Social Media Resume

Risks in Using Social Media as Your Resume

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about your “social media resume,” i.e., what you share on social media.

Consider this logic:

96% of recruiters use social media for finding talent, so your social media presence is your new resume.

Recruiters Use Social Media to Find You

Recruiters do use social media sites to find talent.

However, when you get real about it, most recruiters primarily use referrals, LinkedIn, niche professional networks, and ads to find talent. They use social media as an auxiliary sourcing tool and as a way to get to know you better.

Because of that, buff your resume and LinkedIn profile first. Then develop a presence on other social media sites if you know that recruiters look for people like you on them.

And know that while social media sites might help you get found, recruiters give your resume more weight than social media when including you in interviews.

Conversely, they might exclude you based on what they see in your social feeds.

A New Study from Penn State

A new study from Penn State found that 60% of employers have dropped candidates from consideration for these reasons:

  1. Self-absorption. Check your Instagram and Facebook accounts. How many pictures of yourself have you posted? Is everything you post about you, you, you? No one wants to work with an egomaniac.
  2. Opinionatedness. Do you post extreme or controversial ideas? If so, you might consider self-employment.
  3. Drug and alcohol use. Check your pictures and posts. While you might be a lot of fun, a photo hiking or skiing with friends will make a better impression than chronicling every bachelor’s party you attend.

The Career Time Bomb in Social Media Usage

While you know to take your wild partying pictures down (right?), another aspect of your social media presence counts too — how much time you spend on the various sites.

When you spend a lot of time on non-work related social media, recruiters and hiring managers can see that you don’t focus on your job.

No employer wants to fight social media for your time and attention.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read 

Per the above, you don’t need an extensive social media presence for employers to find you.

Rather, be present where recruiters look for people like you. Then give a meta-message that you do your job, not that you live on social media. That’s the best social media resume.

One More Thought

Increasingly, I’m seeing Chrome browser extensions available for no or low cost that purport to analyze a person’s behavior and personality in less than a minute. They collect data from social media profiles and activity to do this.

Some of them seem sound. Others, not so much. I’m looking into them. In the meantime, know that recruiters and hiring managers can now easily deploy a bot to give them an instant “read” on you — accurate or not.

Thus, always consider how you’re feeding the bots when you post anything anywhere online because your social media “resume” might include this new dimension.

Featured by SmartBrief
Image: Fotolia/Leigh Prather
Updated May 2020

© 2016 – 2020, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 2

  1. That’s a really great point. Obviously there is a balance between being an active, responsible member of social media and giving the impression that you are prioritising that over your actual job. With a lot of orgs now having their own internal social platforms (such as Yammer) then being connected should be recognised positively – but agree this has limits.

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