Diane Stafford

Job hunters need digital proficiency

Updated: 2014-01-03T14:52:32Z

By DIANE STAFFORD

The Kansas City Star

Do you have an electronic resume? It could help your job search, particularly if it isn’t just a PDF of your paper resume.

Digital formats can give potential employers far more information than anything you could provide on a typed sheet of words.

Online, you can create links to portfolios that illustrate your work. You can include a video that conveys your presentation style, assuming it’s dynamic and worth watching. You can add color that catches the eye.

Using electronic technology will help convince prospective employers that you’re not a dinosaur. Furthermore, most mid-sized to large businesses are using applicant-tracking software and online hiring processes that are more likely to find and click on your posted resume.

Also, many employers use LinkedIn to search for candidates. In fact, LinkedIn’s “apply now” function, built into some employers’ job listings, may be the only place where those employers swim through the applicant pool.

Even without an electronic resume, you’re probably using online job-application forms required by employers. Now, be prepared for a possible next step: a video interview.

It makes sense to practice your on-screen delivery. Ask someone with a smartphone or video camera — Skype will work, too — to record you answering sample interview questions or giving your introductory speech. Based on what you see, would you hire you?

Remember, too, that your digital footprint is a big deal. Many employers scour the Web to find information about you — your credit scores, Facebook postings, group memberships and other profiles. Search your name and see what you find. Are you hireable?

Finally, reassess your email address. Make sure it’s a version of your name and not something sketchy, cutesy or detrimental, like olddog@aol.com.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to stafford@kcstar.com. Follow her online at kansascity.com/workplace and twitter.com/kcstarstafford.

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