value do you give people?
  3. The first thing people think about when they hear your name?

Finding answers to these questions will allow you to not only better understand yourself and increase self-esteem, while maintaining a share of self-criticism, but also become a more confident partner and interlocutor. I propose to reinforce these thoughts by viewing "TED Talk The Golden Circle"On how true leaders and companies differ.

Author: Evgenia Efremova, graduate student at Harvard University
and academic director of Global Ambassador


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