Extending the job hunt to Web world

Over the past month, I've been scouring resumes of job applicants and have yet to come across one that points me to a social network for more information on the candidate.

Perhaps it's still too early for this generation of applicants, mostly in their late-20s and early-30s, to seriously consider Facebook or LinkedIn as a recruitment platform. But, perhaps it's time to do so.

Back in my uni days, graduating students were encouraged to seek out career counselors for advice and attend job recruitment workshops, one of which touched on resume writing. The trainer would point out the best way to structure a resume, which information to include and what skills to highlight.

The discussion would even touch on pointers such as the recommended number of pages (no more than two for fresh grads or three for more experienced job seekers), and presenting the data in point-form and in a table format. The objective is to make it as easy as possible for recruiters to quickly pick out key information about the job candidate, hence, increasing her chances of being called in for an interview.

In the stack of resumes that come through, I would inevitably receive several that are overly laden with text and so badly formatted that it's tough to sieve out the information I need to decide if they were suitable candidates. A couple had proven so difficult to read that I didn't even get past the first page before skipping the resume entirely--that would have been a pity if the candidate actually had good credentials.

It's also terribly time-consuming to have to open document after document just to read through writing samples and portfolios that candidates sometimes send through as reference.

All these issues can be resolved via social networks because most Net-savvy HR personnel would likely already be familiar with the site's interface, especially of more popular ones like Facebook and LinkedIn. This makes it easier for them to quickly pick out relevant information, and for recruiters like me, viewing a candidate's writing samples will just be a convenient hyperlink away.

Jobseekers with the right skills and aptitude, but not in resume-writing, will simply need to input their information in the standard fields outlined in the social networking site.

I look forward to the day when, rather than .doc or PDF files, I'll receive resumes that contain only one link pointing to the candidate's profile on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Until then, jobseekers might want to first clean up their online profile and pick up some tips on how to boost their employment chances using social media.