There seem to be a few common elements that give applicants a leg up when applying for an open position in a company:
• Relationships -- or who you know
• Individuality -- or what you can bring to the table that a person with similar credentials can't
Sad but true, a stellar resume is really no longer enough to get you in the door. Hasn't been for a while. In fact, within the last 10 years, there seems to be a new factor to add to the list that truly makes you a competitive candidate: How social you are.
In this case, I'm using the word "social" to mean active on social networking sites. And no, I'm not talking about posting kegstand pics on Facebook. What I mean is whether or not you're in the right job groups on Facebook so that when a new position is posted on the group's wall, you can jump right on it. Or how aggressively you network with every headhunter in the biz on LinkedIn.
At one point in the last few years when I was heavily searching for new opportunities, a coworker of mine said: Post more on Facebook and Instagram. Even just a couple of posts a day. It gives you the appearance of being very socially connected and makes you stand out just a little bit more. I rolled my eyes and thought, there's no way I'm going to pander like that. If they want me, they'll want me.
Two years later, I continue to struggle with this notion. Is it selling out to try to up your klout score so a company might notice you? Or If I follow a recruiter on Instagram and like every ridiculous picture she posts of her child, am I a suck up, or am I being strategic in my pursuit of a job? In today's day and age, is anything we do in the social sphere entirely without an ulterior motive?
So, do we join in? Or opt out and potentially miss opportunities in the process?
There's a new app on the market. It's called Blonk. Characterized as the "Tinder for jobs," you sign up through LinkedIn and then have to answer a single question for entrance: Peter Thiel's infamous: "What is something you believe that nearly no one agrees with you on?" Not an easy question, but once answered, you're in. Then, begin swiping away to find a job that intrigues you. If both parties agree and make a match, you can begin talking.
If you're on Tinder, the idea of using Tinder-like techniques to find a job might make you cringe. On the other hand, you might think of this as a great opportunity to level the playing field and to remove the "who you know" factor from the job search.
The question remains, however: Can something as personal as a job interview be conducted within the confines of a tiny screen? I really don't know. But in the meantime, I'm going to go post something on Instagram #givemeajob.
Follow Jamie Silverman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TalksWStrangers