Once upon a time, your résumé was the sole document tasked with convincing a prospective employer to call you. Today, however, companies will likely look at your social media profiles before deciding whether or not to take the next step. So even after you’ve tailored your résumé to align with the needs of the job description, recruiters and hiring managers will still go off and scan a variety of personal information that may muddy the waters.
That presents job seekers with a conundrum: while it’s relatively easy to tweak your résumé for each opportunity, you can’t adjust all of your online profiles. Those social-media accounts “form a foundational thing that’s a true representation of who you are,” observed Jayne Mattson, senior vice president of Boston-based career consultant Keystone Associates.
As a result, that simple step of submitting your résumé now has some additional baggage. Employers can check out your credentials and experience before they even talk to you. When they do, they’re looking for a consistent picture across all channels. If you’re active online—with profiles on career sites, Facebook, GitHub, Stack Overflow and the like—you need to make sure everything matches (and doesn’t contradict the résumé you’ve just sent in).
How do you do it? By creating a document we call “the omnichannel résumé.” It’s a compilation of your skills, experience, certifications, professional profiles, projects and other information that employers may want to see, along with a list of your social media profiles. It’s a working document that will help you plan how to present yourself, keep your message consistent, and simplify the process of customizing your résumé for each opportunity you pursue.
“It’s very important to present yourself consistently,” said Ben Hicks, managing partner of software technology search for Waltham, Mass.-based talent acquisition firm WinterWyman. “This should be like a pilot’s checklist to use when you get into search mode.” Use it right, he believes, and you’ll ensure that your most impressive work is front-and-center on GitHub, for example. As an additional bonus, this technique will make you diligent about eliminating potentially embarrassing information, such as those pictures from that party in Fort Lauderdale that lurk on your best friend’s Facebook account.
What It Is
Because the omnichannel résumé is for your own use, you needn’t worry about its length. Instead, you want it to be complete, accurate and detailed. It should include:
- A chronological résumé that covers every role you’ve held, the dates you held them, a description of your responsibilities and a list of specific accomplishments.
- A project list that describes business problems presented to you, how you solved them, and the results your solutions achieved. Be sure to include the roles you played in those efforts, and describe your results with specific numbers (i.e., “reduced customer service response time by 20 percent” or “increased manufacturing capacity by 150 units per day, resulting in a 15 percent annual revenue increase”).
- Your degrees, certifications and other credentials.
- Your professional profile, or possibly several versions of it, each one customized to match the different types of work you’re interested in. For instance, one profile might emphasize your experience as a team lead, while another focuses on your software engineering skills.
- A list of projects and code that you’ve posted online, along with where and when you’ve posted them.
- Names and contact information of managers, colleagues and others who’ve agreed to act as references.
How It Helps
Admittedly, it takes a lot of work to compile all of this, and keeping it all up-to-date must become an important part of your monthly routine. The results, however, can be well worth it.
For starters, an omnichannel résumé simplifies the task of customizing your approach to each employer—something recruiters and career experts agree is critical to a successful job search. You’ll have everything you need to tailor your actual résumé in one place, ready to copy and paste.
In addition, it acts as a checklist to make sure you present yourself consistently. “Remember, you’re dealing with multiple channels,” said Rita Friedman, a certified career coach in Philadelphia. That means you run the risk of having things fall out of sync, which can have real consequences. “I’ve seen a handful of situations go south because titles, dates and the like didn’t match up,” Hicks added.
The omnichannel résumé helps you determine your strengths and weaknesses. Mattson suggests that compiling the document is a good way to isolate the top three skills you should present to employers and how you should present them.
Lastly, it provides peace of mind. “It can be relieving to have a master file,” Friedman said. “You’ll know you’ve got everything there so you can simply put together what you need.”
Even though the omnichannel résumé is meant to be a tool for your own use, and not something you’d share with a recruiter or hiring manager, be sure to have employers uppermost in your mind when you’re drawing information from it.
“Candidates look at a job posting and think, ‘I can do that.’ But employers want to see that they’ve already done it,” Mattson said. “Job seekers need to think in the perspective of an outsider looking in.” If they don’t bear that mind, that disconnect can lead to a seeker “changing things so [their message] falls apart.”
Since that message is delivered over multiple channels, the omnichannel résumé helps ensure that you present yourself consistently and professionally, no matter where a prospective employer looks.