Henk Penseel's Wittenborg Blog: having the right name pays offWhen you are applying for a job, speaking without a particular accent helps, but also a name might do the trick. Especially in the Benelux. You will have more status when your name is Van Vollenhove tot den Oever than just plain Smit. For an English speaking person Van could be a Christian name, like Van Morrison, the Irish singer. In Dutch Van is mostly the first part of a surname, which you write separately from the part that follows, so it is Van Vollenhoven.
And the aristocrats (please don't swap them incidentally with the Aristocats) help each other getting the right jobs, like the old boy's network of Eton, which is often referred to as "the chief nurse of England's statesmen". Being in the right network, speaking with a poshy accent and at the end dropping an aristocratic name definitely pays off.