Handing People Your Resume in the Electronic Age

Though your next job offer could come to you in 140 characters or less, it might not be time to shed that paper portfolio just yet. A Wall Street Journal story looks at the ways social media can help job-seekers build networks and also the pitfalls of trying to find work via Facebook.

The story quotes Lonnie Dunlap, director of career services at Northwestern University, on the balance between using new online tools and time-tested job search practices.

“You really have to be careful with Twitter or Facebook, because it can seduce you into an informality that can really backfire,” she says. “I do think that the traditional methods have to be there. And they have to be very well done. You can get someone’s attention through LinkedIn, but your goal is to get an interview.”

It also points out that a hard-copy resume and cover letter are alive and well, quoting Mary Spencer, director of career placement at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, as saying employers at job fairs are increasingly “asking for paper rather than electronic portfolios.”

Still, the story argues for using social media as a component of the quest, and offers up online job search tips. Among the suggestions are getting involved in a social network and letting people know you’re looking, as well as creating “good job karma” by helping others.