Talent Connection Episode 12: Why Resumes Will Be Replaced by Online Profiles

The following is an approximate transcript. 

HEATHER: Hello and thank you for joining Episode 12 of Talent Connection, a podcast about connecting job seekers and employers, produced by Cachinko. My name is Heather Huhman, and I am the founder & president of Come Recommended, as well as the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Cachinko. I’m joined by my co-host, Tony Morrison.

TONY: Good morning. Thank you, Heather. To introduce myself, my name is Tony Morrison and I am the vice president of Cachinko. We are an online social recruitment technology company that brings job search and career tools to job seekers, as well as recruitment marketing process efficiency tools to recruiters.

HEATHER: Today’s episode is “Why Resumes Will Be Replaced by Online Profiles.” Let’s get started. Tony, how important is it for today’s job seekers to have an online presence?

TONY: It is extremely important for job seekers to have an online presence and to establish their personal brand. Recruiters and employers begin their search for and identify candidates for open positions online. They continue their search for information about you on internet search engines, profiles you have on job boards, LinkedIn, Facebook, maybe Twitter and YouTube, as well as other social media sites. They will search the groups to which you subscribe on LinkedIn. They will search for you on the websites of societies and groups to which you referred on your resume to read your blogs and comments you have made to blog posts. Employers look for you online to verify who you are against your resume, and get a sense of who you are apart from your resume.

After we produced one of our previous podcasts, I searched for data related to how employers screen candidates online. A CareerBuilder survey (2009, August 24), reported that approximately 45% of employers screen candidates online via their Facebook and Twitter profiles. 35% of employers disregarded a candidate because of content they included on their Facebook profile, whereas 18% of employers accepted candidates because of the way they presented themselves online.

HEATHER: Do you think online profiles are as important as resumes today?

TONY: I believe the online profile is more important today, and will replace the resume in the very near term.

Here is a sobering thought for you. You just spent hours, maybe days, updating your resume. Perhaps you paid a professional resume writer to write a resume that no hiring manager could refuse to read or reject. Guess what? The average hiring manager is not going to read your resume. These days a resume is not designed to get you hired. The whole purpose of the resume is to prevent you from being eliminated before the telephone interview. A recruiter or hiring manager may not read your resume at all. Most admit that they will glance at the resume, look for keywords that match the job description, and decide in 10 seconds whether or not the resume will make the short list for phone interview.

Doesn’t that sound a lot like search engine optimization? Of course it is!  If the recruiter is looking for a specific skills set described in the job post, and you have the skills, experience, and want that job, then make sure your resume and online profile match that description. Make sure the relevant keywords are used in your title, objective or career summary, skills and accomplishments, training, etc. The more often the keywords are used, the more likely the search engines crawling the internet to find your profile will find it. Same as for the recruiter visually scanning your resume; the will make their decision to read your resume only if they are compelled by the relevance you demonstrate in the objective/career summary.

HEATHER: In the near future, personal branding guru Dan Schawbel predicted resumes will be replaced by your online profile. Do you agree? Why/why not?

TONY: Of course, I agree resumes will be replaced. I hope it is okay to disagree with you that Dan Schawbel predicted this. It really is not much of a prediction. Technology is available today that obsolesces the traditional resume, it is happening. . If you want to predict something, predict the month, date, and year that recruiting professionals will embrace this technology. Now there is a prediction!

The appropriate use of available technology by recruiting professionals facilitates candidate engagement, strengthens the employer and company brand, and streamlines the screening process. These technologies increases efficiency and effectiveness in recruiting and make recruiting measurable for continuous process improvement.

HEATHER: How can job seekers leverage their online profiles to land employment?

TONY: First, make sure you know where you are online. This means all of your online profiles, personal and professional, social networks, blogs, everything. Clean up your online image. Make sure your profiles are consistent. Delete everything that reflects poorly on you. Control your online image. Develop your own website or blog with your name in the URL that will show up in internet searches when people search for your name. Create an online image by generating content that demonstrates your professional personality, interests, and expertise. Create your brand in social media so that all other content gets buried beneath your professional online brand.

