A limp handshake at a job interview, stumbling over your words during a presentation, or wearing the wrong outfit to an official meeting. Impressions can make or break your professional image. That's where an image consultant steps in. From social graces and power dressing to dining and business etiquette, image consultants help you refine your appearance and personality.
Image consultancies or finishing schools work with a spectrum of working professionals, including successful entrepreneurs, celebrities and corporate organisations. They help cultivate their image and create personal brand that suits their goals and profession.
How it works
Image consultants offer a wide array of services such as lessons on good first impressions, the right body language and soft skills. They help in honing your communication skills and emotional intelligence. They also advise you on your digital footprint. Often programmes are customised to meet individual needs. The focus is on holistic personality development.
Image consultancy vs. personal stylist
Image consultants hold different titles such as etiquette consultants, wardrobe consultants or style coaches. But often they are mistaken for personal stylists.
While both image consultancy and personal stylists deal with the appearance of the client, image consultancy goes beyond looks to behaviour and communication skills. A personal stylist will dress you up for a particular event such as a party or a wedding whereas image consultants give recommendations on your personal styling and behaviour, which will stay with you forever.
What are the job prospects?
From working professionals to homemakers and students, people from varied backgrounds are willing to invest time and resources in building their image. This makes image consultancy a lucrative career. Image matters even for companies. The personality of a company can influence how it's perceived in the market, its clients and revenue. So corporate too hire image consultants to train their employees to present the right professional image.\
What to study?
Many private institutes offer certification and training in image consultancy, but these can be expensive. Although you do not require any formal course or degree to start working as an image consultant, a certification from a reputed institute helps build credibility.
Many private training institutes in India and abroad offer foundation and advanced courses in image consultancy A few institutes also offer online certification
- Image Consulting Business Institute, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru; and Indian School of Image Management, Mumbai; Certificate in Image Consultancy
- Florina Finishing School, Bengaluru and First Impression (a unit of Franknn group), Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Amritsar: Training courses in Image Consultancy
- The Association of Image Consultants International, the U.S.: Certificate in Image Consultancy, Certificate as Image Professional; and Certificate as Image Master
- Blackford Centre for Image Consulting, the U.K.: Diploma in Image Consultancy
Picture Credit : Google