I want to summarize some of the key points from the last three blogs where I discussed what might replace the traditional resume and the concept of a professional identity and incorporated insights from publications by reputable authors (Dan Schawbel in Forbes, Sudy Bharadwaj in Mashable , and Susanne Markgren in College & Research Libraries). In this blog, I want to introduce some of the concepts from a LifeHacker blog written by Alan Henry called “How to Clean Up Your Online Presence and Make a Great First Impression”; LifeHacker has a large following and can be considered the pulse of the younger generation regarding personal branding.
I have two overarching conclusions. First, it is clear that a resume is going to morph into something new, something that takes advantage of the functionality of the internet including: delivering various types of media, enabling better interactivity, and using identities and networks. Second, there is this idea of a “professional identity” or “online portfolio” or “online presence” or “nameplate site” which is essentially a personal website with your own domain that acts as the primary node for all your interactions on the internet.
The standard employment platform is in a transition from a resume into a professional website and there are a few catalysts driving the change:
- Recruiters are finding it more efficient to seek out candidates. This means there needs to be an accessible search mechanism, which requires a search engine and an index of personal websites or profiles.
- Higher employee turnover. In his article, Mr. Schawbel shares a startling stat that 84% of employees plan to look for a new job in 2011; people are on the move looking for the next best opportunity.
- Accessibility to other forms of media. It is easy to deliver social media, video, files and rich text through the internet; this adds dimensions to an employment evaluation (as Mr. Bharadwaj argues in his article).
- Facilitating the process. Adding interactivity, with searching, communication, and navigation functionality, is easy to do with a professional website.
Developing a professional identity is discussed in each of the articles. Some of the common themes include:
- Get a personal professional website with your own domain name. This is your “home base” on the internet, a landing page for all your social media profiles.
- Be prepared for what content about you is already out there. People are going to look for information about you on the internet. Mr. Henry suggests conducting a “vanity search” on Google to see what others are going to see when they search on your name.
- Control how you are represented in search engines; you can setup an SEO (“search engine optimization”) and “clean up” what is already out there.
- Publish content in a professional way. There is a thin line between what is considered professional versus personal. Ms. Marken says to consider publishing everything in a professional context, and Mr. Henry says to consider using anonymity when you publish personal content.
- Present yourself in a flattering way. Consider the way you represent yourself with a resume, you want to standout as much as possible; don’t worry about possibly sounding conceited, though make sure you are accurate. On Quora, somebody posed the question: “Does a well-designed professional looking personal website make you look conceited?” and it elicited some good responses.
- Forbes article “5 Reasons Why Your Online Presence Will Replace Your Resume in 10 years”, Dan Schawbel
- College & Research Libraries article, “Ten simple steps to create and manage your professional online identity”, Susanne Markgren
- Mashable article “4 Reasons Recruiters Should Stop Accepting Traditional Resumes” , Sudy Bharadwaj