What’s in a resume? – A social media trap?

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Posted By: garyc Posted In: News Date Posted: May 29th, 2012 Comments: 0
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I’ve always said the following to job applicants about the content of their resume:

Print whatever you like, as long as you realise that if you’re interviewed, you should expect to be scrutinized over every single detail“.

As an employer you should initially treat a resume as an extended version of a business card – it tells the world about someone’s career (specifically their experience, qualifications and skills).

And just like a business card, some individuals can’t resist the temptation to treat their resume like a self promoting sales tool – and it’s here where an amount of “embellishment” begins to creep in.

I’m looking at the role of social media in recruitment very closely. One of my concerns is whether resume’s (sorry, professional profiles) are any more or less accurate on certain social media sites, than they are when they’re forwarded in response to an advert placed on a job board.

On the basis of what I’m seeing (and hearing), the answer has to be “No”

And why would you expect it to be any different?

There’s a much bigger issue here which will be the subject for another day but it has to with the reason why many individuals are “marketing themselves” so furiously on (for example only) LinkedIn.

We’re now touching on the issue of whether they are truly “passive” job seekers, or whether they’re “active” job seekers.

If there’s lots of activity in the area of updated qualifications (just how many new courses can you cram into a given year anyway?), then it could be an indication of a person switching from passive to active (if they ever were passive to begin with).

Bottom line – Social media sites are not guaranteeing accuracy of resume content any more than a job board is, so don’t give a profile on a social media site any more credence than a resume arriving in your Inbox from a job advert.

The rules of thorough candidate screening /evaluation needs to apply equally to all candidates, no matter where they were sourced from.


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