Maybe you are all too familiar with the social media stats - how many people are on LinkedIn and what percent of hiring managers are using social media to screen applicants. But what about on the flip side? Are job seekers catching on to how they can use social media proactively to market themselves? We hear so much talk about people trying to hide their social media accounts from employers, but might there be a developing niche that is adopting a personal branding mentality?
How many people do you know who include their LinkedIn profile or Twitter handle on their resume?
As a recruiter myself, I certainly have seen plenty links on resumes in the past year. It has proven to be effective too; here’s why:
The Advantages, Tried & True
Your LinkedIn profile shows that you have a professional network (which could be perceived by your potential employers as a new “book of business”)
It is an online CV (which your interviewer will most likely check out before they meet you in person)
It acts as a creative supplement to your resume by providing additional information about you (I will break this down later)
Your social media profiles help others understand your personality and what makes you tick
You are giving your audience a unique way to connect with you
You can include recommendations from those you have worked with in the past with the accessibility to see their profiles too
Your saying, “My LinkedIn profile is just a summary of the specifics my resume already gives.”
If it is filled out thoroughly, yes that is true. But your resume is a piece of paper, and while it helps interviewers paint a picture of what you’ve accomplished, it doesn’t tell us who you are. Your social media accounts allow us to tap into that. There are additional characteristics you have the option to show on your LinkedIn profile or via tweeting. For example, does your resume include LinkedIn Groups, organizations, and forums that you participate in online? What about the hobbies you tweet about like the fact that you brew beer or that you are taking a class on the science behind gluten-free diets?
Demonstrating to an interviewer that you are engaged in specific online groups and conversations shows your passion for the industry(s) and that you have a collection of interests and hobbies. These traits are attractive to employers, and as John Leonard Manager – Direct Hire Division Rob Harvie says, “As decision makers put more of emphasis on online profiles, candidates need to be aware that it can help them more than it can hurt them.”
If you are going to do it, do it Right
If you decide to put your social media account(s) on your resume, do it with purpose. You could have left that space blank or put other information there, so make sure it is there for good reason. Do not add links on your resume if you are not active on them. Make sure your online presence is flawless, current, and as Rob says, “Speaks to your strengths.” You are conveying your professional image here. Make sure you are conveying the side of you that you want to expose to any employer. Or, if you decide you want to keep your accounts private, make sure the strictest of privacy settings are in place. It is better to make a decision one way or another than to do nothing and not know how you are being perceived by others online.
“The ability for hiring managers to check out a potential candidate's social media pages has become almost too easy,” says Staffing Consultant – Direct Hire Division Jennifer Geary, and it will become even easier as social recruiting strategies continue to become part of mainstream recruiting.
Take the proactive approach and be prepared.
Oh, and it also behooves you to add your email address to your LinkedIn profile in the Summary section. Make it easier for others to connect with you. You would be surprised what a difference this can make, regardless of whether you are looking for a job or not.