The last time I stepped onto an elevator in a corporate office, I wasn’t asked to explain my life, my accomplishments or my aspirations in under sixty seconds by an executive as we rode up to our respective floors. Instead, we both stepped into the car and immediately withdrew our phones from our pockets, beginning the ritual of self- isolation by checking email, social media notifications, and Yelping for the hottest dinner spot that night. Striking up a conversation with the person standing next to you has become a thing of the past. We now choose to avoid communication with others in favor of falling into the fallacy of a digital comfort zone that exists inside of our cell phones.
It is time for millennials to modernize their skill set. Prospective hires must adapt to changing market trends and capitalize on the digital real estate that encompasses every possible touch point that a hiring team will have with your online personal brand. You are more likely to have to describe yourself in under 156 characters rather than a 60 second pitch.
Today, striking up a conversation with those around you seems like it belongs in the graveyard of social interaction. So how can millennial job seekers convey their personal brand in this current state? Chances are, before you step into that elevator delivering you to your first job interview, an HR staffer has already conducted a basic Google search to ensure that the accolades on your resume are valid and that you do not exhibit poor personal brand management on social media platforms. When Google searches are conducted, their search algorithms pull up websites whose content matches the keywords used by the searcher. Google, like every other search engine, primarily relies on the webpage’s Meta description to match the relevant content with the original keywords used by the searcher. The meta-description is comprised of 156 characters that are embedded strategically in the websites HTML code, invisible on the website page yet highly important when ranking in a search engine query. Websites without purposely placed Meta descriptions extract the first 156 characters of text on the webpage.
Gone are the days of a 60 second elevator pitch. We now live in a world of character limitations and web presence that have become the deciding factor in whether future leaders are hired by today’s companies.
The charge to millennial job seekers is this: challenge yourself further to be able to describe your life in the form of a tweet, not just in a Meta description format. This 140-character limitation forces you to think creatively. If asked by an employer to describe yourself, providing concise creative tweets about yourself as an example demonstrates your knowledge of current social media trends. If seeking employment in a marketing or brand management role, you will be able to demonstrate best practices in SEO/SEM and social media strategy right on the top of your resume or personal website. This is another way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Differentiate yourself from everyone else. Don’t be afraid to be different when developing and showcasing your own personal brand. Check back weekly for more brand management tips and insights here.
Garrett Meccariello is an aspiring brand manager based out of NYC. In his free time he can be found building the next great brand, exploring the city, and eating a lot of cured meat and cheese.