If your reading this, it ‘s likely you’re on the hunt for a job or fall internship. Well, recruiters say you need to be armed with more than a resume and cover letter.
The findings of the recent report by Economic Policy Institute suggest the Class of 2015 face an uphill climb toward employment. For young college graduates, the unemployment rate is currently 7.2 percent (compared with 5.5 percent in 2007), and the underemployment rate is 14.9 percent (compared with 9.6 percent in 2007).
In addition to competing with one another, the report suggests recent graduates are also competing with previous classes of students who graduated into a weak labor market.
Pause for a sigh. So, what’s the solution? Recruiters say: make yourself “stand out” from the competition by creating a professional digital presence.
Before I go any further, these recruiters aren’t suggesting neglecting your resume and cover letter. They still want that. But they’re suggesting using platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even a personal blog as medium to elaborate on your professional accomplishments and demonstrate your ability to think outside of the box. Think of this as a third dimension for your application. Their recommendations are as follows:
Set up professional social media accounts,
which reflect your professional persona and exhibits your knowledge of industry trends and news in your area of expertise.Then, include these accounts at the top of your resume. Recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds looking at resumes. With just six seconds to make an impression, it’s essential, that your social media presence jump out at recruiters early on.
Step up your game on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is much more than a resume. Executives turn to LinkedIn after reading a resume to learn more about the experience and skills of prospective candidates and to get a feel for their personality. Therefore, executives recommend enhancing your professional persona on LinkedIn by including a professional photo and a bio, which clearly defines your career objectives, hobbies and volunteer experience.
Make your resume jump off the page.
Do you remember that scene in Legally Blonde where Reese Witherspoon’s character turns in a pink scented resume? You laugh, but it got the attention of her professor. Social media and other digital tools can have the same effect if used correctly. For example, recruiters suggest that if your resume lists public speaking as a skill, upload a video clip demonstrating your talents. Or better yet, supplement your resume with a video resume.
Set up a blog.
It’s likely you’re going to be googled, so just think of the benefits when your employer finds a series of industry relevant posts written by you. Recruiters say this would get their attention. Don’t forget to include the blog, and links to any especially relevant posts, in your emails to recruiters and on your resume.
Network on Social Media.
Social media is the ultimate networking tool. It allows you to connect with like-minded people in no time at all. Recruiters say they’ve hired employees they originally met on social media. So what are you waiting for? Start sending those direct messages now.
Landing a job is no piece of cake for job seekers, nor will it be in the future. Across the board, employers regard a strong digital presence crucial to “stand out” within the highly competitive workforce.
How do you use your digital presence to "stand out"? Comment below.