I had a great time on Huffington Post Live tonight discussing whether Social Media and Big Data have made resumes obsolete.
Give the video a watch here.
When thinking about this topic before the event, I wrote down some of my thoughts below. Please forgive the ramble.
I think an important thing to remember in this conversation is that there are two completely distinct approaches to resumes: that of the applicant and that of the employer. From the perspective of the applicant, I’m attempting to market myself. Why limit myself to black and white text? Why not a personal website where I can show of examples of my work, videos highlighting who I am, etc.? While I’m not nearly that creative, I do include in the header of my resume the words “Google me.” I want an employer to not only see all my bullet points, but also the blogging I’ve done.
From an employer’s perspective, you have an incredible volume of applicants for most positions, a great deal of which will not be qualified. You don’t have the time to watch everyone’s homemade video on YouTube about their ukulele skills when you need a Java developer. So, what do you do? You build a web-based form on your website that forces all the applicants to fill out the same 100 fields and then you let a software algorithm find the most qualified candidates and you start there.
The last time I was looking for work, a friend pointed me to a startup in Denver. Their website said they were so flooded with applicants that they gave you 150 characters to say what makes you unique in hopes it will catch their eye. I simply wrote “Brevity is underrated” and got a call the next day. These hiring managers are looking for anything that will set you apart from the pack
Like so much today, it’s the tradeoff between convenience and quality.
People like to talk about Social Media replacing the resume, but I think we need to broaden that and just say online persona.
I think most of us would admit that when we meet somebody knew we are quick to Google them to see what we can learn about them. When I met my new neighbors, I looked them up and found that one was writing a very interesting parenting blog and another had been a contestant on Survivor. So, of course an employer will Google a candidate. I know it’s the first thing I do when a resume comes across my desk. I’m going to see what you’ve been tweeting about, what athletics you were involved with in school, etc. As such, my advice to friends and family looking for work is to Google yourself and if you find anything embarrassing, you need to work to either pull it from the web or bury it behind lots of positive content.