VOL. 128 | NO. 67 | Friday, April 5, 2013
Social Resumes and the Job Search
By Ronnie L. Williams
As an adjunct accounting professor at the University of Memphis, I am constantly trying to prepare my students for their future. Part of that preparation is exposing the students to tools that will assist them in their search for employment.
In a recent Yahoo story, accounting was listed as a top college degree that is in high demand. That is fantastic news for my students, but resting their hopes on only a college degree will probably not land them that perfect job at an elite employer.
However, combining a high-demand degree and students who know how to effectively market themselves could lead to some great possibilities.
In today’s world, effectively marketing yourself as a potential candidate includes the creation of a social resume. An alternative to the paper resume, social resumes offer an effective method to present an in-depth view of a candidate to a recruiter or a potential employer.
As technology and social media has expanded, the options to present someone as a qualified candidate have increased exponentially. Facebook and LinkedIn are just a few of the sites that allow a candidate to showcase their background, experience and outside interests.
LinkedIn has been specifically designed for professional networking. Candidates can establish profiles with information ranging from professional work history to awards and achievements to test scores.
Recruiters can perform searches on LinkedIn based on key words or phrases and connect with candidates based on their profiles. LinkedIn also offers candidates the ability to track various employers for trends and key information that may prove to be invaluable if an interview is granted.
Employers are increasingly using these social media sites for recruiting and weeding out undesirable applicants. Candidates that do not have social resumes or a presence on these sites may not get that crucial first look from potential employers.
When forming a well-rounded social resume, there are other online resources such as Twitter, WordPress and ResumeSocial that can make a candidate shine. Twitter allows potential employers to view your thoughts and opinions in tweets that are 140 characters or less. Tweets or short messages can display a candidate’s knowledge about a trending topic or subject that may be significant to the hiring manager or the company.
WordPress is a free blog hosting platform that enables the candidate to create blogs that deal with any topic imaginable. ResumeSocial allows members to post video resumes that can then be shared with selected individuals. These are just a few social media avenues to get a candidate’s strengths and opinions out to a targeted group.
When I pass along the teachings of debits and credits to my students, I strive to also teach them about social resumes and social media. With this teaching, I also pass along a caveat. It is important to remember how social media information is presented, because it may come back to you in unexpected ways in the future.
As always, be careful when posting information to the World Wide Web. Social media can drive an employer away from you as quickly as it could drive them to you.
Ronnie L. Williams is the director of finance for HealthChoice LLC.