On Wednesday, October 27 at noon Eastern, we will be privileged to have a brief LIVE chat on our sister site, SourceCon.com, with the “personal branding guru” himself — Dan Schawbel. Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, LLC, and the author of the #1 international bestselling career book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future. Me 2.0 made the New York Times summer reading list for job seekers, was one of three social networking books recommended by Shape magazine, was the #1 career book of 2009 by The New York Post, is a #1 bestseller in Japan, and is also being translated into Chinese, Korean, and French. Recently, Schawbel was named to the prestigious Inc Magazine 30 Under 30 list. Additionally, Dan’s blog, the Personal Branding Blog®, was ranked the #1 job blog by Careerbuilder in 2008 and 2009.
Schawbel consults with job-seekers regularly on personal branding issues. He also works closely with college students to help them develop professional personal brands that will serve them well as they enter the workforce. These are the potential candidates that we, as recruiting professionals, look for every day. We will have the opportunity to pick the brain of someone who is advising our target audience on how to make themselves more visible and findable to people like us.
Schawbel’s overall goal in this brief interview will be to discuss how job seekers can build their own “personal brand” to help them stand out during the job search process. But of course, we want to put our own “recruiter” spin on this. The format of this chat will be Schawbel on the phone with Amybeth Hale, the Editor for SourceCon, while he is being videoed live. Amybeth will be asking him some questions, so here’s your chance to submit a question! If you have something you’d like to have Schawbel address regarding job-seekers and personal branding, please leave a comment on this post. We will select a handful of questions to present to Schawbel and while Amybeth is speaking with him, she will give a shout-out to the individual who asked each question.
Please join us on staging.sourcecon.com at 12:00pm Eastern on Wednesday, October 27 for this unique opportunity.
Here is a quick overview of Schawbel’s tips on standing out today as a job-seeker:
The Importance of Personal Branding: How to Stand Out in Today’s Job Market
By Dan Schawbel
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Stay relevant or stay unemployed. You need to be relevant to be desirable in the marketplace, and you should prepare yourself for the careers of the 21st century. The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 60 percent of all new jobs in the 21st century will require skills that only 20 percent of current employees possess. You need a sense for what skills are important in your chosen industry, and which ones might be significant in the future.
Find your niche — you have to specialize. Being a generalist will help you adapt to new jobs because the market changes all the time, but specializing will make you more desirable to hiring managers. In fact, 71 percent of hiring managers are looking to fill “specialized positions” while 61 percent of job seekers considered themselves to have “broad skill sets”. Companies are looking to hire experts in their fields to solve real business problems. Become an expert in an in-demand field and you will have leverage over the recruitment process, make more money, and secure a stable position. Once you’ve chosen your field of specialization, you can become an expert by getting a second or advanced degree. Schools like DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management offer specialized bachelor’s and master’s degree programs focused on high-growth career fields. You should do some research online to find flexible and affordable opportunities to dial in your personal brand niche.
The competition is relentless. The economy has created a tough job market for most individuals, especially inexperienced college graduates. There are currently 2 million unemployed college graduates, and companies are hiring 22 percent fewer graduates. Our country is becoming more educated with about 40 percent of Americans having college degrees. Having a college degree is extremely important for building a foundation for future success–a general bachelor’s degree is a great entry point, but having advanced or second degrees is a way to make yourself stand out and advance your personal brand.
Interpersonal skills are becoming more valuable. A brand requires a personality if it’s going to be distinctive. Your personal brand needs to be personable and attract positive attention. Organizations are starting to place a higher value on interpersonal skills (communication, teamwork, organization) and cultural fit, instead of technical skills and experience. A new survey by Right Management shows that 31 percent of companies feel that organizational culture and motivation fit is important, while only 12 percent are for technical skills, and 11 percent are for relevant experience.
Perception (how we present ourselves) is king. It’s the little things that count, whether you’re in an interview, or interacting with people online. A CareerBuilder survey states that 67 percent of hiring managers say that failure to make eye contact would make them less likely to hire a job candidate and 38 percent said lack of smile. People will judge you on small things that make a big difference.