Social Media - An Extension Of Your Resume

CNN9AH Apple iPhone screen showing various social media apps
CNN9AH Apple iPhone screen showing various social media apps

I was an early adapter to social media. I not only liked the "social" aspects of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but learned quickly the powers of using it for business.

If you ask 100 people about the Do's and Don't's of social media, you will receive 100 different answers. These sites can be used for business or pleasure, and, honestly, there is no right or wrong way. To each his own, I always say.

HOWEVER, if you consider yourself a professional and find yourself at any point in your career looking for work or wanting to meet other like-minded professionals, you may be doing yourself a disservice.

We've heard the stories and seen the results of poor social media practices, and I assure you the answer is not to avoid an online presence. This may hurt more than it helps.

Consider social media as today's water cooler. The impression you are making on social media will be determined the same way as when you meet someone in person. What you choose to say (or not say), the way it's delivered, and the way you present yourself will be perceived the same in both situations.

Most companies these days are about culture and getting along with your teammates. These days, being unfriendly or avoiding others may be perceived the same online as it is in person This is really important to understand.

A shoddy profile on LinkedIn will leave the impression that you just don't care. No profile picture or portfolio links leave me to wonder what you are hiding? Incomplete sections reek of laziness and complacency. Usually, a recruiter or hiring manager will blow right past these profiles without a second thought. Can you afford to be overlooked?

Many of the tweets and Facebook posts I see are filled with disdain and bitterness. This tells the hiring manager that you are disgruntled and combative. Perhaps even that you don't get along well with others and are extremely opinionated. On the other end, many tweets and posts are filled with nonsense or offensive humor. If a person consistently displays these habits, I ask myself how am I supposed to take them seriously. Why aren't they talking more about their passion for their craft? Do they have anything constructive to add to a conversation? Do they take the time to help others or provide constructive feedback?

The internet provides so many outlets for us to express ourselves. Are you, the job seeker or professional, taking advantage of these outlets and using them for your benefit?

It's all about balance. Many comedians use Twitter to test new material. This is what they do, make jokes. It is a successful business tool for them. How can you apply this principle to your own professional life?

Consider your social media, or better yet "digital hygiene," as an extension of your resume. I guarantee you hiring managers and recruiters will view both before deciding whether or not to pick up the phone and call you.

Thoughts? @robcoble