Monday 30 January 2012

Micro Resumes

Have problems fitting a thought into 140 characters? Now try and fit your education and work history into that. Boasting over 150 million users, it’s said that the Sina weibo service gets more than 10,000 micro resumes posted each day.

The idea behind micro-resumés is to use social media to spread the word about new job postings quickly and allow people to respond as efficiently and concisely as possible. Companies post recruitment information everyday on their Weibo accounts. If you are interested in one of the jobs, you may just reply to the bosses of the company with your micro-resume, and they’ll check it out. It might even increase the chances of you being employed.

While the weibo trend is set to continue growing in China - people post micro-resumés and employers micro-recruiting – in Chinese, one can probably convey their professional experience in 140 characters or less given the nature of the language where one character conveys a whole lot more than a phonetic sound, like a single letter in our alphabet. 140 Chinese characters = 140 words. Hence a micro résumé in Chinese provides much more information than say a 140 character post in English. On both Weibo as well as twitter, more meaningful discussions are possible in Chinese given 140 words, compared to 140 characters in English.

It begs the question – do you think a recruiter can obtain enough information about a potential candidate in that short of a space?

Although, I’ve seen some creative attempts to do so.

Given the current economic climate, employers may also have ‘more control’ that they have in the past with the ability to demand exact matches for positions, it seems there will always be a place for full CVs & resumes. The adoption of a micro resume may also have a negative impact on all those companies who provide online application forms, pre-review of resumes using a list of preferred keywords, HR departments let alone recruiters and head hunters that may not yet have cotton on to the value of social media to means their recruiting ends. All of those with a vested interests in full CVs would certainly do anything they could to avoid the adoption of a micro resume as a standard.

China’s job seekers are clearly embracing these platforms in order to search for their next career move. According to China Youth Daily, several companies have begun using micro-blogs as an effective channel for recruitment. One of their major examples is Alipay, China's largest third-party online payment service. A recruiter for the company has been using social media like weibo to post jobs and find candidates since 2009.

Antal China identified three possible challenges to consider when using micro resume’s in the recruitment process:

- Lots of micro resumes tend to play with words in order to make them entertaining and catchy.  It’s hard to assess the capability of a candidate with such limited information.
- Social media recruitment requires HR people to build up the correct strategic approach (for example the skills of attracting the most targeted followers), which means related training and extra time, have to be provided.

- Also, the massive micro resumes with improper and unreliable contents is likely to turn the recruitment process into an even bigger mine field.

Interesting to see where this goes. Good or bad, seems as if Sina weibo is increasingly being used as a personal advertising tool. One report I read suggested that micro-blogs can "yield twice the result with half the effort in helping companies to recruit new employees.”
Damn, not bad.

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