Monday, April 20, 2009

Resume 2.0 : Stand Out From the Crowd



Using Social Media to Find a Job

As we all struggle with the one of the worse economy of last 35 years, this experience could be really awful for the job seekers of current time. In last month (March, 2009) itself, USA economy has shaded 663,000 more jobs, putting the total job losses beyond 5.1Million mark. 2008 was the worst year for Fortune 500 companies in the history (since inception of this list). Government’s various incentive programs including deployment of billions of dollars (close to 787Billion$ are in pipeline as stimulus) has been put on strenuous test by the severely hit global economy.

Though it is extremely difficult to predict what is going to happen in near future, lately we’ve been observing quite a few positive signs. In last month (after a long time) people have seen some black on their portfolios (on month to month basis), real estate market is stabilizing in quite a few of the states and first time in the week of April 4th USA govt. has found lesser number of new people filing the unemployment benefits (in the week of April 4th 654,000 people filed for unemployment benefits, where in the earlier week total 674,000 claims were filed.. it is important to state that number of people filing continuing claims is still hitting high in last 11 straight weeks).

Lately CareerBuilder.com (Brent Rasmussen, President of Career Builder USA shared a few latest employment related figures in one of TiE Houston’s speaker session www.twitter.com/tiehouston) has observed more than 60 applications on average per job against about 20 applications per job in good times and so it is quite important to take innovative approaches to stand out in the crowd.

Lately Jamie Varon secured a job at www.twitter.com. She has tried all traditional approaches but was failed to reach to the right connections at twitter. She has started a website www.twittershouldhireme.com, where she has put on her resume, recommendations and a regular blog discussing her credentials, interests and intentions. Very soon she has received a lot of support from the social media and at present she is a twitter employee. Last time I’d taken a look at her site, more than 30,000 unique visitors were visiting it on monthly basis. A few clones have been created by other job seekers including www.googleshouldhireme.com, www.facebookshouldhireme.com and I wish them a good luck.

My friend and business partner Deepak (http://twitter.com/deepakgoyal) and our other team members have done quite a bit of thinking on Resume 2.0 , i.e. a web2.0 Resume. We firmly believe that the world is moving towards a complete digitization and embracing upcoming technologies like web2.0 much faster than ever before and future resumes and hiring process is bound to see a complete overhaul. Latest survey results also supports that recruiters are paying more attention to the candidates who possess significant web presence.

[Recently we've given seminars on "How to Build an Eye Catching Resume" in a job fair (www.ijobfest.org) in Houston TX. Slide set of our presentation could be accessed at : http://www.slideshare.net/alokjain78/creating-resume-to-landing-the-job].

Resume 2.0

For sure, a recruiter would not be reviewing web 2.0 profiles of all people whose resumes he has received for a particular position but at the end his job is to identify the potential 2-3 good candidates whom he can send to the hiring manager or to the end client. I cannot speak for others, but once our recruiters identifies 2-3 good candidates whom we wish to send to our clients, then as a next step we do pull their profiles from facebook, linkedin and if we find anything suspicious, we do discard their resumes. On the other hand, if their facebook, linkedin profiles show something out of the box (trust me even a great looking background page with value added postings on twitter.com makes a big difference), self consciously we starts liking these candidates over other.

For Resume 2.0, linkedin appears as one of the prominent place, where one must have his account. As discussed before, more and more recruiters are looking or at least verifying one’s resume with their online identity and linkedin is one of the first one, what comes to a recruiter’s mind. Beside your profile details and experience (if you think you might be emphasizing certain pieces of your work experience on your resume differently for different jobs), I might advice you to leave details/specifics of your work experience on your linkedin/facebook profile to avoid inconsistency.

Recommendations on Your Resume 2.0:

One must also pay close attention to linkedin recommendations, where positive recommendations from your previous bosses and influential people of your area of expertise may play a critical role. An “ideal” resume 2.0 must not be put together the day you lose your job, but should grow organically overtime. We often observe linkedin profiles, where pretty much all of recommendations were posted within the same week. In such profiles it is easy to identify that one has requested for recommendations (may not be negative all the time), but more and more recruiter prefers to see more natural/organic recommendations on such platforms.

