Your Online Presence Is Your Résumé

Businesses are increasingly turning to social networking sites to filter job applicants and get a more transparent assessment of prospective employees' strengths and weaknesses.

What's the Latest Development?

Businesses are innovating at the level of hiring, using social networks to screen job applicants. Large companies like SAP build their own community sites where prospective employees interact by writing and responding to blog posts and interacting in online forums. Applicants can also upload videos and test their ideas in a field of their peers. Many computer programmers build profiles on GitHub, a networking site which allows people to showcase their code-writing abilities, demonstrating their enthusiasm to employers who follow the site.

What's the Big Idea?

The paper résumé is becoming a relic. LinkedIn profiles are becoming a more important indication of how much experience one has in a given field and, obviously, how connected a person is. The emphasis on new technology gives younger generations an edge thanks to their know-how and their comfort with sharing their lives online. For some, it is proving a boon: "A strong online reputation is allowing some job seekers with limited qualifications to skip over the dues-paying phase of their career and move directly into a higher-level position."

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