Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, which combines a video job board and online interviewing platform to enrich interaction between job seekers and employers. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.
At the start of 2012, when you thought of the social media giants the ones that came to mind were likely Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn. That’s a pretty good list but now you’re also adding another – Pinterest.
Pinterest is the most rapidly growing social media platform and relies heavily on visuals, allowing users to create their own boards in a variety of topics and “pin” images they like. As you likely know users can also “repin” images they like from friends and followers, with most of these pins linking back to websites featuring products and services.
Why is Pinterest important when it comes to your job hunt? Because its rapid growth is telling us something about our culture’s appreciation for the visual medium. Pinterest is one of the fastest sites to ever hit 10 million unique monthly visitors and users are spending over an hour on the site, compared to a half hour on sites like Twitter.
The insight that the popularity of Pinterest gives job seekers is simple: image matters. The difference between Pinterest and other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is that Pinterest is almost entirely image-based. People are responding to Pinterest because people respond to visuals! For the job seeker, this means that the visual medium cannot be ignored on the way to your perfect position.
Just like graphic-heavy sites are spiking in popularity, employers are also embracing more visual hiring methods. From a picture on a job seeker profile or Twitter account to a video resume, employers increasingly respond to seeing candidates before the actual in-person interview. Make sure the images these potential bosses and co-workers see will enhance your brand, not detract from it.
After all, some employers are even asking employees for Facebook login information. (Whether or not this is ethical is still being discussed.) Either way, the popularity of image intensive sites proves that a picture really is worth a thousand words. So make sure the images on your various social media profiles are telling the right story.
Making a video resume could be a good way to take advantage of the visual trend and let employers see your personality. Recruiters can now not only view your resume but also see a video alongside it. Now is not the time to discount the power of the visual. Just because you might be filming your video resume at home doesn’t mean you should do it while sitting on your bed in your fanciest ducky pajamas. Dress as if you were going to a professional in-person interview and find a background that is clean and lacks distractions.
What we see is often what we believe. The popularity of increasingly image-based social media sites can teach us to be aware of the how we present ourselves on the job hunt. Take advantage of all the tools in your toolbox and don’t discount the power of image.
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