Twitter to a promotion

All that time you spend on Facebook and following your buddies on Twitter will finally pay off.

According to Dan Schawbel, a personal branding expert, this may actually not be so farfetched. In his new book Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, he claims that the power of social media such as Facebook, blogging, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn can be used to our advantage. Schawbel asserts that in this chaotic economic environment, treating oneself as a brand is the key to standing out from the crowd.

Needless to say, the competition for entry-level work among the recent college graduates is fiercer than ever. “Personal branding is for those who want to create a powerful presence and a memorable identity…A powerful brand is one that leaves others with a positive perception,” writes Schawbel in Me 2.0. Certainly, as the generation that is entering the workforce in the midst of one of the most difficult economic climates since the Great Depression, we could all benefit from learning how to differentiate ourselves.

As a growing number of firms begin to use social networking sites as recruiting tools, one can position his or herself to be seen-however they want to. Control what’s on your page, beware of posting inappropriate photographs (or at least, make sure you aren’t tagged in any without your permission) and use these sites as networking tools. In essence, your account on a social network functions as a business card/resume/personality profile all in one. Simply posting your resume online isn’t enough anymore.

Schawbel also suggests going a step beyond the traditional resume and venturing into a multi-media one. Employers are impressed by candidates who go the extra mile-present your work in a portfolio on a CD-ROM or start a blog to talk about a subject that you are passionate about. Schawbel cites a 2007 Vault survey which surprisingly found that about 89 percent of employers would watch a video resume.

It is easy for one to get carried away with this concept. After all, you can craft a completely new identity for yourself and no one would be the wiser, right? Wrong, says Schawbel. The point of branding oneself is to capitalize on your own individual talents and gifts.

Schawbel agrees. “The single most important thing a student can do to stand out from everyone else is to be yourself because that is your single biggest differentiator.”

After landing that job post-graduation, harnessing the power of Me 2.0 allows you to become empowered. We are the generation that doesn’t have time to do things the way our parents did-slowly but steadily climbing the rungs of the corporate ladder. Technology and the Internet have now given us the power to essentialy become “Me, Inc.”