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Will Résumés Become Passé?

In 2010, I shared a news article about seeking jobs by playing video games. On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that more companies recruit and select candidates without even asking them to submit a résumé. Will résumé become passé? 

According to my 2010 discussion, some companies, including Caesars Entertainment, have utilized social gaming to assess candidates’ professional skills. Candidates can win prizes if they are good. The best prize? It is probably getting the attention or a job offer from potential employers.  

The Wall Street Journal provided more examples. IGN Entertainment uses a similar approach of social gaming by posting a series of challenges online for candidates. In addition, candidates must submit a video to show their love of gaming and the companies’ products. 

Union Square Ventures, the New York venture-capital firm which invests in many technology companies like Foursquare and Twitter, requires candidate to provide the links of their online presence. The company is expecting to see a Twitter account, a Tumblr blog, and a short video demonstrating the candidate’s interest in the job. “We are most interested in what people are like, what they are like to work with, how they think,” said by Christina Cacioppo, a Union Square associate who blogs about the company’s hiring process. 

Because people use social media in almost every minute of their lives, candidates “expose” rich and descriptive information about their likes/dislikes. Companies can then better judge a candidate’s “fit” with the organizational culture and the position based on the “extra” information that they could not find from a résumé otherwise. 

There are certainly legal considerations of using social media in recruiting and selecting candidates. Meanwhile, many candidates may not feel comfortable of sharing their “personal information” with other. To my knowledge, however, EEOC has not stopped companies from using social media in that regard. Even if EEOC does, there is a solution for employers --- to hire a third party agent to screen candidates’ social media profiles without collecting any “sensitive information.

Today, there are still many companies using résumés in recruitment and selection. Companies that are forward-thinking might have looked into the tools available and see if social media can provide a better solution for attracting and selecting top talents. For job seekers, it might not be a bad idea to let potential employers know their “authentic” personalities and true passion because supposedly, they are also looking for the right fit for their career.

Do you think companies should assess candidates’ fit and qualifications by looking at candidates’ social media profiles? What considerations should be taken if social media is used? If you are looking for an internship or job now, what will you do to better prepare yourself when more companies are looking at candidates’ social media profiles?

Relevant discussions:
Silverman, Rachel Emma. (2012, January 24). No more résumés, Say some firms. The Wall Street Journal. pp. B6. Also available online


  1. While I understand why employers would go to social media profiles to look at potential employees, I am glad to hear that not all companies would assess a candidate’s qualifications by looking just at social media profiles. How would employers be able to find out about an individual’s past employment, education level, or achievements if this is not available on a person’s social media profile? Information such as this, which may not be found on social media profiles, should definitely be considered when selecting employees for a job position, which is why resumes should still be honored and considered. I don’t believe that Facebook or other social media sites would give employers an accurate depiction of what individuals can contribute to a company they apply to work for. However, I do understand that companies are looking for reliable and responsible employees who hold themselves to a high standard and would not represent the company poorly. Therefore, I can see why employees might reject individuals who represent themselves negatively on social media sites. Also, in the case of Union Square Ventures, it is logical that companies want to view a candidate’s online presence since the company is focused on technology and requires employees to be adept with technology and social media. Since the EEOC does not have complete control over how companies use social media to recruit and select employees, it is definitely important for those looking for jobs to reconsider how they use social media sites. Individuals should ensure that what is posted and stated on their social media profiles is consistent with how they would want to be viewed by a potential employer in case their profile is ever screened.
    -Elyse Freschi, NSD 314 student

    1. I agree Elyse. I believe if use appropriately, social media could actually be a great tool to market a candidate. Let me share some more statistics in class --- while companies will turn down candidates based on what they see on the candidates' social media profiles; almost an equal amount of recruiters admit that they hire somebody because they saw something "good" about the candidate on their profiles. The trick is how we can use social media tools for our advantages.

  2. Honestly, I do believe social media is a good way to assess candidates' fit and qualifications; however, there are a lot of inappropriate pictures and information posted on peoples facebook/twitter/myspace that could affect their qualifications for jobs. If social media is used, the photos should not be taken into such serious consideration because it does portray a very negative view of teenagers. Most people in college have pictures of them drinking which obviously does not look appropriate for job applications.

