#REACH2014 – Personal Branding: The need to be different: Steven Savino

(By ANEESH RAI)

“The days of producing half-million dollar television commercials are over.” echoed Steven Savino, Professor in the department of Marketing at Lehigh University. We belong in an age where you have to brand not only the product you sell, but also your company, and also you, the individual. Professor Savino opened the talk by discussing the five major career paths in marketing – brand (product) management, advertising/media planning, promotions/special events/ public relations, sales/sales management, and digital/viral marketing.

He also zoned in on the concept of personal branding, a skill that spans across all jobs, and the most effective way to stand out from the competition. Professor Savino discussed the basics of branding, and how a brand is constructed in terms of a pyramid that ranges from physical attributes at the bottom, to the core value/essence at the top. He urged everyone in the audience to build that pyramid to create their own brand, and highlight what is exceptional and unique.

He also presented and debunked several popular myths of the job market, such as the assumption that resumes are “read” (they’re skimmed) and that interviewers come to meetings prepared (they generally wisavinng it, and you’ll know it when they begin by asking you to tell them about yourself). He provided a hoard of useful advice for targeting and going after opportunities, including how to target hiring managers instead of a company’s HR department, and how to properly utilize networking sessions and follow up after them.

He concluded by emphasizing the importance of research, which he called the “heavy lifting” in any job search. It’s an integral skill used to find jobs to apply to, figuring out whom to apply through, determining how to make an impression on those persons, and conveying how you can be useful and important for the companies you may apply to.

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