Do You Have a Platform?

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Creating a résumé is usually the first thing that universities encourage students to do as they begin the job hunt. We teach courses on résumé building and have resources to help students write, design, and present their résumés in a way that could help them land their first job. For those of us out of university and employed, updating a résumé is a discipline we’ve had to learn. After all, “send me your résumé” is the first thing we hear when reaching out about a new job opportunity or opening.

However, with the way business is changing, are we preparing our students and ourselves for the impact it could have on the hiring process? A few weeks ago, I found a post from Justin Lathrop that encouraged people to throw away their paper resumes. Here’s a fascinating statistic that Justin mentioned in his post:

“92 percent of recruiters use social media to find talent.”

In the age of social media, more and more employers are looking beyond—way beyond—traditional paper resumes. After reading his post, I became more convinced that this is truly becoming the future of résumés… which means, we have some work to do to prepare our students for success after university.

How can we help prepare students the right way?

Here are three ideas:

  • We must help them realize that their social media profiles matter… a lot. A few weeks ago, I shared how a student can “tweet their way to a dream job.” My goal was to help students realize the impact their social media use could have on their future job. The statistic that Justin shared just reiterates the importance of maintaining a professional social media presence.
  • Instead of teaching a course on building your résumé, what if we taught a course on building a platform? More and more businesses are going out and finding talent instead of accepting applications. What if we helped our students stand out from the competition by teaching them what it takes to get noticed by a potential employer and become a thought-leader in a particular subject or industry?
  • Helping students think about the bigger picture will do more good than teaching them how to type a résumé. As we prepare our students to enter the workforce, we need to equip them with more than knowledge—we need to equip them with an understanding of how the “real world” operates.

These are just a few ways we can help students stand out from the rest, no matter what the future of résumés may be.

What ideas do you have when it comes to preparing students or the next generation for the future? How can we break the mold to enable them to stand out?