Student News

Leveraging Your Social Media Use on Your Resume

Kathryn Knight Randolph

March 10, 2021

Leveraging Your Social Media Use on Your Resume
Learn how to tout your social media use on your resume -- it can help you land your next job.
Instagram. Snapchat. Tik Tok. Facebook. Twitter. What’s your social media channel of choice? Chances are, you utilize one or more of these on a daily basis. Whether it’s to keep in touch with friends or to check the latest headlines, your social presence can actually help to prepare you for your next job as well as get into college, believe it or not. Given that The Wall Street Journal reported that the economy could take the better part of a decade to recover because of the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, your resume is going to need all of the extra oomph it can get in a competitive job market. Why not leverage an asset you're using on a daily basis? Looking for more COVID-19 student-impact information? Find it here.
These days, many social media users are utilizing their accounts to supplement their income. Some individuals have obtained influencer status, which means they influence followers to buy certain products or live a particular lifestyle. Others may make a small amount of money using their social media accounts as a brand ambassador, who represents a specific company or organization in order to influence others to purchase the product. Whether or not you’re an influencer, you can use social media to enhance your resume. Here’s how.

How to Use Your Social Media Accounts During the Job Search

Most people privatize their accounts or slightly change their name during the job search so that potential employers can’t find them. This is a job search tactic that experts tout because more often than not, supervisors and hiring managers actually search for candidates to check out their social media presence to see if they would be a good fit for the company. It's up to you whether or not you privatize your social media accounts; but if you choose not to, you can actually post about the industry or job in which you’re interested in filling. Do your research on hot topics, check out industry news and then populate your social media account with opinions, quotes, or things you’ve learned. This is practiced heavily on LinkedIn, which is a great social media platform to be active on if you’re entering the job market or working part-time or full-time. Many individuals utilize this platform to network with one another, share industry insights and celebrate achievements. Some even post their LinkedIn account URL on their resume.
So before you make your social media accounts private, consider how they could be leveraged to get you that job you really want.

Highlighting Social Media Use on Your Resume

If you’re an influencer or brand ambassador, there is definitely a place for your social media experience on your resume. It can be displayed under your work experience, and you can highlight your growth and achievements there. But what about the every-day, run-of-the-mill social media use? You can become an expert without actually having a legit “social media” job. By using social media, you’re growing in your communication, copywriting and creative skills. That’s why it’s important to practice punctuation and correct grammar on your social media posts. It’s a skill set that you can practice every day in a laid-back environment. You can also stay on top of social media trends, and exercise your creativity. It’s not a super formal place; and with that, you can flex your creative muscles. These platforms are also constantly evolving. By following trends, you can become an expert in the field, which may land you a role as a social media manager, a job that makes around $50,816 a year according to PayScale. These skills can be highlighted on their own section on the resume, whether under a Skills or Social Media Skills section. Here are a few examples of wording: • Proficient in Social Media Targeting and Communication • Creative copywriting and editing skills, paying close attention to detail • Increased social media engagement by 500%, from 200 followers to over 1,000 You can also link to your social media accounts in your contact information – or in a creative section on your resume that you’ve titled, “Let’s get social,” or, “Find me online.” Don’t include the full URL to your profile; rather, just provide your handle, like: • Twitter: @JohnSmith123 • Facebook: /JohnSmith123 It should be noted here that if you haven’t created a unique URL with your name, now is the time to do so. It looks better on your resume and whenever the hiring manager performs a Google search for you, which he or she will undoubtedly do.

Checking Your Digital Footprint

Speaking of hiring managers that will likely search for you online – now is a good time to talk about your digital footprint. If you’ve never heard of that term before, that’s ok. It’s not something that is widely spoken of until your senior year of high school or senior year of college. Your digital footprint is essentially what anyone would see if they performed an Internet search on your name – your social media accounts, every photo you’ve uploaded, blog posts, or comments you’ve made. When someone searches for your online presence, you want a positive digital footprint. Before you officially start the job search, consider cleaning up your image – literally and figuratively. Take down photos or albums that may look bad to future employers. Delete social media accounts that you haven’t used in years. Essentially, get rid of anything that may “incriminate” you during the job search.

Marketing Yourself on Social Media

As you navigate the job search, think of social media as an advertising platform for yourself. What do you want employers to see when they search you out? How do your platforms reflect your personal brand? Can you be more strategic about what you post? Most people assume that their social media accounts can only hurt them during the job search process; when in fact, they can be quite helpful. You can actually leverage your presence on various social media platforms to prove that you’ve a candidate worth hiring. Just remember to post smart, stay on top of social media trends, and market yourself in a positive light in the likely event that hiring managers will look you up before officially offering you a job.

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