The demand for personal branding is increasing faster than I can type this column. Here is why you should consider it:

1. Perception is king

A CareerBuilder survey states that 67 percent of hiring managers said that failure to make eye contact would make them less likely to hire a candidate, and 38 percent said that lack of smile would work against an applicant. People will judge you on the small things. By making eye contact, shaking hands, having good posture and using appropriate images online, you’ll be more successful.

2. Stay relevant or stay unemployed

You need to be relevant to be desirable in the marketplace. The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 60 percent of all new jobs will require skills that only 20 percent of current employees possess. You need a sense for what skills are important in your industry, as well as which ones might be significant in the future. For instance, if you’re in marketing, you can’t avoid mobile applications.

3. You have to specialize


Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Being a generalist will help you adapt, but specializing will make you more desirable. In fact, according to the CareerBuilder survey, 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 want experts to solve their problems.

– Dan Schawbelis the author of “Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future” and the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, LLC.

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