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4. Brand yourself online – Social Media Resumes January 7, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Branding, Networking, Social Networking.
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I got a massage yesterday and my mind wandered on over to online personal branding.  (I know, I know, a massage is supposed to be relaxing.  However <shrugs> your mind ends up wandering where it will.)

Tomato Clownfish by yours truly

I wondered, is there a way to create a single point of contact online which (professionally) shows the whole me rather than maintaining separate personal and professional sites?

The line between the two is blurring – in interviews we chat about common interests to break the ice – why can’t I present my common interests (like scuba and photography) in the same place as my resume and other content?

So researching today, I tripped across the concept of a social media resume.

Probably more than one person out on the intertubes shares your name.  And you know friends, family, and potential employers will Google you – so which hits are really you?  (BTW – I’m NOT the local politician whose daughter was busted for dealing.  Just gotta say.)

I have a name website (i.e., http://www.myname.com), a purely professional website and a blog.  I’ve decided to use my name site as a “pointer” site to the other sites but I don’t know how to format it. Everything’s jumbled about.

Online stuff that isn’t you

Sure, you can Google my name and find a slew of stuff, most of which is mine. How-ev-er, websites like Zoominfo collate information by name, but many links aren’t me.  And you can’t remove them, even if you claim your profile!  Grrr.

So what should I do?

Personal branding now branches beyond a resume and personal statement.  Jacob Share lists 50+ Tips for online branding that make a lot of sense.  The tips focus on sharing information and connections:

  • Publicize your expertise as much as possible via websites, blogs, volunteerism.
  • Create an avatar and join social networking groups like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.
  • Create a social media resume, add multimedia.
  • Share your bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us or Google Reader Share.
  • Publications, press releases, projects … anything that publicizes YOU!
  • … and … your resume.

Okay, I’ve got most of these, but the phrase social media resume is new to me.  Mashable (excellent site) clued me in with Dan Schawbel’s HOW TO: Build the Ultimate Social Media Resume.

A social media resume allows you to collect all your information into one place, with your resume being just a single element. Now you can show (and control!) the Big Picture – your experience, your networks, some personal aspects, what you read and share, etc.

Bee in my local park

But what about including personal information? I want to share but I don’t.  I’ve always been wary of this – sometimes I see professionals include a “Personal” page where they show family pictures, genealogy, etc. and I cringe.  It’s providing answers to the many questions interviewers are not allowed to ask.  How old are you?  Do you have small children or intend to?  It also provides easy ways for a company to bypass you completely “for no reason at all.” Are you overweight?  Not pretty?  Have a disability?  Not the “right” race or political leaning?

Whew.  Reality check, my friends.

Christmas tree worms underwater

I don’t share family photos, but I would like to share some of my photography.  I take pictures above and below water.  I love scuba diving.  Diving has been an icebreaker for two different interviews!  I’d love for a potential employer to see me as a well-rounded person rather than a laundry list of professional projects and titles.

Facebook and employers.  Okay – LinkedIn is a professional networking site and 1) you should have a profile and 2) it obviously should focus on your professional activities.

However, Facebook is another story.  I resisted joining Facebook because my friend’s friend may be my boss!  I don’t need my boss knowing I was drinking dirty martinis until 2am with friends last week.  But I joined and kept my comments and pictures professional.  Many other people do not.  Here are some facts and repercussions –  Facebook is Unplanned Advertising.

(BTW – Take a look at your social networking profiles – the default privacy settings are generally for “everyone” rather than just “Friends.”  Fix that now. Keep the drunken party pics off the site.   Even a “harmless” stray beer bottle or risque picture on the wall can bite you in the ass and you’ll never know it.)

So, after my searching, it seems that a social media resume may be the thing I’m looking for.  It can clearly be the “official site for me” and cast doubt on the (possible lack of) quality of single links or aggregate sites like Zoominfo.

I’m gonna start working on mine right now, and I’ll show ya when it’s finished so you can tell me what you think.

Compass Point – the whole you and nothing but the you: My dilemma about branding has already been solved – social media resumes.

4 down, 356 to go.

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Comments»

1. thomas mann - January 7, 2010

Cutting to the chase – what’s the track record of social media resumes, compared with other approaches, in helping to land a job, or landing THE job? Sounds like it could be a great idea.

Or is it too early to tell? When will we know? Have hiring managers weighed in?

Lisa - January 8, 2010

Good question. Since the term is new to me, maybe it’s too new to be embraced across the board. But it’s really just an extension of networking.

Job boards actually took networking out of the equation, and now the swing is back to Networking 2.0 if you will – “people searching.” Instead of applying for jobs through job boards, find the job on the board and then network into the company yourself. You identify companies you want to work for, then find people employed there using your social networks and contact them directly or get introduced. It’s already happened to me – the recruiter who contacted me the other day had already looked me up on LinkedIn.

What do companies and recruiters say? I read comments from recruiters who would like to banish traditional resume format because it does paint a one-sided picture. One search firm provides guidelines the want to see for SMRs.

I am on Twitter and have received MANY tweets of jobs directly from the companies themselves. Example:

“@kaimac looking for a social media strategist in NYC, 3 to 5 years of exp, client facing, must be awesome, DM me for details pls” [ref]

Amazing – job ad in 140 characters or less, with the ability to Direct Message the person posting the job!

Cutting to the chase? I don’t know but I’m going to find out. Job boards didn’t work for me the last time, why should I expect them to this time?

2. 11. Internet Privacy and Social Media « Spinning Compass: My Next Career in 360 Degrees or Less - January 25, 2010

[…] I talked earlier about Social Media Resumes and often wonder just how much information on the internet is too much.  My feelings on the subject change day to day.  Am I sharing too much on this blog about how I search for a job, my motivations, and my attitudes?  Will potential employers find me on Facebook and pass me over because of the pages I am a fan of?  (BTW – Facebook does not provide a method to hide your fan pages from the entire world.) […]


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