Friday, October 26, 2012

The Three C’s of Career Arc.


Over the course of several years – be it 10 or 40 – you leave a wake behind you that represents the impact you've made. Recruiters traditionally relied on your resume to tell them about your career arc, but today a lot is being written about how your electronic footprint may be a better, more complete representation of your professional mark.

I have fully embraced social media as a grand, open marketplace of resource communication, coordination and exchange. I saw early on that this was a quick and easy way for me to display my accomplishments. And while we may have (somewhat) valid concerns about privacy, it really is the best medium to showplace your skills and accomplishments. Both common social media platforms like Linked In, Google+, Twitter (and – to some extent Facebook) and specialized professional sites like HR.com or Toolbox.com provide ideal environments for displaying your talents much more broadly than traditional resumes might do.


There are many defenders of the traditional however.

We can say all we want about how traditional methods of work, of recruitment, of talent management form a solid rock-bed of the human resource process, but these foundations are being shaken to their core in the New Employee Economy. One place where this challenge is heatedly discussed is within the “resume is dead” discussion. For some of these pundits, the new Career Arc, represented in your social media foot print is the way to go.

Why is social media career arc potentially the best way to get a feel for a person? Here are three reasons I believe it is:
  1. Context: A good social media footprint can show you the impact of your career activities. It can show whether the things you did mattered to anyone. It can show what kind of influence you have.
  2. Comprehensiveness: You can’t say much in a two page resume. Even a greatly written resume has to leave off important things that have happened in your life. Your social media footprint can provide a much more rich detail about who you are and what you've done.
  3. Community: We all perform in a broader professional community. How we interact with that community, how we are perceived by that community and how we contribute to that community are important elements of the kind of employee we are.
Obviously not everyone actively participates in social media, but for those who do, using social media to understand your candidate is a great way to help find a better fit.