I read a few articles recently about how employers are doing away with resumes and asking candidates to apply in a more personal way. They are requesting links to social networks, blogs or video content to demonstrate why they are a good fit for their company. I love this! Some creative firms have created quizzes to get to know the individual better. There is a growing trend toward hiring people who fit a company culture rather than those who simply possess the best skill set. Just about anyone can be trained to do a job, but not everyone gets along with the team, which can be very disruptive.
If social media has moved businesses toward humanization, you’d better believe that humans are thinking more business-like with their own branding.
I dislike resumes. I require a cover letter explaining why I should consider that person for the job. This provides two major pieces of information: whether they can write and how well they follow directions. You’d be surprised how may people don’t include a cover letter, even when required to do so.
My business provides a creative service that is 90 percent writing, therefore I must ensure that everyone on my team is a strong writer. A cover letter allows me to learn this before we meet. Our job also requires persuasive reasoning. So, if someone can’t convince me to consider them, they’re probably not the right person for the job.
We also hire a lot of interns who are college students. Students are not likely to have a strong resume, so that does not play a huge role in the hiring decision, therefore a cover letter is critical. If an intern has a well-written blog, that is the icing on the cake for us. We love interns who blog. I repeat, we love interns who blog.
The world is social, and everything we do is public. Most employers do a Google search on all new candidates, which everyone should know by now, to make sure they have a positive image. While a poorly managed social image can kill your chances of getting an interview, a positive, professional brand just may lead to that dream job.
My advice to all career-minded individuals is to be proactive, get creative and blaze your own trail. There are so many tools available to create a platform that will get you noticed. Start a blog, join Google+ or create a YouTube channel and go out there and create interesting content about you, your career aspirations and all that interests you. The beauty of the social web is that by being you, others who share common interests will find you.
Why would an employer want to hire you? Prove it.