Many people spend an ample amount of time crafting social media profiles to their liking, whether it’s for personal use or employment. According to statista.com, 78 percent of Americans have a social media profile in 2016, and it’s estimated that 2.5 billion people worldwide will have one by 2018.
Although HR/recruiters still prefer an applicant’s resume over their social media account, they also agree that both are useful in their own way throughout the hiring process.
“I prefer a standard resume over utilizing social media to find out about a potential applicant’s talents. I prefer to use social media profiles as a means to supplement information listed on a resume or cover letter,” says Jovan Odum, HR Recruiter in Internal Staffing for Sales and Customer Service positions.
One thing that resumes and social media accounts have in common is search engine optimization, or SEO. A recruiter/HR manager doesn’t have an extensive amount of time to comb through an applicant’s resume or social media account to see if they qualify for a specific position. SEO helps minimize some of that time because it scans for certain keywords and or skills that a recruiter or HR manager may look for regarding that position, which then can assist them in determining if that applicant is right for the job.
New York Times Best Seller Martin Yate also stresses the importance of including SEO within your social media profiles and says within his article Are Resumes Obsolete? Resume vs. Social Media Profile that a person’s social media profile should be strong and ultimately expand on their resume. He says you will need both a resume and your social media account during your employment search, and that they both should have SEO to be productive.
Seeing how resumes and social media accounts work hand in hand, what account(s) should an applicant focus their attention towards that highlights their skillset with the intent to get an employer to hire them?
The answer: LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is considered to be one of the more professional sites for career seekers to highlight their work history and achievements, so if you have not created an account, it is highly suggested that you do. You can even create a killer LinkedIn profile in 5 minutes.
Having a LinkedIn profile can be beneficial to a potential applicant.
“Utilizing these sites, hiring managers can dig deeper into work histories going beyond the 7-10 year standard and also get a snapshot of any recommendations and/or accolades on potential applicants,” Odum says.
Making sure to keep both your resume and social media accounts clean and precise is also key. As an applicant, you want to make sure that both of these pieces of information highlight you and your work experience in the best light possible to convince employer to hire you for the job. In fact, Odum believes that an applicant’s social media account will become a significant factor in the job hunt.
“Along with highlighting relevant work experience, utilize social media for what it was designed for – network. Don’t be afraid to reach out to co-workers and supervisors to discuss your work performance. Being able to list accomplishments in current and most recent roles and having them be endorsed by close colleagues on a particular project or direct supervisor can provide a leg up in a highly competitive job market,” he shares.
Two years from now, we should see an increase in the usability of social media accounts from 2.5 billion people worldwide. Time will tell if this future prediction will prove to be true. So don’t fret, because you still have time to get both your resume and social media account(s) in order.