Home Job Search A Chilling Trend Job Seekers Absolutely Need to Know
A Chilling Trend Job Seekers Absolutely Need to Know

A Chilling Trend Job Seekers Absolutely Need to Know

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The past weekend, I attended a gathering of career thought leaders in Seattle, WA, and found this to be an incredibly insightful experience.

Usually, résumé writers and career coaches are so busy with clients that we don’t often have the opportunity to sit down and discuss observations, as well as up-and-coming trends on the horizon.

We talked long and hard about how social media is slowly creeping into the candidate selection process, and spent quite a bit of time on video résumés.

Full disclosure: I’ve been relatively un-swayed in my opinion that resorting to videos is the wrong route to go as it is a static, staged, uncomfortable experience for most job seekers that end up leaving them looking wooden throughout the video. But of greater concern is that many think that these outlets leave candidates wide open to discrimination, based on the widely expressed opinions of many human resource managers.

However, the ice began to crack in my resolute stance on this hotly debated topic. Several of the thought leaders repositioned the idea of a video résumé as being an insight into a person’s passion…the written résumé document conveys the skills, action, and expertise, while a video ‘slice’ (as in a 15-second cut) that focuses on the candidate describing what fires them up or something that inspires them can work magic in conveying what makes a person tick.

Interesting, and food for thought. I’m not totally convinced this is the answer as most people don’t have access to a professional video crew that can make just the right believable angle, but perhaps this is a whole new industry waiting to emerge. Who knows?

But one nugget that came out of this meeting sent an absolute chill down my spine.

One of the attendees, Mark Hovind of JobBait.com (and an analytical guy who is tops at discerning trends out of mountains of data), laid it out starkly:

“In the future, job seeking will be a platform which aggregates a person’s entire background into one location, including employer, supervisor, or manager ratings, dollar figure that they are worth, and any other relevant social data that could be an influencing factor on hiring decision. This, in turn, will fuel an ‘e-Bay’-like auction off to the highest bidder.”

Think about it.

There are already reputation management or assessment tools out there already, quietly gathering data and information about people and what others think of them. We are absolutely one heart-beat away from that all-inclusive platform that pulls data from all over the web into a job seeker profile that you may or may not be able to control.

A critical mass of personal information is being built up to the point that the pieces are already there- someone is going to invent the program that consolidates it into a comprehensive profile.

The big question is how are employers going to interface with this system? There’s always going to be the human factor, but unless you get the right ‘classifications’ to fit into a specified applicant pool for the bidding, there’s always the danger of being qualified yet not considered due to someone’s established data algorithm.

This kind of data behemoth likely would also become a highly attractive target for hackers aiming to cause a massive data crash, and I agree. Another potential issue includes when a maligned person takes to the web in a fit of revenge, bent on destroying the reputation of a specific individual. This could have devastating impacts on careers. Risk management, Mark said. It’s going to be all about risk management including job applicants being proactive about taking ownership of negative backgrounds.

Why did I share these insights in this post? Mainly to wake everyone up. If a gathering of career professionals such as ourselves could see the handwriting on the wall, you can be sure that someone in a technology field is likely in the final stages of an application to be launched in the not-so-distant future.

Understanding the career implications and taking even more care in reputation management is a good best practice to start working on now, so you are ready to meet the very near future on its terms.

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Dawn Rasmussen Dawn Rasmussen is president of Portland, Oregon-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, which provides resume, cover letter, and job searching assistance.