Today's economy is tough for both job-seekers and employers alike. Mistakes are costly and time-consuming for both parties. Employers have tighter budgets for finding and interviewing candidates, and candidates need every tool available to compete for top positions.
Technology is streamlining the hiring process. Managers use it to eliminate useless — and costly — interviews and prescreen candidates before bringing them in for in-person interviews. And job hunters can use technology to distinguish themselves from the pack.
By using a Web-based video interviewing system, hiring managers can view video clips of job candidates, any time, any place, and share them with other decision makers. Employers can even compare the responses of candidates to the same question, further leveling the playing field. The candidate benefits as well because on camera, personality, enthusiasm and passion come through, making the case more convincingly than words on the page of a standard resume.
Candidates need to become savvy about projecting themselves on camera. The Web is filled with advice on how to perform well in a video interview. Step one is to dress the same as you would for an in-person interview. Another tip is to look straight at the camera.
Virtual resumes now resemble social networking profiles with photographs, active URL links and videos. Online portfolios consisting of images, video, text and audio come to life, showing what a candidate can offer the employer. "One of the most common requests we're getting these days from employers is for students to have their resumes and portfolios available online," says Debra Pierce, director of career services at Miami International University of Art & Design.
"Web 2.0 has changed the way employers and job seekers locate, research, and interview each other," says Marc Scoleri, director of career services at The Art Institute of New York City. "The Internet has enabled job seekers to promote themselves through web-based social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn. Social networking profiles are comparable to paper resumes in the sense that they can list the job seeker's employment information, but a social networking profile can show an image, video, with live clickable links so it can be e-mailed to anyone in a split second."
Employers are also using a quick Google search to see if there is any positive or negative content online about an applicant. For job seekers, outrageous or unprofessional pictures or videos on a social networking site can be a deal-breaker for a prospective employer. Therefore, job seekers need to understand the nature of these social networking sites and the repercussions they may have on their job search if not used appropriately.
In this new environment, both sides of the job-hunting process benefit. In fact, the days of mailing a paper resume to an employer (which never yielded great results) may be over. Then again, a very creative resume kit that includes the high-tech elements (including a CD with a video and links to an online portfolio) delivered via snail mail may be one way to stand apart from the rest of the pack.
To learn more about The Art Institutes, visit www.artinstitutes.edu/nz.