Think of three C’s: Clean, Control, and Create.

Second, assess the connections in your networks. Ideally, you want to have clear separation, or definition, between your personal and professional networks. Your connections on your professional profiles should represent your professional life and meaningful associations. Your personal networks may be comprised of everyone you’ve known from grade school to the present. When you know that many people you are bound to have a crazy, absurdly wild friend that is beyond control and likes to stir it up a little online. It is advisable to ask them respectfully to remove content that could be damaging for you, block their content, and/or remove them entirely from your social networks.

Third, get involved with local Meetups and network with other local professionals in your field, participate in local, regional, national, and online professional societies’ forums. Take the opportunity to discuss with opinion leaders and business leaders the current important topics. Share your ideas and creativity as well as demonstrate your passion and energy for your field. When you share common interests with someone on these forums, get connected to them.

Fourth, up to this point you have been building your online brand. Now you have a bright, shiny, new professional online brand and conversations going with currently active professional connections in your networks. You are now prepared to search your networks for your connections that could be most helpful in securing a new position with an interesting company. Your friends and their friends are your inside track to winning the perfect job for you.

HEATHER: Do you have any tips for job seekers to enhance their existing online profiles?

TONY: You can strengthen your online brand by following the four steps I just described. Target several useful and respected career sites and create consistent profiles on each. More is not necessarily better. More sites are difficult to manage. Errors and inconsistencies between profiles can cause you some heartburn. Make sure that your profiles are search engine optimized. Use relevant key words in your profile title, career summary, and your position details. Relevant key words in the titles and body of your profiles ensures that the search engines will find you and will increase your profile rank in searches. Make sure your profiles enable links between blogs, professional societies’ websites, your personal website, and other content that showcase your skills set.

Also, get involved with groups and associations related to your field. Opinion leaders are always on these discussion boards. This keeps them connected to their audience and gives them their leadership edge. This is precisely why you need to be there. Follow industry leaders to become familiar with them and introduce yourself into the groups by commenting on blogs and articles that discuss subject matter that you know well. Contributing to these discussion boards is the fastest way for opinion leaders to learn who you are and what you can do.

HEATHER: Thanks so much, Tony. That’s all the time we have for today. You’ve been listening to Talent Connection, a podcast about connecting job seekers and employers, produced by Cachinko. For details about the next episode, please visit blog.cachinko.com.


About Heather R. Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Cachinko. She is also the founder & president of Come Recommended, the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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5 Responses to Talent Connection Episode 12: Why Resumes Will Be Replaced by Online Profiles

  1. Carol Wilson December 19, 2011 at 4:27 am #

    I dont think that resume will be completely replaced by online profiles. because one person can have many different profiles but has only a single resume so its more preferable for many organisations.

    • Amorrison December 19, 2011 at 8:30 am #

      Thank you Carol. You may be right that the resume will persist in certain circles as a sort of diary of what we have done.  However, our  professional (and personal) networking profiles are more comprehensive, more frequently updated, and, for the most part, they are search engine optimized. 

      You are correct that a person may have many different profiles.  Therefore, it is extremely important for them to be consistent — but maybe not identical.  Just like you would tailor your cover letter and resume to optimize them for a specific company of interest, different professional area, or industry, so should you maintain your professional profiles to be congruent with the various networking platforms and forums where you interact. The average professional / corporate recruiter does not have the time to effectively screen a resume that was submitted via fax, E-mail, or deposited directly into an ATS as the first step in the application process.  They will search for candidates online and look for up-to-date profiles that match their job descriptions.  An online profile also exposes other dimensions of a persons capabilities and character. This may sound like an overly simplistic approach, but better job descriptions precisely marketed to candidates of interest can be matched  better to candidates with complete professional profiles online.

      In the end, while we might keep a copy of our resume on our desktop, it will just be the starter copy we use to complete an online professional profile. Today, a positive online presence can be the single best marketing tool for the job seeker to show off their positive attitude and aptitude, and eventually online profiles will be preferred by employers over the traditional resume. 


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