Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Social media expert Dan Schawbel speaks on personal branding


A career Week 2011 signature event took place yesterday at the Sawyer Business School. The keynote address, “Establishing Your Personal Brand with Employers,” was given by Dan Schawbel, a social media expert recognized by The New York Times as a personal branding guru and listed as one of Inc. Magazine’s “30 under 30: America’s Coolest Young Entrepreneurs.”


“I knew it was going to be hard to get a job when I graduated [from college],” Schawbel said as he began the presentation.


He continued the introduction stressing that an internship is required for a job.


“Your first [everything] is going to be the hardest, but you need to generate experience so you can leverage and show [what you can do]. Experience is so critical right now. It’s even hard to hire an intern with no experience.”


The solution is personal branding. Schawbel worked seven internships and spent a year and a half building himself, and shared the essential personal branding tool kit: resume, cover letter, business card, website/blog, social network, and CD portfolio. He noted [yourname].com is mandatory.


Schawbel talked about some of the things he did that helped build himself, which included working, blogging and writing articles. “Use small opportunities to get bigger ones. A blog allows you to showcase your voice and your expertise, spread an idea and form a community you can tap for jobs.”


“The sooner you start building this catalogue/portfolio of work, the easier it will be for you,” he said.
Schawbel went from employee to entrepreneur; he began with a personal branding blog, awards show and TV series, and advanced to articles, a magazine and a book. All of his work resulted with Millenial Branding, LLC.


“The core of branding is building an association with brands other people are aware of,” he said. “If you don’t know who I am, I have all these brands backing me up. If you can get a job/internship at a large company, it will help you along the way.”


Schawbel identified three skills needed for career search success- hard skills, soft skills and online influence. Hard skills are those helping an individual find out what he/she is good at and exposing them through social media. Leadership, team, organizational, and communication are soft skills. On top of those, online influence will count for or against an individual.


“The Internet is the law of attraction… your first impression is no longer a handshake – it’s a Google search.”
And how can one create an online presence? Schawbel listed the “Big 4” social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.


“I position myself to attract the right opportunities… the Internet is the global talent pool. The opportunities will come your way, people will seek you out.”


He also said in order to be successful, one needs to be a niche expert because companies want to hire experts who can fulfill job descriptions.


When it comes to promoting oneself, the key is to balance self-promotion with value contribution. Schawbel shared his promotional tips- attend networking events, connect with the media, use email signature, write articles, comment on blogs, speak publicly, get endorsements, join social groups, and write a book. In the end, networking is narrowed down to three levels- who you know, who they know and who knows you.


“I think this is ultimately helpful for our students; students can relate to what [Schawbel] said,” said Paul Tanklefsky, director of Career Services and Coorporate Education. “Social media is cutting edge, current and useful.”
He also said about 33,000 Suffolk University alumni are on LinkedIn. “But as useful as [social media] is, everybody has to have a face-to-face with somebody.”


Which agrees with Schawbel’s final note: the real way to get a job is through machines and through people.

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Social media expert Dan Schawbel speaks on personal branding