Web 2.0 Job Portals:

Linkedin is also becoming quite a great resource for job search. On Linkedin beside the HR, technical managers and entrepreneurs are also posting jobs directly these days. The best thing about linkedin is as soon as you identify a job (you can use linkedin’s job search), it tells immediately how you may be connected with the person who has the job position.

Beside linkedin, facebook could be very powerful as well. Even though facebook is often perceive a platform to maintain personal network and activities, lately various demographic distributions supports that it is getting quite strong positioning as a professional network in the employment community. When we review facebook profiles of two of our potential candidates for a particular job opening, where one appears with a glass of beer on every other picture vs. other who has posted pictures of his work place, while receiving awards, with influential professionals/speakers, volunteering activities etc. we tend to pursue the later candidate being more sincere potential employee (which could be completely wrong.. but we can’t help it most of the time).

Lately we’ve observed a new stream of web 2.0 job portals, which lets you build your personalized “visual” profile. www.visualcv.com does a pretty good job building your Internet-based resume that includes your past work experiences along with work samples, audio & video profile and images which can be shared via email.

Our own community based knowledge platform www.eZdia.com (alpha site could be accessed at www.eZdia.org) helps users in building their extended profile (resume). An user can associate any content on the web (doesn’t need to be his own content) as an expert thus builds extended resumes of hundreds of links (or thousands of pages) indicating what he knows. Our patented tagging algorithm extracts the summary from these profiles for particular job requirement. Along with extended resume eZdia also lets you find solutions via live experts, learn from their recommended contents and monetize your expertise by offering solutions to the information seekers. For a potential employer eZdia presents an expert’s profile along with his work samples (paid as well as unpaid), ratings by the customers and community, associated knowledge base & recommended contents, his audio-video profile (would be available in the next revisions).

Blogs as a Resume 2.0:

In near future blogs are going to be part of your resume, especially blogs in area of your your current/future jobs, skills, experience and anything what may show a “value add” to the potential employer etc. Blogs can really help in building your online identity among employment communities. If you write a topic which can be really useful for people in area of your expertise, today or tomorrow potential employer/recruiter would know about you (we’re seeing this trend at our earlier startup www.tulsana.com, where often our recruiters reach to a potential candidate by following his blog).

Besides writing blogs, it is highly recommended to follow others blogs, especially of people who are in area of your expertise. Commenting to others blog, where it adds value or may start a positive conversation also add tremendous value in your online identity. You may also answer questions on various q&a sites including linkedin, yahoo answers etc. on topics in area of your expertise. Please make sure to link your blog with your online profile and your email id so people can contact you.

Twitter (heaven for micro-bloggers) can be another fantastic tool to know what is happening in the job market and getting word out about you. More and more companies are opening job boards (accounts, which are put together specially to advertise thier job openings) with primary intention of spreading awareness of a company’s work culture, job openings and to follow the potential employees. Job seekers should follow these job accounts, for example jobs at Intel could be followed @ http://twitter.com/JobsatIntel. Besides following these jobs, you may also follow others who are following similar jobs; very soon you may make quite a few friends who will become one of your greatest resources to get insights of a particular company, work culture, potential upcoming job opportunities and their recruiting processes.

As each person is unique, their resumes should be unique and the new world is going to embrace innovative formats of your resume. A lot of innovative web2.0 players are trying very hard building your resume based on your activities over the Internet and your own friend “Google” is part of it. For understanding of how to build an eye catching “classical” resume and how to get the word out, please follow my earlier blog’s posting “Creating Resume to ‘Resume’ Your Life” (http://alokkjain.blogspot.com/2009/04/creating-resume-to-resume-your-life.html).

Certainly my blog doesn’t provide any guarantee that following it will lead you to a job. These are just my honest opinions with limited understanding whatever I’ve of this space (and so please your discretion) and I sincerely hope that some of you may find it useful. Happy creative resume/profile writing/building!.

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Sumeet, thanks for your compliments. Please share your feedback on eZdia.org at alok.j@ezdia.com and we can get in touch.

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  3. Nice Article...in these times of employment crisis. Well said...blogs are going to be an important...medium. Not only for employment, interestingly one of my friends here in Mumbai...got to meet this fiancee thru this blog.

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  4. This is new to me. Congratulations.

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  5. great article!

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