For more than a year now I’ve been working in Credit Union land. My responsibilities include managing a team of marketing and communications, design and digital professionals.
Given I didn’t inherit a full team, I’ve spent a great deal of the past year recruiting and interviewing for various roles. Of these, three of the eight hires were for digital roles.
I cannot begin to tell you how astounded I was when I’d receive a candidate’s resume for a digital role, I’d read it then immediately turn to Google, type in their name and find….nothing. I’d add more descriptive information gleaned from their resume, and still come up empty.
Where was the digital footprint? Where were the blogs, the tweets, the websites, the YouTube videos or flickr photos? Where were the micro sites? the podcasts? the comments on others’ blogs? Where were the examples of their own personal SEO? I pondered how it was that candidates could claim to understand and guide the development of tools they themselves did not use, let alone demonstrate mastery of?
There were countless times when I received CV’s for these digital roles with not a hyperlink to be found? Where were the digital resumes? Where were YouTube videos instead of cover letters? Where were the LinkedIn profiles for heaven’s sake? So often they just weren’t there.
But, in a few rare cases, they did make a refreshing appearance. They stood out. They allowed me, the hiring manager, to take a glimpse into how the candidate thought, how they approached the challenges of sharing or organising information, to see what they created or the possibilities that they identified.
A good communications person learns early that what you do screams so loud that it often drowns out what you say. You learn the incredible power of show over tell.
So, here’s a little tip for those pursuing digital roles – use the tools you purport to be expert in – make them part of your job search. Don’t be afraid to be innovative and try something new in presenting your skills and experience. Show how these new digital tools can be used to challenge the job hunt status quo – consider how they can be the springboard for change – ask yourself how your digital skills might be able to add another dimension to the CV, cover letter, portfolio and the interview discussions.
I can tell you that these efforts do get noticed. Walking the walk, does give you a competitive advantage.
Not sure whether to believe me? Just ask those digital folks who made it on to my team. I’ll let you in on a little something – some even had the job before I had ever met them in person!
Questions of the day?
What interesting tools, techniques, approaches have you seen used by applicants? What was the most creative job search technique you’ve employed?