In a commercialized era like today, we really need to think about “sell” our uniqueness in our life for a better job, a better status, or simply getting more businesses. How well we are going to sell ourselves sometimes not only depends on the capacity, but on how loud a “brand name” we have. So today we are going to talk about this “name” thing-personal branding.
Ruben de van Boer, senior recruitment consultant of RMG Selection, offers his views on personal branding. As specialized recruitment consultant in the field of logistics and warehousing, Ruben builds up his brand name among friends, candidates and clients gradually. Are you curious about Ruben’s secrets of branding himself to the maximum extent? Then you shouldn’t miss this week’s Career Builder.
Can you explain what personal branding is?
Basically personal branding means to develop a mark – a birthmark around yourself in your career. This birthmark intensively creates the way how people think about you when they hear your name.
Every person’s branding goal depends on one’s career. Everyone wants to build a brand that supports what s/he does.
Everyone in career should carry an ID, an image, or a name card. These are what personal branding stands for.
Why does everybody need personal branding nowadays?
This first thing is that we are no longer in the time when you would stay in one or two companies for your whole career life. Especially in China, it is quite normal for ambitious people to find new working places. So in that sense, the company brand for your own career has rather short lifetime.
You have to make sure that you have a personal brand which first of all makes you marketable in the market! Then you can make successful career moves every five or six years.
The personal brand also supports you when you work in a different company. Therefore, during your career the personal brand around yourself is becoming much more important than company brand.
Talking about the relationship between a strong, successful company with a good brand name and a small individual who hasn’t established personal brand yet, do you think the big company name can help him build up his own brand?
For sure, they are complementary. It helps each other. I always see that a company becomes the platform for people to develop their career. And when they develop their career and perform well, they benefit the company. It is kind of a marriage!
Whether this is a happy marriage depends on how individual works out. Boost your own brand name when you build up career.
If you are consistent in what you are doing and stick to certain areas, these will help your to build personal brand. Actually, the brand takes years to form, and you are like a smith who sharpens the “iron” every day until the true “needle” comes out!
Once you change your job into a totally different field where your past experience does little help, you need to re-start personal branding. Is that true?
That’s true. But these days, it is really common for people to get two or three careers on the site, one main one and others being the extras.
It is really important to have a very strong brand that shows credibility. This credibility proves whatever you are doing, you can do it good.
Manlin: Reputation and competence make up your personal brand. As for the branding for reputation, every job you do adds the values. With such reputation, people will trust you although you start from scratch in a different field.
How do we brand ourselves to the maximum we want?
The starting point of personal branding is to keep the target in mind. How do you want people to perceive you? If you are not clear of the end, or the target, just focus on the process.
As long as you have the ends, please pay attention to your unique selling points to support the ends. Sometimes you can turn to your friends to know yourself better.
People do not want to see branding become pretending. How to avoid a split life?
There is a fine line between not telling the truth and making the truth more beautiful. You have to find that line. But whatever you say to people on the phone or on LinkedIn, you should feel confident that there is some truth there.
You do not have to be someone you are not but you have the right not to let others know every detail of your life. It is yourself who are in charge of your own career and marketing. So you can maneuver what to be known and what not to be known.
How best can you use social media, namely LinkedIn, to improve your social branding?
Unless you can justify what you write in social media, otherwise it doesn’t make sense. Everybody can write that on social media. The best way to justify is by using facts (data, awards, sales figures etc.).
Being honest on social media is another way to improve personal branding.
What will you do to make people believe in you when they find you are not that shiny as you present?
The thing is do not tell lies. People don’t hire people based in LinkedIn files, and that’s why people arranged interviews.
Get to know who you are targeting, the interviewer or the boss.