Date posted: 02/10/2023 5 min read

Why personal branding is so critical

It’s never been more important for young chartered accountants to actively shape their personal brands and grow their professional networks. Brought to you by MYOB.

For chartered accountants at the beginning of their career journeys, being proactive in carefully nurturing their own personal brands can play a crucial role in making them more attractive to potential clients and employers.

As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Personal branding has never been more critical, MYOB education manager Shailan Patel told a Young Chartered Accountants (YCA) gathering in Sydney recently.

“A strong personal brand makes it so much easier to build relationships and make useful connections which will open up opportunities for sales, career advancement and gaining more clients,” he said. “Think about what your personal value proposition is. What qualities and characteristics will you bring?”

Patel is a strong believer in leaving nothing to chance when it comes to curating an impressive online presence.

During the talk, he gave YCA members his tips for optimising the way they’re perceived by others.

  • Model yourself on people you respect and admire.
  • Be visible, accessible, authentic and consistent.
  • Come across as a thought leader, sharing knowledge and experience.
  • Join groups and connect with the right people.
  • Clean up your social media.
  • Use LinkedIn to build your network.

Anti-social media

According to a recent study by, more than 90% of firms use social media to track down talent, and nearly half admit to rejecting candidates based solely on what they find. This is why skilfully curating posts on LinkedIn, Facebook and elsewhere has become critical in establishing a strong reputation for trustworthiness and reliability.

Controversial posts haven’t only led to the downfall of prominent celebrities and brands, they have tripped up plenty of professionals too.

Financier Warren Buffett famously remarked, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

It’s a point Patel was also keen to press home. “If there are any young chartered accountants who still use Facebook, think hard before you post anything, and consider whether you really want it to be visible forever,” he advised. “A good rule of thumb is to only share something you’d be happy to say in a meeting.”

The crux of his argument is that there’s a seismic difference between accumulating likes and actually being liked.

“It’s not a popularity contest about who has more followers. It’s about professional development and long-term reputation,” he informed the attendees. “Authenticity is really key, so remember to be yourself and take advantage of the values you bring. Your brand speaks to who you really are.”

But gaining such a reputation inevitably involves getting out to industry events, forming meaningful connections and making an impression.

“The impact you have on clients matters, so meet as many people as possible, both on and offline,” he said. “Reach out to them, ask questions and be curious about their opinions and experiences. Then share your thoughts about the event, and what you learned, on your social channels. If you don’t shout about yourself, no one else will!”


To help young CAs across Australia and New Zealand give their careers a boost, MYOB has been giving away A$1000* career development grants. The final recipient will be decided at the end of October. Learn more and enter here.

* Terms and conditions apply.