Looking for a Job? Throw Away Your Resume
By Fauzia Burke
As the needs of our clients increase and FSB expands to serve them better, I find myself looking to hire people. However, this year, my approach is very different. As we are working on branding authors on the web, I am looking for people who can demonstrate that they have the skills to help us market and publicize books in a new way, using social media and web technologies to communicate a story.
What I have found is that a resume is just not enough to get my attention. The job market is tough, for sure, and everyone is looking for an edge. My bold suggestion is that you pretend you don't have a resume. Think, then, how would you get someone's attention, how would you tell them your story? Rather than crossing your fingers and sending out a one-dimensional paper resume, I recommend that all job seekers use a variety of social media tools.
One way to stand out to potential employers is to develop a personal story and a personal brand. Today, your online personal brand is much more valuable than your resume.
Before you get started, like all branding campaigns, start with an analysis of your goals.
- Think about the following questions: What are my goals for generating income? Take time to meditate on the types of things that you enjoy doing, along with the unique set of skills that you possess. How can you parlay these specific talents and interests into landing a fulfilling job for yourself?
- Who am I? Easier asked than answered, of course, but this question will be presented in each and every interview you attend. "Tell me about yourself." Make sure that you are able to answer this question with your individual goals and aims in mind. Above all, be authentic, be YOU because there is no competition for YOU.
- How will my potential employers be able to verify my professional experience and references? Brainstorm about the ways in which you can communicate your assets to potential employers or clients. Maintaining a social media profile is a fantastic way to present your past work experience and professional connections to potential employers.
LinkedIn This site enables you to showcase your employment history, professional contacts, and endorsements from peers and clients. Potential employers want to see the extent of your commitment to an industry, as well as the level of respect that you have gained from colleagues and former bosses. Make sure you use a professional looking photo of yourself.
Blog A blog is a great way to show off your expertise and comment on the latest news in your industry. Of course, your blog posts should be current, well-written and representative of your brand and goals in all ways.
Twitter Your twitter feed allows potential employers to examine what sorts of things interest you and what sort of information you choose to share with your social network. Become a source of good information and resources for people. Make sure you follow the companies you'd like to work for.
Video/YouTube Post videos of yourself on YouTube to give employers an idea of your presence and persona. If your personality is your greatest asset, why not show it off?
The idea behind developing an online brand is twofold: to spread the word about you -- your story, experience, and your portfolio -- and also to allow potential employers to verify your professional history -- references, dates of employment, professional recognition. That said, the next time you apply for a job, don't just forward your standard paper resume. Instead, attach a cover letter with links to your various profiles online. My advice is to replace that dated, one-dimensional resume and bring yourself to life with social media.
I would love to hear about the ways in which social media and personal branding has helped you secure a job or make connections with other professionals in your industry. Employers, have you ever hired someone that you found through the Web? Job seekers, how much time do you devote to maintaining your social media sites and pages?