Monday, 18 February 2013

Step 13 - The Social Resume

Don't Underestimate the Power of Social

Lately I have been seeing a lot of buzz around the topic of Non-Traditional or Social Resumes. I came across this article from Platform Magazine that gives a great overview of non-traditional resumes. But non traditional or not, social resumes are the new it thing. And coincidentally I just finished reading a book by an expert on the subject Miriam Salpeter's "Social Networking for Career Success". In her book, Salpeter covers how to use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook in your job search. The topic itself is timely for me as I begin my job search and it has led me to research and question more this idea of using social networks for employment goals.

If you want a career in PR you need to have a successful online presence, and so that is why I have chosen to make this Step 13. I suggest seeking out as much information on the topic as possible and leveraging it to your advantage.

Here I will cover what I learned about Twitter, LinkedIn, other tools and where a social resume can take you, but keep in mind that I am not an expert. These are some of the things I have learned that you may find useful. First, the popularity of social resumes has not gone unnoticed by employers. They are now somewhat expected in PR and marketing anyway. Apparently 92% of employers use some form of social media for recruitment in 2012. This coincides with the increase in social resumes created by job seekers. 88% of job seekers have a social profile, while 64% have two and 44% have three separate profiles on social media.The reason for the use of social resumes is that you are able to include information that goes beyond work experience. You can showcase visuals, creativity and more of your personality. That is why a social resume should remain consistent with your personal brand as I discussed in Step11: Personal Branding 101.

And of course here is a handy Infographic that can sum up some of the research on social resumes.

Social Resume Tools

1. Make the best of your Bio
Ideally your Twitter bio should include  your career specializations and goals. You will want to use a professional photo rather than one shot from last Saturday at the club. And to help keep your "personal brand" and online presence consistent, link back to your other sites like LinkedIn, blogs, websites, a Slideshare, Pinterest or whatever link is most useful for you.

2. Tweet like a professional
Tweet about your job search, your industry, or your goals. Make sure your tweets have content and not just hashtags that will alienate followers. Share links that followers will find useful (and use a shortlink to save on space in your tweet). Also, try to avoid tweeting about your personal stuff like trips to the gym, don't use hashtags that don't apply to your tweet just tog get attention, try to tweet some original thoughts or opinions. Doing these things right will make you more retweetable and more credible in your area of focus like PR. And always remember social media etiquette.

3. Who to follow?
It is safe to follow influencers like industry professionals and organizations.You can follow past employers, past colleagues, your school's alumni, professors, companies you're interested in applying to and government bodies that affect your industry. Once you follow someone take a look at what they are tweeting and see if you can join in the conversation to network. Twitter chats are also great to follow. Remember not everyone will follow you back, and that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep them on your own list.

The advantage of LinkedIn is that every time you connect with one person you are expanding your network (think 6 degrees of separation). Here are some reasons why LinkedIn is a must for your social resume:
  • It is where employers hire from the most in the social networking world.
  • It ranks high on Google and search engines -  this gives you a stronger online presence.
  • It is a solution to staying in contact with the people you meet through networking.
  • It is more professional than Facebook or Twitter - this works well for a personal brand.
LinkedIn is simple to use, but the toughest part may be your personal summary. Make sure to answer these 3 questions:

Who are you?
Who do you want to help?
How are you going to help them?

Once the different sections are filled out do what you can to make your profile complete. You are 40% more likely to come up in search results when you have a profile that is 100% complete compared to 90% complete. That is a huge jump!

I also recommend that you personalize your LinkedIn URL. In edit mode click the edit button beside your current URL and change it to get rid of the useless numbers. Instead use your name and maybe your profession. So for instance mine is danielleaprilboucherpr.

Once this is done you can share your LinkedIn on your other profiles and in your email signature.

Other tools
Some other tools you may want to consider are Blogger, WordPress, Flikr, Pinterest, YouTube,,, SlideShare and Facebook.These tools can be used to create online portfolios of your work. Finally, after you have put in all this work, you need to optimize it. That's right SEO! There are some great resources out there for enhancing SEO and then you need to monitor. Google Search yourself and see what comes up, use HootSuite, Google Analytics. These are all tools you should know how to work for your job anyway.

You may wonder why a job seeker or recent grad should put in all this effort to create more online presence in their social resume... Well some recruiters are not even considering paper resumes anymore. And joining this trend shows you are ahead of changing times and know what your industry (PR and Marketing) look for in candidates.

If you need an idea for where to start check out this online resume via SlideShare. 
And here are some other ideas that will get your creativity flowing. 

What do you think about Social Resumes? How do you use social networks for employment goals? And do you think paper resumes are a thing of the past?  

I also strongly suggest you check out this blog called Things Career Related, it is full of useful information for job seekers, many of which are applicable for students and recent grads.

P.S. I love PR.

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