Smartt Principles

Smartt Principles ( is a column by Nicole Smartt, an author as well as co-owner and vice president of Star Staffing, based in Petaluma.

Recently, a meme made the rounds on the internet showing a partially filled out web form and displayed fields for “recent employment” and “duration of employment,” and “this is on my resume” had been written in every field.

In the modern world, what really is the future of seeking employment or employees?

We’re much less likely to need to spend hours or days handing out paper resumes in person. The tools available to job-seekers, recruiters and hiring managers are many and varied, which doesn’t necessarily help clarify how job-seekers can put their best digitized foot forward.

Here are some suggestions to help optimize the process of finding a new company or hiring new talent.

Deeper insight

A resume is a restricted format, providing what amounts to work history, with a bit of skills, extracurricular activity, and strengths peppered in. A candidate’s digital footprint is more like a novel: tons of information, though only some of it is relevant to your particular questions.

One of the best insights that just wasn’t visible in the predigital resume era is the question of culture fit. Social media sites that allow for a range of interactions are priceless in terms of getting a clearer picture from both sides of the hiring table.

Shared interests can be seen, and personality will come across, even if the social media presence is curated (and it should be, to some extent.)

Job seekers need to consider how your pictures and posts might be viewed out of context, and make sure you’re aware of which of your posts are public. When in doubt, leave it off the internet.

For recruiters and managers, often LinkedIn will show community involvement, outside interests and more. Look for examples of work, common connections and participation (sharing, posting, etc.).

Targeted reach

Conferences, meet-ups, online groups and communities are great places to connect, and ways to do a ton of the heavy networking lifting without pounding the pavement for hours. Connections may be easier to make, and feel more genuine, when they’re started in lower stress, lower expectation environments.

Job seekers should consider joining groups on LinkedIn, through, and through groups in your area. Let these communities grow on you, and stick with the ones that resonate with you. Balance your effort toward the groups you genuinely like best. Recruiters and managers can keep a presence in these groups and at conferences, and utilize them to hand out business cards, make friends, and make opportunities to connect without all the stress of a formal interview.

Data-driven action

Taking things to the digital landscape doesn’t just make it convenient to Google a person’s name and get a pretty good sense of their tastes and tempers. It also means the candidate search process has been revolutionized. Keyword-based search and advanced algorithms mean access to better, more accurate search results, and a shorter and more accurate list of potential candidates or potential companies.

Smartt Principles

Smartt Principles ( is a column by Nicole Smartt, an author as well as co-owner and vice president of Star Staffing, based in Petaluma.