Employers look to social media for resume
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 17:03
In an increasingly web-driven and internet-connected society, many employers have begun looking beyond paper resumes and evaluating potential employees based on the way they present themselves through social networking sites. Job applicants can now be screened based on their online conduct and, in some cases, their online persona combines to form an overarching picture of the applicant in what has come to be known as a “social media resume.”
“The paper resume is dead,” Vala Afshar, chief marketing officer for tech firm Enterasys said in an interview with USA Today. “The Web is your resume. Social networks are your mass references.”
So what does this mean for students at ASU? For some, it may be as simple as “cleaning up” their Twitter profile or adjusting the privacy settings of their Facebook page. But for others, a full-scale self-representative social media resume may be their ticket to career success.
By now most social networking participants are familiar with the cautionary warnings against inappropriate website postings. “If you are using Facebook as a vehicle for communicating with other people, you have to be careful,” Rebecca Oliver, director of the honors college, said. “Pay attention to what your friends are saying, tagging and commenting, because that is a reflection on you too.”
But some employers are looking for more than just a “clean” profile, they want to see that their potential employees are experienced in, and well adapted to, the world of social media. “They are expecting employees to be ambassadors for their company in social media,” Christi Crawford, social media director for the office of recruitment, said.
So how are these online resumes translating between the job seeker and job provider? Surprisingly well, according to Associate Dean of the College of Business C. William Roe. “On the job seeker side, it’s a great thing, because it allows the job searcher to very easily get the word out and get their resume out to a broad base very quickly, very easily and very effectively.”
“On the employer side, it’s also a great thing because they can have access to this type of resume, this ‘social media resume’ without them having to go through an extensive and expensive search,” Roe said. “It’s a win-win situation.”
Social media has the potential to not only revolutionize how people look for job openings, but also how companies search for potential candidates for jobs, according to Roe. “(The media resume) is becoming popular as it is, but I think it’s going to become more popular as we continue to embrace technology in all aspects of our lives,” he said.
In some circumstances, employers may evaluate an applicant’s paper resume, then follow up by comparing the paper profile to the applicant’s social networking profile.
“One reason may be to see if the hard copy resume and the social media resume are essentially the same, that (job applicants) are not trying to be one thing in one (medium) and something else in another,” Roe said.
The College of Business faculty are aware of the changing face of personal publicity. Many information and technology, computer application and human resources professors are incorporating social media and networking into their classes. “This is becoming an increasingly important part of our course material,” Roe said.
“I don’t actually teach the undergraduate students myself, but I know that faculty in our college are talking about different ways that students can essentially sell themselves in more cost-effective and efficient ways,” he said.
But will online social profiles ever truly replace paper resumes? “It depends how things continue to evolve,” Roe said.
Oliver said, “I think paper resumes are still very valuable, still alive and well, particularly for making that first initial contact.”
Yet in a world where a Google search may very well form an employer’s first impression, savvy online networkers and future job seekers should stay aware of the pitfalls and opportunities presented by the growing world of social media.