Imagine a world where your resume wasn’t the biggest factor in whether or not you received an interview for that job you want. Believe it or not, that world here and it’s quickly becoming the rule and no so much the exception.
Granted, there are still quite a few jobs that depend heavily on a college degree or a resume, but a lot (if not most) of the newer opportunities entering the market are beginning to depend heavily on someone’s reputation to drive home the point that they are (or aren’t) capable of getting the job done.
As I sit here, I have to consider what this very article means to my future. Will it help or hinder my ability to grow as a writer and land that perfect assignment months down the line? Does this article build or break down my reputation as an experienced voice in whatever it is I’m writing about?
These are real concerns, and they aren’t reflected on my resume. My resume would say that I’m a writer and that I was responsible for doing X Y and Z. It wouldn’t say who I am or what I’m capable of. Even a carefully picked example of my work wouldn’t do that. It’s the perspective employer’s prerogative to check out what our readers are saying about what LockerGnome’s writers are putting out there. Are we a trustworthy addition to a team, or a risk?
I found myself in the situation of choosing and interviewing candidates for a job just over a year ago. I was working for a media company that depended greatly on its online presence to continue to operate. Hiring a chief developer and potentially a new head of IT meant choosing candidates very carefully.
Their resume and even their presence in an interview could reflect an individual with plenty of experience, but what do their previous clients have to say about the job they did? What were they like to work with during crunch time? This is all information that would have been hidden away from a perspective employer just five years ago. Today, it’s splattered across the Web for the world to see.
Sites like Yelp are putting small businesses’ reputation on center stage. You know exactly what customers think about the place based on the reviews and ratings left by them. You can do a search on Twitter or Facebook and see what a number of people have to say about their experience with a web developer or their services. It’s not hard to uncover the unpleasant truths of someone who doesn’t put pride into their work, or simply isn’t capable of taking on something of the caliber you’re requiring.
It isn’t your Klout score or follower count that matters. How you present yourself is what employers are looking at.
For professionals in the social field, I take a look not at how many followers they have or their Klout score. I take a look at what people’s comments say. If someone claims to be a social wizard (and let’s be honest here — a million people do) yet they don’t engage with their own followers, I’d question their integrity.
The same would be said to someone applying for a position at a daycare center. It wouldn’t be a good idea to have a Facebook wall full of photos of them passed out drunk, or messages indicating they’re busy playing FarmVille during working hours.
Traditional employment is quickly becoming a thing of the past. People are finding themselves working in a freelance capacity now more than ever. The difference between a successful freelancer and a broke one often comes down to who you know and what your reputation says about you. People talk now more than ever. The question is, are you listening?
Tools by Anna Langova