Graduate Management News

February 2016

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

Make it Happen: Cultivate a Winning Personal Brand

A personal brand is a leadership requirement. Building a positive personal brand opens the door to opportunities – to jobs, contacts and professional associations, and recognition

Professional Development Tips

In today’s professional climate, your unique personal brand goes a long way to helping you rise above the crowd and will help you distinguish yourself among your peers. For anyone in the admissions arena, this means cultivating greater appeal to your target audience.  

You know what a brand is. Coca Cola, Google, Starbucks. These are just a few global brands that most people around the world identify without hesitation. But how do you go about building a personal brand that will help you rise above the noise. Consider the following five tips to creating a brand that will let you shine.

  1. Assess your strengths and weaknesses. The effectiveness of your brand has a lot to do with how others perceive you. This means considering a realistic assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, what you love doing, and any skills that set you apart.

  2. Define your path. If you don’t have an end-game and know where you want to go, then your personal brand will end up confusing yourself and others. Whether you’re looking to advance your career or make a move, knowing where you want to go will inform how you define your personal brand and the expertise you offer. Are there new skills you need to develop to get to where you want to go? Learning the skills you need will give you the confidence and credibility you may need to build your brand.

  3. Create a personal brand statement. Your brand statement communicates who you are, the value you deliver to your audience, and what your audience expects from you. The main question to ask yourself as you formulate your promise of value is: “What is the promise I make to my target audience that my brand will fulfill?” Then, use your unique promise of value to write a compelling brand statement. 

  4. Share useful content on a regular basis. You don’t have to be a full-time blogger, but communicating your expertise regularly goes a long way toward proving your worth. Share your expertise and any helpful tips strategically – via blog, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Relevant news and information that’s pertinent to your industry and helpful to your peers will help you build trustworthy connections and convey a positive perception of who you are. 

  5. Get feedback from people you trust. Soliciting input from people whose opinion you value will go a long way toward keeping your brand focused. Find a few trusted colleagues who can assess your ongoing efforts and act as an informal sounding board.

Your career is a work in progress and so is creating and building your unique personal brand. Following these simple tips will get you started creating a brand that helps you achieve sustainable success.