How to Build a Strong Personal Brand in the Supply Chain Sector.

Building a personal brand is essential for professionals in all careers. You just need to look at the importance of social media in business, particularly LinkedIn – your profile on LinkedIn is a key part of your personal brand.

How much effort do you put into moulding your personal brand, however? Do you regard it as a key focus or priority?

For many professionals who are involved in the supply chain, personal branding is not as high a priority as it should be. Instead, they focus on gaining new experience, building contacts in the industry, and improving their skills.

All those things are part of your personal brand, but they are different from building your personal brand. Doing that requires a very specific focus.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

Before going into detail on how to build a personal brand, it’s important to define what your personal brand is.

Similar to a company brand, your personal brand is your public image or persona. The public element is important as your personal brand should extend beyond the company you work for. As a senior supply chain professional, your personal brand should be visible in the wider industry.

In terms of your image or persona, this has several elements:

  • Your values and beliefs, particularly in relation to the aspects of the supply chain you are directly involved in
  • Your professional and personal goals
  • The experience you have in the industry
  • Your professional achievements
  • Your sense of purpose working as a supply chain professional

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Why Is Personal Branding Important?

Other senior executives in the supply chain will have an impression or opinion about who you are. They will form these impressions or opinions in a number of different ways.

This even applies to people who don’t know you – when your paths do cross, they will form an impression about the type of person you are.

The problem with the above is you have very little control over the impressions or opinions that people have of you. They could develop an opinion, for example, based on a misunderstanding, a fleeting interaction, or an observation by a third-party with an axe to grind. That opinion could be completely wrong.

When you have a carefully developed personal brand, you have more control over how you are perceived in the industry. In other words, other supply chain professionals will know who you really are.

How to Build Your Personal Brand

The first step to building your personal brand is to believe you have one, as everyone can. You don’t need to be in a commercial management role, and you don’t need to be a business owner. Whatever position you hold, you can create, develop, and improve your personal brand.

The most effective ways to build your personal brand include:

  • Crafting your image online – the starting point for this is to create a personal website/blog where you describe who you are and share regular blogs, articles, and/or videos. You should also optimise your social media profiles, ensuring they all portray you in the right way. When doing this, carefully consider the type of content you will share online, particularly on social media. You might decide, for example, to avoid posting photos of your family or thoughts on politics.
  • Get involved in conversations online – you should also get involved in groups and discussions online. Don’t do this to promote your business or to get new leads. Instead, contribute your knowledge and opinion to help people get a better understanding of who you are.
  • Build relationships with other key people in your industry
  • Create content for third-party publications – as well as creating articles and blogs for your own website, you should also create content for industry publications and business websites.
  • Build your online audience
  • Network in-person – finally, give talks, take part in, and attend, business events, and engage in other activities such as supporting local schools, or getting involved with clubs or charities, that will help you to grow your personal network.

Tips for Building Your Personal Brand

  • Let your personality show
  • Be yourself
  • Remember authenticity is important
  • Highlight your strengths and embrace your weaknesses

 

You’re not a machine – the more human you can make your personal brand, the better.

 

 


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The People Supply Chain Top 10’s “Top tips for personal LinkedIn leverage!”

However you intend to use LinkedIn its guaranteed that you are going to benefit from increasing the visibility and quality of your profile!

Get noticed

Here are “The People Supply Chain’s” top ten tips for you to get the most out of the world’s largest professional networking site in order to improve your personal profile and stand out from the crowd!

  1. Keep your profile upto date!
  1. Be clear on how you want to be seen by others

Build your personal brand! Take time to write a personal yet professional profile summary that makes it clear who you are, what you do and what you have to offer.

  1. Ensure your career history on LinkedIn matches your CV (Everybody checks!)
  1. But… don’t just use LinkedIn whenever you need a new job!

