Everyone is going digital, and you should too. If you are searching for a job, or even thinking about testing the waters to see what is available, then you should have at least one or more online resumes or portfolios in your name. There are a few reasons for this, but the primary reason is that almost all hiring managers will do a quick search on prospective employees before bringing them in for an interview. Sometimes a 5 minute search on Google provides all a hiring manager needs to know to cross someone off their short list of candidates (just another reason why you should make your FaceBook pictures from your college days private, and not public).
Instead of showing a prospective employer why they shouldn’t hire you, why not show them more reasons to consider you? That is where creating an online presence comes in. And thankfully, you can do this quickly, easily, and at little to no cost.
Starting Your Online Presence
Gone are the days when you need to be a skilled techie to create your own website or online presence. With the rise of social media outlets such as LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook, etc., it’s almost rare that someone doesn’t have at least some online presence. The question is whether or not they are using it to their advantage.
At the minimum, you should have a LinkedIn profile and learn how to use it. You could also consider starting a blog (personal or professional) with a service like WordPress, or creating a Web 2.0 page, such as an About.me page, or one of the services listed below. Here are tips for creating a resume with WordPress.
You can use these to include more personal and professional information about yourself that you either can’t fit on your resume, or that may not be applicable to the particular job search, but that shows you in a better professional light. Remember, though, these pages should be strictly professional in nature, and shouldn’t be for posting pics of you drinking with your college buddies or have any other objectionable content.
Where to Create Your Digital Resume – For Free
There are a variety of free Web 2.0 services out there. The following list is a sampling of some of the more popular and valuable sites we found. For best results, focus on creating a profile on one or two of these platforms, and really learning how to use them. You will gain much more benefit from mastering one service and creating an engaging profile than you will from throwing a bunch of things at the wall and seeing what sticks. Many of these sites also allow users to engage others through their profiles through chats, forums, groups, and messages. These are all great ways to expand your network and potentially find work through your profile.
LinkedIn is the granddaddy of professional social networking sites. Virtually anyone who is anyone can be found there. At the minimum, you should create a profile with your name, basic career information and work history, and your areas of expertise. LinkedIn also has a excellent social aspect to it, and it allows you to join groups and participate in discussion boards where you can show your expertise and help others. And by helping others, you will be sure to stand out among the crowd.
A good tip is to fill out your past work history as thoroughly as possible, since you aren’t really limited for space. This way, a prospective employer can look at more of your experience and accomplishments than you may be able to include in your standard resume. Don’t fill it with fluff, though. Stick to the bullets and line items which tell your story the best way possible. Be sure to use key words from your past job positions or for jobs you are seeking, as it will help your profile rise to the top when a prospective employer is searching through profiles.
Finally, LinkedIn is social in nature, so you can also ask friends, coworkers, and former coworkers to give you recommendations, which can only help you in the long run (and be sure to return the favor!). Learn more at http://www.linkedin.com/.
Your About.Me page isn’t quite an online resume or portfolio. Instead, it acts as a hub for all your online interests. It is better used as a one page source for people to find you and your other online interests. Most users create a brief synopsis of who they are, then link out to their personal websites, online portfolios, online resumes, social media profiles, and other online interests. Because About.me is a trusted domain, it usually ranks high in the search engines for individual names, so grabbing an About.me profile under your name can be a great way to create and defend your online reputation. My page is very basic, but other people have created very beautiful and unique pages for themselves or their brand. Learn more at http://about.me/.
VisualCV gives users the ability to create a professional profile with audio, video, pictures, a portfolio, and standard resume information. The coolest feature is the ability for users to control what other people see. So you can create a public profile, or limit access to friends and colleagues, or potential clients or employers. VisualCV also has a ton of other great features, including the ability to post to social profiles, network with other professionals, and search for jobs directly through their job search portal. To top it off, you can sign up for free. Learn more at http://www.visualcv.com/.
GetHired offers job seekers the ability to upload their standard resume, as well as create an audio or video intro. They host a database of employers and job openings, making it easy for employers and job searchers to concect. You can also track who viewed your profile and how many views it received, apply for jobs directly through their service, track your application status, and schedule and conduct interviews through their video conferencing system. Watch the video below, or learn more at https://gethired.com/.
Spark Hire allow you to create a profile that highlights your skills, accomplishments and education. You can also use this service to create a 60 second video resume. Spark Hire also has a job search portal where you can research companies and job openings, apply for jobs, and schedule an online interview through the Spark Hire portal. Watch the video below, or learn more at https://www.sparkhire.com/.
Visualize.Me is a cross between a standard resume and your digital resumes. It works by accessing the data in your LinkedIn account and creating a visual resume, complete with logos of the companies you have worked for, graphics which display your skills, abilities, interests, and more. Another way to think of Visualize.me is as an infographic for your resume. This is an interesting and unique way to create an interesting resume, but it’s probably best used to augment your standard resume if you work in a traditional field. If you are in the creative arts or work on the web, then this is probably a more accepted form of resume. Learn more at http://vizualize.me/.
CarbonMade is a free online portfolio service where you can show off your skills and abilities by posting your photos, videos, and items. This site is more geared toward visual arts, as most of their portfolios are from artists, photographers, web and graphic designers, stylists and fashion designers, architects, and similar fields which are best represented visually. CarbonMade follows the Freemium model, where a base account is free to use, but there is a small monthly fee if you want more features or the ability to upload more photos or projects to your portfolio. Learn more at http://carbonmade.com/.
Promoting Your Digital Resume
There are a variety of ways you can share your online profiles, resumes, and portfolios. You can always use e-mail, social media channels such as FaceBook, Twitter, Tumbler, etc., or you can even include them on your business card or on your resume – yes, you can even include them on a paper copy of your resume as long as you do it professionally and limit it to the one or two profiles which best show your talents or portfolio.
A good place to include these on your resume is either at the end of your resume, or below your e-mail address. Make the link clickable on a digital copy of your resume, or easy to type in on a paper copy. If possible, it’s always best to get a vanity url, or one that is short and easy to use. For example, this is my public LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanguina. As you can see, it’s very easy for a prospective employer to visit LinkedIn and add a few letters to the address bar, or do a simple search for my name.
Most of these major sites also rank well in the search engines, so you may find that these profiles rise to the top of the returned pages when an employer searches for your name. This is exactly what you want as it will show potential employers more information about you that can be found in a standard 1-2 page resume, and it can show them you have some technical skills and motivation.
Remember, the goal with using a digital resume is to create another avenue in which to be found, or, add more information that isn’t found on a standard resume. So be creative, stick out, and impress potential employers!
Do you have any other tips or places for creating a digital or video resume?