This is a guest post from Dan Schawbel. He is 25 years old and already, the New York Times has called him a “personal branding guru.” Dan’s book is Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, and it just came out today.

Personal branding describes a process where individuals differentiate themselves from a crowd by articulating their unique value proposition, whether professional or personal, and then leverage it across platforms with a consistent message to achieve a specific goal. In this way, individuals can enhance their recognition as experts in their field, establish reputation and credibility, advance their careers, and build self-confidence.

Here are five reasons why Generation Y is better at this process than everyone else:

1. We have the least amount of responsibilities.
Personal branding is a very time consuming exercise that most adults don't do because of the sheer amount of responsibilities they have, which are priorities to them. However, the more time you invest in your personal marketing efforts, the more successful you'll be. For Gen Y, the amount of hours we have left after classes, interships and jobs, is still greater than an older person in the workforce, with twin babies, a pet dog and a list of errands. Millennials can stay up till 2 or 3 a.m. growing our personal brands using social media tools, such as blogs and social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Brazen Careerist, to become more well known in our industry.

2. We’re already marketing ourselves intuitively.
We're all marketing ourselves without thinking much of it, but Gen Y is doing it on steroids. Gen Y is all hyper-connected with mass media, including the fact that their cell phones are an extension of their hands and that we go online more than any other generation. Every time we send out a text message to fifty of our friends or update our status on Facebook to a few thousand friends, we're marketing ourselves to our world. Then our network spreads our messages to an even greater audience in just minutes. The many marketing lists we're building online, such as Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and YouTube channel subscribers, are assets that will be useful today and in years to come. Companies that we work for can get the word out for free using our networks.

3. We are equipped with a bottomless pit of marketing tools.
Every communication channel is a marketing tool, and since Gen Y is the most plugged in generation, there isn't a tool we don't touch. Aside from the phone and in-person meetings, Gen Y has instant messaging, Skype, social networks, blogging, podcast and more. By using these tools, Gen Y delivers messages faster and in different forms, so we can build our personal brand in a shorter period of time. Members of Gen Y are very proficient using these tools because we grew up with technology and can easily adapt to the changing technological landscape, whereas other generations have a longer learning curve.

4. We understand how to build personal connections to build a brand.
Gen Y'ers are the masters of social media, which means we understand that marketing exists through other people. We use social media tools to put us in touch with other people who can help make us more successful. Since we are young, we can connect with older generations who can share experiences, lessons learned and other career advice. We are more productive at work by being connected to more people who can help answer questions. Gen Y-ers can position themselves in their company as the go-to-person for all technology needs, making them an invaluable asset to their work group.

5. They have no choice but to be marketing mavens.
Standing out among the millions of job seekers is quite hard in this economy and the competition to succeed in any industry isn't declining anytime soon. Internship hiring will be cut by 21%, co-op hiring by 11% and 22% less jobs for 2009 graduates, according to NACE. The amount of pressure on millennials is immense and it forces them to rethink the way they are perceived and how they market themselves to stand out from the pack. Gen Y can showcase our website, blog and other unique items that can differentiate us, relative to other applicants that are applying for the same jobs. We spend more time figuring out what makes us unique, compelling and marketable to employers because otherwise we’ll be jobless.

This is a guest post from Dan Schawbel. He is 25 years old and already, the New York Times has called him a “personal branding guru.” Dan’s book is Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, and it just came out today.