Make it a part of your daily routine to regularly; Like, Comment and Share Information and Articles, LinkedIn Pulse is a great resource for posting your own articles as it has a wide reach and also makes it easy for other users to interact with you and share your posts. Regular posts, likes and shares will ensure your profile stays ahead of the crowd and remains visible to others, and if you did happen to be on the look out for a move then staying high profile may ensure that new job will find you…!

  1. Use it for research and professional development

Read articles, soak up knowledge and generally aim to stay abreast of what’s happening in your industry. If you work in a commercial role use it to identify key decision makers, organizations and industry groups.

  1. Use a professional photo

No selfie’s or party shots! But do ensure your photo fits with your profile in terms of how you wish to portray yourself.

  1. Complete as many of the individual sections under the profile editor as possible

A complete profile will show up in far more searches than an incomplete one making you more visible! (Dropping in a few keywords is a big help!)

  1. Join relevant LinkedIn groups and contribute to them as often as possible!

Think visibility! You are growing your personal brand and positioning yourself as an expert in your industry.

  1. Continuously work on growing your network of contacts

Focus on quality not quantity, try to ensure that the majority of connections could be deemed as beneficial to you from a professional point of view for example potential business partners, employers, colleagues, customers. (even if they are on the other side of the world it doesn’t matter if they are useful / relevant contacts). Think six degrees of separation!

  1. Upload Multimedia to your profile

Add Powerpoint Presentations, Links to video’s or articles and websites. Think of it as your personal portfolio, its your page and your big chance to showcase your talents!


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Planning your personal route to market.

So you’ve decided its time for a move…

Before you even write your CV and commence your Job Search you should really have a plan in place.

A few very basic things to consider.

  • What’s the ideal job that you have enough experience for and the right qualifications to take on right now?
  • Which companies would you like to work for?
  • Where are they based?
  • Do they have a career portal?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • Which are the best online jobs boards to use in order to find the type of job you are looking for?
  • Who are the main recruiters which specialize in your area of experience in the region where you are looking to work?
  • Can you leverage the networks of any of your existing contacts, ex-colleagues, friends, social media or industry groups to help open doors and make connections with key decision makers at the companies you wish to work for?
  • Are your salary expectations realistic?

Be realistic.

  • Apply to jobs which you are definitely qualified & have relevant experience for
  • Be aware that the jobs market is constantly changing, especially in recent years. It could be that the package you earn today is already above the current market average
  • No one wants to go backwards but bear in mind the days of a 20-30% pay increase to move jobs are long gone

Stay Focused.

  • Think of your job search as a sales pipeline… you are the product!
  • Make a plan, set yourself targets and aim for quality of applications, not quantity
  • Track your activity (A good old Excel sheet will do just fine)
  • Once you have a plan in place and an idea of what you are aiming for you can tailor your resume to suit (Next Phase)

You can spend your time applying for thousands of jobs which aren’t quite right or spend the same amount of time applying for a smaller number of jobs where you absolutely have the right experience and therefore more chance of a positive response.

Its not a perfect science but get as close to the latter as possible and your potential for success has already increased!

Plan your personal RTM


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Process makes perfect.

The recruitment process is often an area of frustration for hiring managers, external recruiters and prospective employees alike, its particularly frustrating for potential employees searching for new jobs.

People who were initially very excited about a new job opportunity can quickly become disillusioned if the steps to getting the job are too complicated, too slow or not clearly defined with definite time frames and regular communication through each stage in the process.

process

First impressions count!

For employers it’s important to consider the candidates experience from the first time they make contact.

Will they have a good impression of the company throughout the process?

If an applicant has a bad experience when applying to work for an organization its potentially damaging to the brand itself (more about that in my previous post… “The People’s Value Chain”).

Word travels fast!

Even if an applicant is unsuccessful in their application it doesn’t have to be a negative experience, the key is that they are given proper feedback with regular communication throughout the process.

If organizations want to attract and retain top talent then its essential to get people engaged and keep them engaged from day one.

I am sure every employer can recall a time when they have failed to hire an outstanding candidate who they really wanted on board so the big question should be why ?  and what can be done to stop this happening again…


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