In 1999, four Internet visionaries sat down and formulated 95 theses (referring to Martin Luther’s manifesto which gave rise to the Protestant Reformation) which accurately predicted the vast changes the web would bring to companies, markets and consumers.
Now referred to as the Cluetrain Manifesto, the then heavily scrutinized paper declared that the consumer would no longer settle for faceless information.
“We want access to your corporate information, to your plans and strategies, your best thinking, your genuine knowledge. We will not settle for the 4-color brochure, for web sites…(which are) lacking any substance.”
In 2015, a similar change will take place regarding employer priorities and subsequently will greatly impact the majority of American job seekers.
Hiring managers are getting smarter and they expect their employees to be smarter as well. More than ever, they are finding that traditional resumes are often unreliable because they allow a potential hire to unrealistically inflate their abilities without having to prove their claims. Often, by the time they figure out that the individual inflated their areas of expertise, they are already hired and subsequently fired.
They have also conveyed to our recruiters that they now consider resumes to be full of vague, generic and useless terminology. While LinkedIn is better, it still tells a partial story at best.
The Ever-changing Needs of Employers
Our sales and marketing recruiters believe that as the needs of employers change, so must the approach and knowledge of job seekers. These alterations are and will continue to be most drastically seen in small and mid-size companies. While sales and marketing divisions in large organizations are becoming less intertwined, the opposite is true for America’s smaller firms.
The smaller a business, the less they can afford outsourced web marketing help and, thus will require and pay more for diversified web skills from their sales teams. We predict by mid next year, knowledge of content management systems will cease to be a luxury and will become a necessity for job seekers who wish to be marketable to more desirable companies.
How to Show Instead of Just Tell
5 years ago, job seekers didn’t want anything coming up when a hiring manager or recruiter Googled their name. The more anonymous, the better. Going forward, the opposite will be true.
Lately, our recruiters are seeing significantly more weight being given to online resources related to a particular job seeker due to the fact that they instantaneously prove or disprove the validity of claims made on a resume. Job seekers who can validate their resume with online examples are much more likely to be interviewed and hired.
Conversely, if a sales representative claims that they are an expert on their topic, though have only a LinkedIn profile to prove it, a potential disconnect exists between claims and reality. While formulating a digital presence is a lot of work, we suggest that you begin small and focus on creating a career and professional blog.
This website can serve as a resume, a writing sample, a visual and personalized depiction of who you are, it can display your knowledge, help make a name for yourself and it can showcase your creative ability. It can do so all in one fell swoop.
Moreover, as you evolve as a professional, the site can as well. This is not to mention that having your own website gives you the freedom of design, the flexibility of content topics and the voice you want.
In the next installment, we’ll discuss how to register and lay out the basic design of your professional blog.