Beyond the Resume: Building your Digital Footprint
After I had finished my Bachelor of Arts, I was continually exasperated by the application process for graduate jobs. The humble double-sided A4 resume left a lot to be desired. There is frustratingly little you can learn about someone from their resume. By its very definition, a resume is a standardised form devoid of personality or character.
While the graduate job application still hasn’t changed much in three years, the role of the resume has become more fluid. The digitisation of the resume and the world at large has unlocked enormous potential for the Graduates of tomorrow.
The rise of companies such as Google and Airbnb has exhumed the ‘interests’ section once relegated to the bottom of your resume. It is becoming apparent that resumes are no longer the sole decider of employment prospects. Companies want to see your cultural fit and what drives your interests to unlock peak productivity.
The prevailing media rhetoric would have us believe that our social media presence could at any moment rear its head. That one photo, comment or post will render our Google-able name forever tainted. On the flipside, social technology has opened up a whole new world of self-expression. You no longer have to make your social media presence invisible, now it is considered to add another dimension to your Google search and digital footprint. It’s an interesting dichotomy. We are always reminded of the volatile landmines in online landscape as we carve out our identity, but instead of cleaning up our online presence – how about we build it up?
Every good builder needs tools; luckily there are plenty of digital tools at your grasp – the trick is choosing the appropriate ones to reflect you. SAMMPress is a tool that has allowed me to find my own voice and explore a different kind of self-expression; through writing for myself, outside an academic context. Use some of the following platforms to establish and mould your online brand:
Social media (Instagram, Twitter etc): Join groups and network with likeminded individuals. It can be an enlightening experience ‘meeting’ people you otherwise never would.
Blogs (WordPress, Tumblr etc): Blogs might seem passé, but there really is no better way to showcase your interests and skills online.
Web 2.0 applications (Youtube, Flickr, Pinterest, Soundcloud etc): Highlight your creativity and promote your personal work, or cultivate a platform that shows your not-so-resume-appropriate interests.
Digital Resumes (LinkedIn, Re-vu, Visualize.me): These platforms can add an element of imaginative expression in your digital footprint. Use them to better reflect your talents, achievements and experiences or showcase your talents and ambitions.
Use your social media platforms for self-expression, cultivate a sense of self and you might just enjoy it. Authenticity adds depth of character to what can seem to be a monotonous and superficial online presence.
As students, we must make ourselves google-able. Instead of pictures we would rather forget being front and centre in our personal search up – what if we had articles to our names or thoughtful contributions to meaningful digital discussions? Not only does our activity act as a portfolio – but an insight into who we are beyond can be described on an A4 page.
And for those wondering, I didn’t score a Grad job back in the day, but I’ve learnt that it’s not the be-all and end-all.