As employers and jobseekers turn to business social media network’s to promote and discover opportunities, is the traditional resumé becoming redundant? LinkedIn is one of the most popular social networks oriented towards business professionals. Getting off the ground in 2002 with as few as 20 sign-ups a day, it rapidly took-off and by 2014 it had a membership of 332,000,000.
As a recruiter, we still use the traditional methods of posting an advertisement via a recruitment website or agency and receiving applications consisting of a traditional resume and cover letter, but I do find myself turning to social networks like LinkedIn & Twitter to find out more about the candidate. What I find useful about LinkedIn is the extra level of authenticity, it’s’ easy to talk yourself up or completely fake it on a piece of paper! LinkedIn allows employers to see who you’re connected with, how many people have endorsed you against your skill-set and who they are/where they’re from. Written recommendations are also available and linked to the authors own LinkedIn profile. As a recruiter, I also like to look outside the confines of a resume at the persons other professional interests, including what they enjoy sharing and writing about on a day to day basis.
The benefits aren’t limited to the employer. For candidates, social media platforms for business can provide completely new ways of engaging with employers and networking with other professionals. Sharing video, your own publications or blogs and using other visual media creates completely new possibilities for demonstrating your skills. Rather than painstakingly reviewing and lodging a single application for a single position, candidates can actively put themselves forward for opportunities that fit their skillset, to a much wider audience. Also, of course being online based a candidate can update their profile whenever they have something new to share.
Aside from LinkedIn, there are other similar networks popping up all over the web bringing employers and people looking for opportunities together like:
- Kickstarter – A crowd-funding platform, bringing creative start-ups and investors together.
- Meetup – A network where people can create or find local groups of personal or professional interest.
- Twitter – The 140 character limited posting network has a large corporate/professional following
- ResearchGate – A social network specifically for researchers.
- AngelList – A network for startups, job-seekers and angel investors to connect.
- VisualCV – Create, publish and share a 100% digital resume
- Behance – A professional network for creatives to showcase their portfolio’s
For those digitally savvy professionals who are signed up to a number of different professional networks, you may want to consider your own website as a way of further promoting yourself and providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ to refer interested people to. We recently created an online profile for Lauren, who is a Oxford P.H.D student. She regularly gets the opportunity to meet some of the best people in her field of medical research. She is an active member of LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Twitter and decided it would be a good idea before heading to an international conference to create her own profile-based website. 2 days later her very own website was born, a simple one-page profile with links to all of her social network accounts and blogs/publications. She was able to hand out a business card with just her name, title and URL printed on it rather than all of her social networking accounts, blogs and official publications.
So – is the traditional resume’ dead? My take is as more recruiters turn to digital platforms as a means of connecting with job seekers, and more job seekers turn to digital platforms as a way to better promote and express themselves the process of lodging a job application and collecting resume’s will slowly become more obsolete. As a recruiter or job seeker, do you agree? Is it a good shift and are you making the most of all the avenues available to you when seeking out opportunities or recruiting for your next position?