27 February of 2014
by Pim Baars & Thomas Schmider
Do you post “bad taste party pictures” on your uncensored Facebook wall? And do you still use the Europass resume template to apply for a job? You are so 90´s.
Professional networking, creative Youtube resumes and professional branding are keywords of the 21st. It isn’t a secret that our social media performance plays an important role when getting a job nowadays. Since you’re constantly online, you should take this opportunity and use the web to get your dream job.
Experts on this topic are Trond Sandø, the general manager of Try/Apt, Torunn Riiser, chef of people development at Adecco in Norway, and Tony de Graaf, senior recruitment consultant and LinkedIn recruiter at DPA in the Netherlands. All of them have different tips and tricks to help you on your way to a successful application process.
The importance of LinkedIn
Creating a network on LinkedIn may not seem that interesting if you just finished your degree, but it is really important for your future. Connecting with people on LinkedIn isn’t just about connecting with people you already know well, it is about connecting with as many people as you can. Big companies and recruiters pay LinkedIn around 3500 euros per year for a special upgraded version, which makes finding candidates a lot easier. This means it is important for you to be visible. If you are directly connected to the person who is searching, you are a 1st degree connection and you will show up in the toplist of the search. If you have a friend in common with someone who is looking for the right candidate you are a 2nd degree connection. Since LinkedIn has around 277 million users, there are a lot of different users with the same skills as you have. Therefore you want to be a 1st degree connection, because 2nd degree could already mean that you are number 200 on the list.
Stand out from the crowd
When you’re applying for a job, you want the company to spend time on reading your resume. On the other hand they also expect you to invest time in reading about them as well. Avoid using the internationally accepted Europass resume template. It shows that you haven’t invested any time in making it personal. Keep in mind that you are sending your resume to a person who probably receives around 5 to 10 resumes per week. Interest and personal involvement are a must to show that you know what they do and what they’ve done in the past. Show them who you are as a human being, and since they are also only human, a sense of humour is not a bad thing, but stay away from the “your mama jokes”, keep it professional.
A common “mistake” most students make, is that they highlight their education instead of their other job related experience. Make sure you describe what you have done, not just your job title: they want to know how you did the job, not that you did it. Creative resumes are always a plus when the job you’re applying for has to do with creativity. If you choose to send a video or photoshopped resume, include your PDF resume as well, because that is the one they are able to print out and store in their database.
Hardly anybody is perfect, but you should have a clear understanding of your personal strengths and motivation Highlight the projects that you have worked on, they show that you are passionate about the work that you do, and that applying for this job is not a coincidence. Even if your projects haven’t been published, it is a way of showing how you put theory into practice.
The vision of Tony de Graaf is that your resume will be a hybrid of your LinkedIn profile, your PDF profile and your creative profile. You need all three to be able to tell the story about yourself. He thinks more and more job announcements will go through LinkedIn. Because it`s so simple: It is an easily accessible database for companies and job seekers. LinkedIn will be the tool of the future to find people.
Torunn Riiser on the other hand predicts that everything is going to be so digitalized in the near future that applying for a job is probably only going to consist of pressing a button. When looking at it in the light of the rapid digitalization, this is realistic and Riiser might be right.
Jump into the future of applying for a job: Make yourself visible, participate on social networks, meet people and get to know people. Just
Having a profile isn´t: be part of discussions, be part of a group and make your headings interesting. Make people want to check out your profile. Your pictures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are more important than you might think. Do take care to use the privacy settings on Facebook though. In the end it’s all about looking good and being found. Welcome to the 21st century.