Despite making a living as a contract technical writer for years, I never really given much deep thought to job hunting and resumes in particular until I started volunteering for my church’s Jobs Ministry. For so long, it was just part of the business and it got a lot harder when the economy began to tank. When it was time for me to get involved with the church and I thought all of my experience seeking work and dealing with recruiters could help somebody out. I had also been online as a job hunter since before it was cool.
One of my first personal challenges with volunteering was to really reflect on my experience job hunting online especially with my recent experiences using LinkedIn.The intersection of social media and resumes is something I am finding very interesting right now. When I first got online, you were on the leading edge if you owned your own domain where you posted your resume. Now with domain registry and web space costs at reasonable prices it is within reach of anybody wanting their own web presence. While I have a LinkedIn Profile, FaceBook profile, and tweet, I really don’t consider myself a social media maven but I realize its business value and that an online social presence for a resume has left the realm of tech industry-only early adopters and become a necessity for today’s proactive or passive job hunter across all industries.
LinkedIn is perhaps the best-known site for social resumes. Its growth means it is a force to be reckoned with even for job sites like Monster, Dice, and CareerBuilder who count on subscription fees from recruiters. Recruiters can now find candidates through LinkedIn using its search tools and/or their own extensive networks of LinkedIn contacts. The job boards have become a bit too commoditized since the dot com bust where recruiters can run keyword searches with reckless abandon and shotgun out emails with job openings that may or may not always apply raising the noise for job hunters. With every contract or job hunt over the past couple of years, I am noticing a rise in recruiters just searching on keywords without reading the resumes they find. This is disappointing because these same recruiters are becoming an unnecessary barrier for job hunters and employers alike. Many positive first impressions are lost in translation now because of the commodization of technical recruiting and low barrier of entry to job boards.
I’ve tried other sites like VisualCV.com and SlideShare for my resume as well. VisualCV.com doesn’t seem to be getting that much traction and the lack of updates on their web site and a Twitter feed with tweets mostly about their server issues (last updated in Oct 17). While Slideshare is best known for hosting presentations, it also is great for serving up resumes with social tools like integration with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You also get the option to tag your documents. There are some other social resume sites out there like ResumeSocial and Emurse both of which I am checking out now for my own purposes and to review them for the Jobs Ministry at church. My initial experience with Emurse has been rather blase and I am seeing the site is another sign that AOL has gone from powerhouse to irrelevant online.
Even if you aren’t one to embrace social media, you shouldn’t dismiss the power of social media and the social resume in particular play in job hunting. While a lot of the old job hunting and resume etiquette still apply, it’s an online world and job hunters need to respect that and use social media to their best advantage to get the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.
Do you use a social resume?