Think of your favorite sports vehicle; your favorite place to grab your morning coffee; your favorite band; your dinner spot of choice on a Friday or Saturday night. Post your answers in the comments section below, if you’d like. Answers to questions like these likely have an active presence in the world of social media.
As social media continues to become a more regular part of everyday communication, questions seem to linger with respect to how formal your social media profiles should look.
A prominent question right now from job seekers, especially those who recently graduated from an online degree program, is: Should I include social media links on my resume?
Career Builder’s1 2016 report states an increase of over 500 percent of recruiters using social media in their search for job seekers over the last decade. Your activity on social media impacts whether you will get a job.
The next time you ask yourself whether to include such links on your profile, first consider the social media channel, and then see if you fit into any of the following categories. Perhaps this will assist in providing a more concrete answer.
Yes, include it: If you only include one social media link on your resume, make it your LinkedIn profile. Yes, your profile on LinkedIn is essentially a glorified resume that the potential employer already has, but think in a deeper sense about LinkedIn. Do you belong to any professional groups? Do you have any recommendations from current or former co-workers or managers? This would be a great opportunity for potential employers to catch a glimpse of you in a professional setting before the interview.
To shorten the URL to your LinkedIn profile so it appears in a cleaner manner on your resume, follow these steps: Once you're logged in, click on the "Profile" tab to "View Your Profile." In your grey profile box, locate the area that states "Public Profile" and click the edit button. This will allow you to shorten and personalize the URL that takes people to your LinkedIn profile page.
No, don't include it: If you haven't updated your LinkedIn profile in a long, long time, it wouldn't be of any benefit to include on a resume.
Yes, include it: This is probably the toughest call to make of all the social media channels. With 1.65 billion monthly active users, Facebook is far and away the most popular social network in the world. Most businesses have a Facebook company page, while a good majority of your friends and co-workers have personal Facebook profiles. If you're applying for an Internet-related job, a well-designed Facebook profile that properly utilizes the "timeline" format could enhance your chances with a potential employer.
No, don't include it: If, however, you utilize Facebook like the majority of us - for personal interests, catching up with friends, sharing articles and photos - it may be better to leave this link off of your resume. Another way to think about it: If there's nothing on your Facebook profile that would add professional value to the job for which you're applying, save yourself the trouble and leave off the link.
I can't stress this enough, though: Just because you leave your Facebook link off of your resume doesn't mean the potential employer still won't search for it. I would suggest job seekers keep their posts (text, photos, videos, articles shared) PG-rated.
Yes, include it: If you Tweet about relevant trends in your industry, think about including your Twitter handle on your resume. I'm not suggesting every Tweet has to be about your professional industry. If you keep your Tweets PG-rated (no cursing, no slang, mostly proper grammar), there's no problem with including your Twitter handle.
Your Twitter handle is what follows the @ symbol on your profile page. Here is an example of the right and wrong way to include Twitter on a resume:
No, don't include it: Much like Facebook, if your Twitter profile does not include any professionally relevant information, it wouldn't serve as an added bonus to potential employers.
The more prominent these social media channels become in our careers and in our job search, the more the line will continue to blur between personal and professional life on social media. Making a serious effort to preserve your online reputation, including social media links on your resume, can help your chances of setting yourself apart from the competition.
Looking for further advice with your resume? Check out Grantham University's Career Center for suggestions on perfecting your cover letter and resume, along with steps you can take to accomplish your professional goals.
About the author: Eric Sorrentino joined Grantham University as Social Media Manager in October 2011. Prior to that, he blogged about Big 12 Conference athletics for KUsports.com and was a sports copy editor for the Lawrence Journal-World. Eric received his bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas.