Career Advice | Personal Branding part 2 | How To Manage Your Personal Branding

Managing Your Career : Personal Branding Career Advice – Tips and Strategies by Tan Teck Kim

<< This is a continuation of the previous career counselling article on : Career Advice Part 1, part of the Interview of Tan Teck Kim with a leading Lifestyle Magazine, Glow >>

4. How does appearance count towards presenting oneself and how can one ensure that they give off a good initial impression? 

Career Advice and Career Counselling

Pay Attention To The First Impressions You Convey!

In many of my business presentations courses, I share with participants that the moment you stand up there – the audience will decide within 3-8 seconds whether to be interested in what you say.  It’s unfair and scary but the sooner we accept this truth, the more we realise we need to prepare for the correct first impressions.   It’s not just what you say – but how you say it, and how you look when saying it.

Always have on hand the following :

  1. A 30 second elevator pitch of yourself to any business associate.  The pitch can be a summary of what you do, your achievements, the value you bring and what you are like.
    Career Advice on Elevator Speech

    Always Be READY with Your ELEVATOR SPEECH

    For eg, “My name is TK Tan and I specialise in helping my clients find NEW PERSPECTIVES in their career or problem situations.  I have 10 years of experience in managing clients service in banks and today I am a Coach and Trainer for quality career skills and customer service and experience.  The clients I have managed include large banks and corporates, as well as career minded individuals who want to be coached on career skills.

  2. Decide what image you want to project and dress yourself according to the image you want to project.  Check yourself in the mirror before you leave home and in the washroom (if possible) of your meeting’s premises, before your actual meeting.  Ladies – avoid distracting sexy clothings in a formal business setting.  You might win the man for the moment but not the deal.
  3. Learn the importance of body language and firm and appropriate handshakes to demonstrate confidence, sincerity and interest to connect.  Don’t give a feather weight handshake or an earth shattering one.
  4. Learn to look at others in the eye to demonstrate interest.  Bear in mind : People like others who like them.
  5. Be genuine and enthusiastic.  People can detect fake behaviours easily.
  6. Finally – a very practical and useful tip : Find something about your audience or new client/boss that you like and focus on it.  If you like the person, it can be felt.  Likewise, if you dislike the person, it’s a lot harder for you to win your cause!
FIND something about your audience or new client/boss that
 you LIKE and focus on it.  If you like the person, it can be felt and the feeling may be reciprocated!  

5. Why is networking/image so important when it comes to marketing oneself and how to go about doing so?  

career advice and career counselling

Tap On The Power of Network

Once upon a time, it was said that we are all related to each other by 6 degrees of separation – the beggar might be even related to the king through 5 parties or less.

In today’s world where social media connects billions of people and everyday thousands of new users are added to Facebook, the human race is ever more connected than before.

Major literature and evidence now suggest that in USA, people getting jobs through referrals are rising over the years and in fact now higher than through newspaper or formal applications.  This trend is catching on in Asia.  I believe at least 1 in 3 to 4 persons now get the job or the deal through networking or referrals.

That’s the power of network – connectivity gets you somewhere you might want to go to one day.

One’s image is a combination of one’s physical and media presence.

As regards to physical presence, in many communication studies, it was demonstrated that it how one says the message and how one looks when saying the message contribute more to the overall impression of the audience, than the actual message.

This means that your audience is more likely to believe what they SEE than what they hear from you.  .

 TIP : If  your image and body language contradict what
you say verbally – your audience WILL BELIEVE the messages
conveyed through the former – image and body language.

So, if you want to persuade convincingly, or want to get that deal or job – make sure that your image and body language are in sync with your verbal content.  As for media presence – we will talk more about this subject in the weeks ahead, but for now, at least you must be ready to go digital with your media image.

Career Advice and Career Counselling

Your Image & Body Language Must Be In Sync

6. How can one gain confidence over time and learn to present him/herself clearly and succinctly?

Some believe that certain people are born confident and gifted speakers.  Do you know that Bill Clinton was not the born charismatic speaker everyone believes he is. He admitted in his autobiography that his first speech effort while in high school was ‘unremarkable.”  In one of his earlier political speeches in 1988 as governor of Arkansas, by the time he completed speaking, the audience was roaring their approval for him to go away. So we can all take comfort that confidence and ability to speak is something that can be nurtured, TRAINED and developed.  Key tips :

  1.  Learn the art of formulating key messages.  Whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours to speak, decide in advance what your key messages are first, and then build content around them.  If you only have paragraphs of words – your key messages can easily be lost. Start with your topic and then key messages before building detailed content.
  2. Tap on the power of rehearsal and verbalisation.  Verbalisation is speaking aloud your key messages.  It is like exercising your mental muscles – just like your body muscles needing to be exercised before they get toned.  Likewise, you need to verbalise to get your brains to formulate your key messages and to sound natural.  Verbalisation is not memorisation of everything you want to say though.
  3. Practise the power of 3 – SIMPLICITY.  Human minds retain messages when messages are delivered in sets of 3.  Don’t have 11 or 20 points as chances are your audience won’t remember anyway.  Instead have 3 key messages, each with about 3 sub points.
Career Advice and Personal Branding - Bill Clinton

Naturally Charismatic Or Trained?

Finally get trained or be coached like Bill Clinton obviously has.  Another great example of a confident and charismatic communicator is Cara Fiorina, the former CEO of HP, who was known to have gone to great lengths to hone her selling and presentation skills.  There are many coaches and trainers out there – find one that fits your learning style and preference.   I teach and coach groups and individuals to deliver their messages with confidence and impact.  Individuals who are totally shy have come to me for individual coaching before, on a one-to-one basis, and have been transformed when they realise what their strengths are.

 TIP : Confidence and Presentation Skills
Can Be Trained and Developed.


Look Out For Part 3 of Career Advice on Differentiating Yourself Through Your Branding


Understand what your employers are thinking :

Why Career Advice and Career Development is Key To Staff Retention

Career Advice Part 1 – How To Brand Yourself 

Career Advice Part 3 : How To Differentiate Your Personal Branding