Can social media profiles replace traditional resumes?

By: Together Abroad 06-05-2015

Categories:** HR Trends in Recruitment,

Have social media profiles become an acceptable means of applying for jobs? Will they be replacing the conventional resume any time soon?

I must warn you that there are no clear cut responses to these questions but looking at industry trends, we can glean some useful information that can prepare one to be better aligned to navigate the job search process and be in a better position to leverage on the tools of social media to further progress careers and job search efforts.

So, should social media profiles be used in lieu of resumes? I would say that first of all they serve different purposes and rather than act as a replacement, social media should complement and bring to the fore information and skills sets that may not be readily visible in the traditional two-page resume.

While it is true that in certain cases, hiring managers may accept social media profiles from reputable online recruitment platforms such as LinkedIn, it is usually as a first step for job applications and there is almost always a request for the resume as a follow-up to validate, support and further ascertain the candidates fit for the job.

In today’s business environment, a resume is very important but so is a solid social media presence. These two platforms are most effective when they complement each other. Perry Newman summarises this very nicely in his article, when he says “a social media presence (particularly LinkedIn) are all essential in conducting an effective job search. Social media is not yet a substitute for a resume, rather it complements and expounds on a resume.”

That being said, I doubt that the time will come when social media will replace the resume but still a strong and professional social media presence is very essential to the job search as it can be a great way to show off one’s soft skills such as communication skills and analytical thinking skills that may not be easy to represent on a resume.

In the years ahead we can probably expect more companies to step away from a hiring model that leans solely on the traditional model of resumes as the sole means of recruitment to a more hybrid model that will also incorporate social media with a view to better reveal a candidate's true talents and fit for the organisation.

With social media gaining more traction in the corporate landscape, companies will have more information than ever on job candidates and the process of evaluating those candidates for potential roles, will be influenced to some degree by how the candidate is represented on social media. There is research to show that at least one in five technology firms have rejected a candidate based on information gleaned from social media accounts. Therefore in this new and emerging social landscape, managing one’s social media presence is an essential tool to having and maintaining a job.

What can you do to prepare yourself for future work landscape?
• Guard your brand and social media presence
• Be proactive in managing your online brand. You can do this by uploading information on social media platforms that will reflect you and your brand in a positive light. Another way to achieve this would be by joining online knowledge forums and posting helpful comments thereby establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
• Managing impressions is key. Do not vent on Facebook or any other social media platform.

By Tamkara Adun