While the study is interesting (plus, it has cool graphics of heat maps of recruiter’s eye movements), if you have done the minimal amount of work to build an online body of work that employers can find, this study is misleading. Its premise is that you are sending a 1912 version of a resume and not a 2012 version.
By placing one or two links at the top of a resume near your name and contact information (where the heat maps demonstrated that recruiters’ eyes land anyway), today’s (read: 2012) job candidates have extra chances to provide a more concise picture of professional accomplishments by putting these links in the header of a resume – and prolonging your engagement with the recruiter. For example (I’ve provided my own profiles as not to pick on anyone else), if a recruiter sees “LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markstory,” or BranchOut Profile: http://branchout.com/Mark.Story” it’s link bait to see more information in attractive, well-organized formats that recruiters are used to seeing. This turns your six seconds into a longer time spent with the recruiter.
Why would a recruiter click on links at the top of your resume? Here are a couple of examples:
- LinkedIn has more than 150 million members and is the de facto online resume service. Within less than 10 seconds, when a recruiter clicks through to your profile, she can see more information about your accomplishments, your recommendations, your connections, your Twitter account and your blog (both demonstrate your thinking) as well as other information that you want to be public. THAT’S a lot more than a paragraph on a resume with some nicely formatted bullet points because it is both more engaging and more interactive.
- Facebook, with its 845 million members, has turned the corner from a social networking platform to a business-networking platform. Add-on apps like BranchOut help provide an idiot-proof-resume-generating experience for your Facebook profile page. BranchOut strips away all photos except your profile picture and enables you to list things that busy recruiters need to know like a summary your connections, endorsements, work experience, skill sets and specialties. And it appears on an attractive page that virtually ensures that a recruiter would want to spend more than a couple of seconds on the page. Need more proof? The Social Times said that 18.4 million Americans say that they got their current job via Facebook connections.
The bottom line is this: the Ladders study is interesting and sexy, but does not address the fact that savvy job seekers understand that they have precious few seconds and are increasingly providing visible link bait for recruiters to get more in-depth information. Many have access to the social media profile-building tools, use them and get results.
It’s 2012, guys. Not 1912.
Mark Story is the Director of New Media for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. He has worked in the social media space for more than 15 years for global public relations firms, most recently, Fleishman-Hillard. Mark has also served as adjunct faculty at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland. Mark is currently writing a book, “Starting a Career in Social Media,” due to be published in January 2013 by Skyhorse Publishing.
The views represented in this post are his and his alone and do not necessarily represent those of the Chairman, the Commissioners nor his colleagues at the SEC.
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