Have you ever visited a friend who regaled you with their 50-page wedding album or 30-minute DVD of a European vacation? Perhaps they had you crouch over their computer while linking to Facebook posts and images so they could enthuse over their latest accomplishment? How difficult is it to sit still as they narrate each image, sharing names, relationships and details regarding people and involvements, most of whom you’ve never met or can relate to?
Wouldn’t you rather just sit with a cool beverage and share in their excitement about their big day, proud accomplishment or event through the eyes of how it relates to both of you?
That is, perhaps, how a hiring decision maker feels when you send them a resume story weighed down more heavily with links to social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook) than it is with meaty, targeted content. Expecting hiring managers and recruiters to navigate your social media tracks and connect your career dots is unfair. Many will deep-six your resume and move on to the next candidate.
While your activity on social networking channels can play a monumental role in career management, career momentum and job search strategies, it is important to be careful about how much emphasis you place on it “replacing” your robust and singular career story. While many career experts are suggesting you shrink your five, 10 or 15+ years’ experience down to the size of a mobile phone screen, you would be wise to reconsider.
Creating a link-laden resume with sizzling headlines, brand statements and staccato sentences may be working a bit too hard to fulfill a mythical 6-second scan of your resume. It may sound sexy and cutting edge, but the problems that erupt are multifold.
1. The hiring manager gets frustrated having to link and scroll through your Twitter stream or navigate around your Google+ media. While they may be met with cool content and nuggets that relate to your thought leadership, they are not receiving a direct story as to how you will solve their specific needs.
2. A recruiter wants to know more! While it is the intention of a compelling resume to leave the reader thirsty for more, you don’t want to leave them so parched that they are frustrated. Providing context around stories is where the connection with their needs deepens. Providing context requires using words. Wielded with finesse, words are your hero, not your enemy.
3. You may not have scrubbed your profiles to the extent you thought. Focusing hiring decision makers too heavily on social links can have its downside. Have you engaged on Facebook in a playful conversation around politics? The hiring manager may not be as amused as you and your friends were. As such, leaning too hard on social media to sell your story can backfire.
Bottom line: Be present and positively visible across whichever social networking venues make sense to you and your career. But when it comes to creating a powerful resume that markets your value, center your efforts on a focused story rich in detail and context. Do not get caught up in the wrong trends; be savvy, meaningful and rich in communicating your value to your target audience’s needs.
Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, MRW writes for Glassdoor.com.