Dan Schawbel, managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and management consulting firm, recently posted an article entitled "5 requirements to get a job in 2013". While the article definitely has its merits, I’d like to point to one major requirement that Dan fails to mention. But first, let me chime in on each of his five requirements.
1. Become a specialist in something that is valued by companies. Dan opens his list by stating “Research shows that companies are looking to hire and promote specialists but job seekers are presenting themselves as generalists.” I could not agree with this more. As a professional resume writer and career coach, I see this all the time. Clients are always telling me that they can do a little of this and a little of that and that they just want a general resume so that they can cast a wide net with their job search. Bad idea. Being a specialist is the way to go in this “buyer’s-market” economy.
2. Have a unique selling proposition and a clearly defined brand. This requirement sort of goes along with the first requirement. Your specialty plays directly into your brand. For example, I am a resume writer and career coach. My specialty is writing resumes and career related documents for people in career transition while also providing coaching on how to conduct an effective career search campaign. My clients find employment faster by working with me than by working alone.
3. Show the ROI of hiring you. Dan states “If you can prove that a company will benefit more from hiring you than what they would be paying you, then you can almost create your own job.” I am half-way there with Dan on this one. I agree that communicating your personal ROI to a potential employer is very important. What I am not so sure of is if you can create your own job by doing so. In order to accomplish this, you have to convince the employer that the need for this new position is there. An easier sell would be to identify open positions before they are advertised and work to communicate your ROI for these opportunities.
4. Accumulate endorsements and recommendations. Again, I am 50-50 with Dan on this one. While I agree that LinkedIn recommendations are useful in promoting your candidacy for employment, for me, the jury is still out on LinkedIn’s endorsements. For those of you that do not know, there is a difference between LinkedIn endorsements and LinkedIn recommendations. The former is a quick and easy way for a connection to “endorse” one of your skills, i.e., resume writing or career coaching. The latter is a more formal and more personal way for a contact to make a recommendation on the value that you can bring to a potential employer. Dan ends this point by stating “Remember that you can leverage these for the rest of your life! In ten years, that recommendation can still matter.” Not so sure that this is the case. You may have been great at something ten years ago but employers want to know if you are great today!
5. Make finding a job your full-time job. Dan hits the mark here again. We all know that finding a job is a full-time affair. The important thing to note is to utilize a structured, organized approach.
Now, on to what I feel is the most important requirement to get a job in 2013…NETWORKING! Hands down, networking is the way most (70-80% in some reports) job seekers find their next opportunity. Leaving out this critical job search skill will undoubtedly add time to your job search and cost you in unrealized income. So be sure to get out there and network in 2013!