Brazen Careerist: Q&A with Ryan Paugh

ASBPE interviewed Ryan Paugh of Brazen Careerist. The interview is long but worth the read. If you have follow-up questions, feel free to add them in the comments section.

What is Brazen Careerist?
Fast Company calls us “Twitter meets Facebook meets LinkedIn meets Gen Y” and that’s my favorite quote EVER about Brazen. We’re a place for young professionals come to start building their online network, find jobs and maintain a healthy, long-term personal brand. Our focus on Generation Y means that we’re also a great place for more experienced professionals to be as well. Gen Xers and Boomers join Brazen Careerist to learn about the next generation of talent entering the work force, network with the cream of the crop and make new hires. We offer Social Recruiting solutions to our clientele, which includes companies such as Randstad, the second-largest staffing company in the world.

How is it different than Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn?
Most social networks let you manage your network, but not necessarily build one. Twitter and other microblogging platforms show you who you should be networking with, but it’s hard to build genuine relationships in 140 characters or less. Facebook is great, but for most professionals it’s purely personal (and I think that’s how it should be), so the conversations that you’re having there aren’t what recruiters and hiring managers want to see. Then there’s LinkedIn, which highly favors professionals who have already built a strong network. That’s why the average age of LinkedIn members in around 40.

When you’re a young professional, you don’t have a lot of experience to share and your network is small because you haven’t met that many people yet. Brazen was built to emphasize your ideas, which is something that all talented people have regardless of age. Because Brazen is such a highly engaged network, if you’re willing to share your ideas, you’re going to make great connections within the first couple days of signing up.

Why should someone sign up?
The people that are landing jobs in today’s market are NOT the most educated. They’re the most connected, the most networked and the most visible. And according to The Wall Street Journal, nearly 90 percent of jobs are filled through referrals.

We help transform people into power networkers so you’re more equipped to meet the right people and excel in your career.

Who is your intended audience?
We market Brazen Careerist as a “Social Network for Next-Generation Professionals” and most of our community members are part of Generation Y, but we have thousands of members in the 35-plus age range. In our minds being a “Next-Generation Professional” is not about how old you are, but about how you want to work. It’s about working smarter through sharing ideas and opportunities with your peers.

What resources are available on Brazen that B2B editors can take advantage of?
When we launched Brazen Careerist three-plus years ago, we were a community of 50 top Gen-Y career bloggers. Up-and-coming business bloggers join our community every day. So to start, Brazen is a great place to network with your peers and discuss trending topics in the B2B world. On top of that, we’re a great place for emerging B2B editors to get their work featured in front of a community of their peers.

Explain the blogs that are listed on Brazen. How do you pick them? What topics do they typically cover?
We feature career-related topics that cover what’s going on in a variety of fields, including startups to nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies. Our goal is to provide new writers with a soapbox that lets them share their content in a way that’s rarely feasible as a newbie blogger/writer. We have a Content Manager who picks the posts daily. It’s not an exact science, and we see thousands of new posts each day, so I oftentimes encourage new members to reach out to me when they have a new piece of content that they feel really passionate about sharing.

What is the size of your community? Is it growing?
We don’t give out exact numbers when it comes to our community size, but one thing that I can tell you is that we are certainly growing. Since we launched what we considered to be the “new-and-improved” Brazen Careerist last August we have grown by well over 600 percent.

Any new announcements you want to share?
We recently launched self-serve job postings. I truly believe that our Gen-Y members are some of the most talented all-stars in my generation. So if you’re looking to hire some new blood maybe you want to post a job opening on Brazen.

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