Thursday, October 16, 2014

Career: Social resume strategies for job seekers

Segun Akiode
Segun Akiode
Every organisation is always in the business of recruitment. On the other hand, potential employees are on the lookout for employment opportunities from organisations that require their skills and competences.

The traditional approach is the usual hardcopy job advert and hardcopy job application. Nowadays this trend can be said to be completely non-existent. Who needs a hardcopy CV when you can send a softcopy via a click of an email?

The interesting part is that a huge number of job vacancies are now being placed on online platforms, compared with the traditional media. Why? The next big thing for jobs is online – online job boards, career sites, and social networking sites. That is where potential employees reside now and not on the ‘streets or their homes’. Any employer or potential employee not playing in the online space is almost ‘disadvantaged’!
The online job space is rapidly getting even ‘more social’ today. Hence, the concept of ‘social resumes’ is beginning to gain traction in the social recruiting space. You can actually apply for jobs today with your LinkedIn profile because we now have online job boards that accept such.

Chris Russell, founder of Career Cloud, once said, “Your paper resume is what you did but your social resume is who you are. A person’s social media accounts have now become an important factor for employers when evaluating potential candidates. They want to know how they will “fit’ into their company culture. Therefore the things they tweet about, blog about, post pictures of, and share are quickly becoming the second resume”.

Also, Forbes writer, Chrissy Scivicque, said in one of her recent posts,“A social resume is not so much an actual thing; rather it’s a variety of things. Essentially the term refers to the use of online tools to gain visibility, position yourself as a leader in your field or subject matter, and, ultimately, to get a leg up in the job market. The wide array of easy-to-use online tools available at minimal or no cost can give any job seeker access to a much bigger audience than ever possible in the past. While these tools aren’t a replacement for the traditional resume, they can be a helpful addition to the job search process”.

As a job seeker in the 21st century, you should get familiar with the ways for tapping into the power of the social resume and use such to your advantage. Let’s quickly consider the following:

Own your name online

If I need to know all about you as an individual, all I need do is “Google your name”. When I do so, all social networking imprints shows up in the search result – both positive and otherwise. When recruiters and hiring mangers do such a search on you as a applicant, what will they discover?

You can actually, take charge of what Google says about you. Start with purchasing your own name domain – meaning If you noticed my email signature above this article you would see right? That way when you Google ‘Segun Akiode’ my domain name shows up in the first page of the results.

Another point to note is that, social sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter also show up in search results, so be sure you use your real name on your social media profiles and be make sure everything you post is suitable for prospective employers to see.

Get a LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 300 million professionals from all over the world. On LinkedIn, you get to build your professional identity online, stay in touch with colleagues and classmates, get to discover professional opportunities – jobs and business deals. This professional social network is a must for you to be. Why gist away on Facebook and you choose not to be on LinkedIn?

Use social media platforms to your advantage

Many individuals may disagree with me on posting ONLY what you want employers to see on their social media profiles. This is because they believe it is for ‘personal use’.

If you understand the current trend, you will definitely have a rethink! Social media is a very useful tool for personal branding and perception management. Everything prospective employers see or read about you online contributes to their perceptions of your personal brand.

So at best, use social media to promote yourself as a professional in your field of interest. When you tweet, do share something very insightful. Before you are quick to post that picture on Facebook or Instagram, check it again. Is it appropriate for online viewing and what will recruiters say about it when they stumble on it? That video on our YouTube channel, what does it say about who you are? The list is endless. in all, caution is the watch word in this regard.

Use social media to connect with decision makers in your field of interest, then build relationships and network appropriately. Remember, I have said on this platform before that the key point to social networking with recruiters and hiring managers is a symbiotic relationship. Never be a desperate job seeker when networking on social media, add value to people on social media and value would flow back to you in return

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