Why Your Social Networks Are Your New Résumé

2016-02-23 by Steve

Why Your Social Networks Are Your New Résumé

You’ve finally crafted the perfect résumé. You’ve spent hours weeding out the non-essentials and are ready to send it to employers. Top applicants know there is one thing left to consider in today’s highly competitive job market: cultivating a professional online image with social media networks.

Why your social media presence matters

Your online presence has everything to do with how people may perceive you in the real world. Statistics show that it only takes the average hiring recruiter about six seconds to look over your online profile and decide whether you’re a candidate for the coveted position or not.

New Resume

Big companies and even privately-owned business are now turning to social networks to search for future employees. The Society for Human Resource Management recently found that 66 percent of job recruiters are using social media to attract and hire smartphone users. Additionally, 43 percent of top organizations said that they do indeed screen candidates using social media.

What is even more interesting perhaps, is that more than one-third of those organizations dismissed a job candidate because of negative information obtained through social media networks. For example, their Internet lives didn’t match up to their résumé. With others, illegal activity was found through an online search or quick scan of their public social media profile.

What does this mean for job-seekers?

This raises the stakes for anyone building a résumé. Not only must you seek help from a professional résumé builder to ensure top standards, but you should also regularly update and even clean up your social media profiles. Using Google Search as if you were your own future boss, try to put yourself in the recruiter’s position. Would you hire yourself based on public information found online? Here are five more tips to ensure that your social media profile–like your résumé–is as presentable as it can be.

1. Start with your profile picture

Not all social media networks are for the same audiences, but anyone can see your profile pictures, including future employers. LinkedIn is the top social media platform to enhance your professional profile, so it’s worth spending time opening an account here if you don’t already have one. To hold a recruiter’s attention for more than the average six seconds, the first thing you want to do is choose an online profile picture similar to what you’d choose as a headshot on your résumé. While it’s more common to use a professional headshot in a LinkedIn profile picture than a personal Facebook profile picture, every social media network profile picture will help employers develop an opinion of you. Ask yourself what the message of the picture conveys. Does it look professional? Do you appear like a pleasant person to have in the workplace? You can use our profile as an example.

2. Use organized layout online

Research has found that a cluttered résumé, whether online or offline, is made even more unattractive when it includes distracting visuals. These could be unnecessary photos attached to the résumé which causes visual complexity. Remember, the hiring manager wants to get straight to the point and may be scanning your profile for keywords. Unless you’re applying for the position of, say, graphic artist, make your job easy by keeping the text neat and clutter-free.

3. Think before you post

One rule to follow when posting on any social media, regardless of your privacy settings is, “Would I be okay with my future employer seeing this picture or update?” Just as you would think before answering questions during a job interview, imagine any negative consequences that could arise as a result of posting something that would make someone question your character. In every platform you participate in, think about the possibility that one day a future employer might be able to read it. Something you said online while in college could come back to haunt you when you’re trying to present a professional image.

4. Make your online profile match your résumé

Hiring managers are looking for as much information about you from your online profiles. An updated LinkedIn profile, complete with references, will help recruiters assess your skills and character more easily and measure it against the skills and experience you list on your résumé.

5. Attention to detail

Grammar, spelling, and cohesiveness are all important on a professional résumé, and they should not be ignored in your communications over social networks and emails. Hiring managers will be able to tell if you are as detailed-oriented as you say you are by the way you communicate online.

Help with the perfect résumé

If you need a complete résumé overhaul but don’t have the time or energy it takes to make yours the best it can be, check out our online tools and offers.

After you’ve cleaned up your social media profiles, you can learn more tips on résumé writing from The Resume Builder, such as step-by-step processes and online advice from professional résumé writers. Plus, you’ll get hands-on help to ensure that your résumé is spotless–just like your online profile should be.

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