Others, such as developers, point to their contributions to open-source communities like GitHub. And, of course, job shoppers ignore at their own peril the reach of LinkedIn and, to a lesser extent, other social media sites like Facebook, Google+ or even Instagram.
"[Hiring companies] want to see what people are doing within the tech community, the development space, are they contributing? So I encourage people to have a strong digital profile as well as a resume, and LinkedIn is the primary tool for a strong digital profile," says Doug Schade, principal consultant in the software technology search division at Waltham, Mass.-based search firm WinterWyman.
Schade says savvy candidates know how to leverage social media to separate themselves from the pack. They don't just paste their traditional resumes into their LinkedIn profiles but rather focus on showcasing themselves with links and presentations that highlight their skills and accomplishments.
"There is an opportunity to be more robust with one's persona," Schade says, "because social media is used by hiring managers to gain more intel, gain more insight."
Web developer Avery Anderson gets that. Anderson, 27, graduated in 2008 from the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Mass., with a degree in mechanical engineering. She worked in the field for a year but decided it wasn't the best fit.
Anderson did some contract work in robotics, and then in February 2010 she sought out a Web engineer position at an Internet start-up for wine aficionados called Second Glass. "Web development seemed like a huge opportunity, but I didn't have a lot of experience, so I started with a personal website. It was like, 'See, I can make website.' That got me in the door," says Anderson, who was hired right away.
When she left Second Glass in April 2012, Anderson turned to her website again, tweaking and updating it to reflect more of her skills and personality. She says her site, along with her LinkedIn profile and her account at the online developers' site GitHub, got plenty of traffic; she estimates she was contacted by about 50 recruiters during her two-month job search, contacts that led to nearly 10 interviews — including some Skype sessions.
She landed a software engineer job with The Minerva Project, a startup that's building an elite online university. Although she was introduced to the organization through a roommate, she says she knows the company checked her out online before she even walked in the door. "People Internet-stalk everyone before meeting in person," she observes.
And even though she's not looking for a new job now, she keeps up her personal website to have what she calls "a landing page" for people who want to know more about her and her work — a particularly important point as she tries to gain more experience, recognition and speaking engagements.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.