Your Reputation Is Your Résumé

From Technology Review:

Building a career isn’t what it used to be—and we’re not talking about the sputtering economy or the 13.3 percent unemployment rate among 20-to-24-year-olds. College graduates entering the job market are supplementing and sometimes circumventing the traditional job-search routine of combing want ads and sending out résumés. They’re using online resources to build reputations, demonstrate skills, and give employers a much clearer idea of their strengths.

“The résumé is vanishing as a way of representing who you are,” says Launa Forehand of Jobspring, a Silicon Valley recruiting boutique that specializes in entry-level and junior placements. The job seekers looking to fill the nearly 300,000 new jobs in information technology that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will have been created between 2008 and 2018—a growth rate of 30 percent—are proving their value through participation in online communities, and employers are increasingly using those venues to find and vet candidates.

The new job-search environment affects people of all ages, but younger workers may have an advantage: they’re not shy about putting their lives online. “Millennials share a greater willingness to expose themselves, and not just the good stuff,” says John Hagel, head of Deloitte’s Center for the Edge and coauthor of The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Made Smartly, Can Set Big Things in Motion. “Being willing to share things you don’t know and seeking help in solving problems you’re working on are enormously powerful ways to attract people who share your interests.”

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. “Networks can shortcut their career path, leading them to higher-level jobs and better pay much faster than in the past,” Hagel says.

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