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The Rise of the Social Media Resume

4 May 11 - 12:00AM  | General

By Sue Walder

Social media is fast becoming a vital part of any job search – see a previous post here.


You can use social media to network with individuals and organisations you’re interested in working with, you can find out about job vacancies via Linkedin, Twitter, and even on Facebook.


Many job seekers have realised the benefits of having a personal website (with a custom domain name) which includes a searchable, online cv.  A Google search for ‘one of the best online cvs I’ve ever seen’ took me to a tweet with a link to this, an example of how a Canadian web designer has used his online resume to ‘brand’ himself.


For people looking for web design, media production and other creative positions, the infographics or visual cv has proven popular. Back in 2008 Michael Anderson’s original take on an infographics resume went viral.  According to a blog on recruitment website Firehead,  this cv “provoked a massive amount of social bookmarking and online sharing, elevating him to a top ranking on Google for those seeking ‘geek résumés’.”


Interestingly, the online cv didn’t actually get Mr Anderson a job.  It was produced as a piece of concept art; he offered a more traditional cv for download from his website.  He found employment four months before his online cv started to get noticed.


For more examples of infographics cvs have a look here and here.  Although clearly a good way of getting a recruiter’s attention, job seekers do need to think carefully when using this option. All too often, meaningful content loses out to pretty design. Whether your cv is a snazzy infographic or a more traditional version, the same rules apply to content. Make it easy for the recruiter to find out who you are, what you're looking for and what you've done. Take care not to get so carried away being ‘creative’ that you don’t provide enough substance and hard facts.


In March, self-proclaimed ‘unemployed social media strategist’ Hagan Blount caused a stir by launching his ‘Will tweet for food’ campaign.


Here’s his resume:  

This resume achieved 9,000 page views a week. It certainly got him noticed but has it got him work? His website doesn’t say. It’s an eye-catching cv but it takes some effort on the part of the reader.  


Of course, you could take an entirely different approach. In March this year, Gareth Cash made a short, but very sweet video called ‘My cover letter’. He had been an intern at BBC and Channel 4, amongst others, but was looking for paid work in the industry. Within two weeks of uploading the video to YouTube, he apparently started a paid internship as a production assistant with 4Creative.



So, the moral of the story is that a quirky, creative and highly personal approach to job seeking can work but you still have to provide potential employers and recruiters with relevant facts about yourself and show them why you should get the job.



You can read Sue's blog, Having A Word, here.

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