There are two things we know for certain about today’s economy.
1) Finding jobs is getting more and more difficult, for both college educated and non-college educated people.
2) Social media has made job hunting and job candidate hunting trickier. Social media brings a degree of transparency – for better or worse – to the application and interview process that wasn’t there before.
In the old world, before the heavy use of LinkedIn and Facebook, employers relied on personal networks to find great candidates. Now, they combine that with these impressive social networks, not just for fact checking, but to see who you are and what you are bringing to the company.
Optimize Your Resume with Social Media
Because social media plays such a big part in employee hiring, incorporate it into your resume for maximum impact. Rather than shy away from being found by employers online, take this opportunity to highlight more of your talents and personal network.
1. Link Up to LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a massive professional social network. Unlike Facebook, employers aren’t going to be tempted to sift through photos or notes from your friends. They won’t see where you checked in last night, or be caught up with your latest Words with Friends triumph. When employers use LinkedIn, they are interested in one thing: what you bring to the table professionally.
At the top or bottom of your resume, wherever you put your contact information, add a small link directly to your LinkedIn profile, like this: LinkedIn.
2. Insert a Mini Social Media Dashboard
If you’ve got nothing to hide and have a clean social media personality, take it a step further by adding links to the major networks to which you belong, such as:
or any other network that may be relevant to where you are trying to get a job. For example, if you are hoping to get into real estate, you may want to add a link to your Active Rain profile. If you are trying to get a job at a radio station, add a link to your last.fm profile.
Whatever you link to, be sure that the information is accessible. There’s no point in linking to your Facebook profile if it’s completely private and they can’t see anything about you, unless you want potential employers sending you friend requests! Instead, make some information public and the rest private.
3. Clean Up Your Social Media History
If you are not or haven’t been so clean on your social media sites, go through and delete old, irrelevant, or personally incriminating posts and updates. Facebook has a ton of features to let you cherry pick who gets to see what.
When you’re job hunting – and even thereafter – keep your social media profile free from profanity, damaging and/or hateful remarks, and anything else that may reflect negatively on you. Think of it this way: if it falls under harassment, hate/prejudice, or it’s against your potential employer’s code of conduct, you should think twice about posting it or allowing someone else to post it on your profile.
4. Be Consistent
Lastly, keep your social media profiles up to date and completely consistent with your resume. If your resume said you worked for a company for 10 years and you are presently employed there, but your LinkedIn profile shows that you’ve worked for three different companies in the past two years, it’s going to look strange to whomever may be checking you out online.
5. Optimize for Search and Use Microblogging
Try to use bio areas in your social media profiles to your advantage. Use keywords related to your desired job and location in your profile, such as “Aspiring Product Manager in Phoenix, AZ.” Social media profiles are indexed by major search engines and since social media sites tend to get ranked highly, you have the potential to be found by employers who are actually out looking for you!
Likewise, spruce up your resume with keywords as well, and wherever possible, add it to your social media profiles. Both LinkedIn and Facebook have tools that allow you to add text, such as a full resume, to the profile.
You could even upload your resume in PDF format to a file sharing site such as Google Docs, and then link to it in your social media profile.
Lastly, don’t overlook microblog tools like Blogger.com and WordPress.com, which you can use to paste a full-text resume as well, and add your social media activity to the blog. You could end up getting a comment from an interested employer!
This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for a company that provides a to do list app, and who also consults for an inspection company that offers pre-shipment inspections in China and in Latin America.