Resumes are no longer about a two page piece of paper updated only when you’re looking for a job. Today’s resumes, particularly in creative and digital fields, are dynamic portfolios that might encompass several different social media platforms.
Even if you work in a more traditional area, you can still leverage digital channels to give yourself an advantage. Whether you’re a new college graduate looking for an internship or entry-level job, looking to switch sectors or hoping to get that promotion, these expert tips can help you get ahead.
“Social channels are some of the best ways to show potential employers the results and evidence which back up what you say during your application,” says Lauren Gambler, from the HR department at Jellyfish, a digital marketing agency. “It’s what we want to see.”
If you’re looking to create new connections and show that you know your stuff, Twitter is an ideal platform. If you use it right, it can act as a stellar covering letter and portfolio.
You need to be choosy when deciding who to approach. Sometimes a company feed can be good to monitor for corporate news and jobs, but you might be better off building connections with individual people in the organization.
“It’s fine if a company just wants to publish links on Twitter, but it will take a relationship with a person at that company to reach your goals,” says Erin Brenner, an experienced copyeditor who uses social media to find jobs and for third-party recruiting.
Once you’ve started to make contact within your target sector, it’s time to impress with your knowledge. Use your Twitter stream to show potential employers that you’re bang up to date with what’s going on in your industry.
Don’t just retweet and post your own observations: take part in discussions. Employers want people who can collaborate and add value to their workplace. Twitter is an ideal platform to demonstrate this.
You probably already have a LinkedIn profile, but are you getting the most out it? It’s often used as an online version of your regular CV but you can use it in a way that’s much more helpful for potential employers.
It’s easy to add examples of your work to your profile, either by embedding a link or uploading files. You could upload a presentation to Slideshare or link to case study that you worked on or a company blog.
“Looking at a candidate’s LinkedIn profile is a fairly standard part of recruiting,” says Gambler. “We notice when someone’s gone to the effort of adding examples of work.”
Choosing a few groups to contribute to is another tactic that can make you stand out. Be selective: look for groups with genuine interaction and decide what your objectives are. Do you want to just connect with people or would your portfolio benefit from speaking opportunities or contributing to an industry blog?
Pinterest might be better known as a home for recipes and fashion photos but it can be an excellent place to keep portfolios. As you can have a variety of different boards this gives you exceptional flexibility over how to present yourself.
A designer might have a work focused account with boards for projects in different media while a marketer looking to job hop might have a secret board featuring screen shots from successful social media campaigns, links to case studies or photos from events organized. You can also create boards targeted to specific job applications.
Just make sure that you provide context and make it easy for people to contact you.
“For example, a book cover designer might create a Pinterest board of recent covers she’s created. The audience looks, but what’s next? If they’re looking to hire a designer, they don’t want to buy the books or go to the authors’ websites. They want to know more about what it’s like to work with the designer, where she gets her ideas from, whether she does different styles of covers not displayed here, and so on,” says Brenner.
Video gives an immediate, engaging impression of who you are, so it’s not surprising that it’s now being used by companies who are recruiting and on the new generation of job sites. If the company you’re applying at doesn’t have video as part of their process, you could still leverage it if you think it’s appropriate.
Don’t just read your resume out though. Be creative and find a way to showcase the skills and experience which make you ideal for that job, not to mention those essential personal qualities which make someone a desirable hire.
“Enthusiasm and a positive mind-set is so important in an employee but it can be hard to judge from a conventional CV,” says Gambler.
If you’re looking to standout in a crowded job market, it’s time to start thinking about your resume as far more than a Word document. Even if you work in a more conservative sector, like finance or law, featuring a post on an industry relevant blog on LinkedIn or being a thought leader on Twitter could put you above other applicants.
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