    Because I am looking for a summer job, I believe it is important that i review my facebook page in order to ensure i have the best opportunity to get the job that i want. Facebook should not be a reason that someone does not receive an opportunity that he or she is otherwise qualified for; however, something to rememeber is that once you post something on the internet, you really can never take it back because it has already entered the system. This is kind of an alarming thought as how most of our current lives are posted on the internet and there is very little privacy. On the other hand, social media including twitter and facbeook are a huge marketing tool and help information to get around in a very rapid manner.

  3. I think that using social media is an interesting way to assess candidates. It seems like they key to the issue is whether or not employers are also relying on qualifications such as work experience, because obviously it's not good practice to hire people based on the frequency of their tweets over someone who has a lot of experience. But if you have two people who have basically the same experience, why not use social media, especially when it's applicable to the company, to make the cut? I think that what this does is really give potential employers a sense of who the people they're hiring really are - although, I do agree with Sarah, that people shouldn't be judged too harshly for things like posting pictures of themselves drinking; if what you do on your free time is legal and doesn't affect your work, it's not an employer's business to question it.

  4. Using social media could be good because it definitely offers more abundant and varied information then the classic resume but I believe it should be used with caution. By looking at someone's face book an employer might be able to find the answers to many questions they aren't able to legally ask on a resume and then possibly discriminate. Intentionally or not. If an employer plans to use social media as a means to find the best candidate it must be made very clear that this will happen. I wouldn't want a potential employer to be looking at my face book, that is meant for my friends.

  5. In an every changing word, the methods that we use are continually to change. Now is a time where paper products rarely exist. Nearly everything can be found electronically through smart phones and tablets. There are many people that are similar to one and other. What is the best way to stand out from one another? It is not your education that makes you stand out it is your experience. With the social media boom, different methods have implied for looking for jobs. Recently the infamous Charlie Sheen used social media to find an internee. With everything changing so quickly, new ways will be brought up to separate potential candidates.

  6. Breaking away from the traditional resume and interview process to asses qualified job candidates definitely has some positives and some negatives. I think being able to see a short video, and a twitter account, you will be able to really get a sense of what someone is like that you would not be able to get from a resume piece of paper or just questioning someone in an interview. You will be able to see how they would act when they were actually working for you and if you really want this person to represent your company. On the other hand, I think using social media or gaming is exposing a little bit too much. I think you will be learning more about the candidates personal life, and social media skills more then their actual job qualification skills. You won't be able to see how professional they can be, or what previous experience they have had or where they went to college.
    I think depending of the job that is looking to hire should depend on whether to use social media or not. If you are hiring for a sort of PR, social media marketing position, then yes I think it would be a good idea to look at a candidates twitter account, etc. Otherwise I think it is best to stick to the traditional resume and interview.
    --Jamie Rieff, NSD314 student

  7. This brings up an excellent point. Simply because social media has become a really big part of the everyday life. Social media has continuously grow over the recent years. The constant use of social media has become part of a routine in many lives. It has replaced many natural interactions of a human beings such as communication. People's daily use of Facebook, Blogs, Videos and others have replaced simple forms or communication. Even companies started using Facebook as free advertisement. Knowing the difference that social media does to everyone. This becomes an interesting point to bring up the thought of replacing or even just breaking away from the traditional way of recruiting candidates with resume and interview process is an interesting way to progress into the future. People tend to use Facebook, Twitter, Video and etc. for their personal life and decisions. By using just social media links will enable an employer to know more about the personal life of a potential candidate, but it may not expose their qualifications needed for specific job. Therefore, I believe that using these Social links could be beneficial, but the entire decision to hire the candidate should not be based off their use of social media.

    The topic of entry is very intriguing. I do believe there are professional social links, such as LinkedIn that has taken the idea of putting both professionalisnm and social media together.

    -Katrina G. Wong NSD314

  8. I think that companies may want to quickly scope out someone's social media profiles before hiring, but that just gets a little idea of who that person is. Many people will say things online that they would not dare say in the professional workplace. I don't think that makes that person immature because they can be themselves with their friends but then know how to act serious at work. (However, you should watch what you post. Nothing that can be considered illegal or outrageous.) Therefore, I think that resumes are still needed because they clearly and simply lay out the things that they will actually bring to the workplace. Resumes might be changed a bit but they should not be taken lightly or become a joke.
    -Emily Kratz


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