A Resume is Not Enough!

December 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm

It seems like only yesterday that a resume was sufficient as a calling card in the job search process. A job seeker created a timetable of work history including accomplishments, educational background, hobbies, interests and even languages spoken. This was subsequently printed (or not that long ago…typed) and (e)mailed appropriately.

This document served to describe an individual and delineate their accomplishments. It was considered a legitimate first step in looking for a job. Next steps were generally the interview(s), references and ultimately an offer.

In today’s socially networked, connected and affiliated world where everyone is no more than six degrees separated from all other humanity, a resume is simply no longer enough. The resume still does deliver the objective and unemotional perspective of a person but today this is only a small part of what is easily available, accessible and expected. With the widespread adoption of such networking sites as Facebook and LinkedIn (these are amongst the most popular but there are literally hundreds of such sites) hiring managers and recruiters can somewhat effortlessly tap into the previously opaque personal lives of job applicants. We can see whom a person is connected to online, view some of their conversations and even get a few preliminary references.

Correspondingly, it is advisable for job-seekers to be aware of and use these tools to their best advantage. Having a LinkedIn profile is a productive start. In addition to simply posting one’s profile however, on LinkedIn a job-seeker should join various affinity groups, answer questions that others pose and even recommend books to read. All this completes the picture and provides hiring decision makers with valuable data that was previously unavailable.

Twitter, the massively popular micro-blogging site can be yet another tool a job-seeker uses to position and differentiate themselves. Through one’s “tweets” an aspiring candidate can present themselves as an expert on a particular topic, at the forefront of the news or other trends or even an astute commentator on happenings in their profession. The number of “followers” one has is yet another testament to competency.

A full-length classic blog can also provide credibility and demonstrate evidence of one’s authority on a specific topic. Regular entries and intelligent commentary can certainly serve a job candidate well. On the other hand, care needs to be taken so as not to sound too negative, critical or present ideas on topics that can be misconstrued (by the way, this last comment applies to all online postings!)

These are but a few of the additives to one’s resume in today’s competive job environment. Some enterprising job-seekers are even creating their own web sites to showcase, in addition to their resume, other background information, publications, their blog and perhaps any press they have received. This personal marketing or branding strategy (a topic deserving its own entry in my blog) can go along way in differentiating one candidate from another. Suffice it to say that there are numerous compelling tools that are easily available. Not capitalizing on the value that they provide is to miss out on presenting oneself in the best possible light. In our challenging and tenuous job-market can anyone really afford this?

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Entry filed under: Business, Recruiting.

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