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Top Strategies for Your Social Media Resume

Monday, August 11, 2014

A social media resume can be an extremely valuable tool because it pulls employers to you instead of forcing you to push your resume to them. That said, there are some caveats to bear in mind before you go this route.

A social media resume is best for a candidate who has a very clear and relatively narrow "brand." If your education and experiences scream out that you are a great market researcher (or business analyst or recruiter), and you are looking strictly at opportunities that represent a logical progression in your field, then a social media resume is a terrific tool.

But what if you are a candidate with a relatively broad range of skills and experiences who is perhaps pursuing two or three different job niches? Here's an example: Let's say that Susan has been a fifth-grade teacher in a private school. She reaches a stage where she wants to move on to another job. But what sort of job? She's thinking that she might want to stay in a classroom teacher role, but she's weighing the tradeoffs between an inner-city public school classroom versus simply moving to a different private school catering to relatively wealthy families. Yet a part of her would like to get out of the classroom altogether and try her hand at a job in the corporate sector-most likely in training and development-or maybe even an academic advising role at a university.

This is all entirely plausible for Susan, yet it presents problems for her if she wants to create a social media resume. For some job seekers, the concept of versioning is very important.

What Susan probably needs to do is think of numerous versions of how she presents herself. She may need as many as four different resumes to reflect her varied interests. All of her job experiences will be the same, of course, but how she slants or "spins" each job may vary depending on who she's targeting with her resume. As such, a social media resume may not work well for her.

With social media, the name of the game is authenticity. Thus, versioning is totally appropriate with individual resumes and individual searches. In contrast, a social media resume is intended for a broad audience, and thus the content must be more inclusive and present a consistent picture of the candidate.

In other words, a social media resume might actually do a disservice to Susan. If she attempted to put one together, she might end up coming across as a wishy-washy candidate with all too many irons in the fire. Even worse, she could come across as an insincere individual due to the incongruity between her broad version of herself online versus any attempts she would make to come across as focused on a narrow niche in an interview for a specific position.

For the majority of individuals, a social media resume can be a great asset. However, it can be a liability for those who need to position themselves in different ways for different jobs. Consider your strategy before you post.



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