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Social Resume: is Facebook or Instagram stopping you get a job?

Amanda Datchens //  0 Comments

Love it or hate it, if you have one or more active social media accounts, then you have a Social Resume. It’s there 24/7 and could help - or stop you - getting your next job.


In this post we are going to cover the following:

  • What is a Social Resume?
  • How your Social Resume affects your job applications
  • How to create a great Social Resume
  • 10 ways to ensure your Social Resume never ruins your job applications

What is a Social Resume?

How many times each day do you like or comment on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram? Take a look at people walking along the street, having a coffee or waiting for a train. Chances are that a high percentage will be immersed in their phones too, not their surroundings.

A Social Resume isn't a single document like a regular resume. Instead, it refers to a person's online presence. In other words, it's the combination of all your social media accounts - and your activity on them - that will come up if someone Google's your name.

A Social Resume isn't a single document like a regular resume. Instead, it refers to a person's online presence. In other words, it's the combination of all your social media accounts - and your activity on them - that will come up if someone Google's your name.

Browsing our favourite platforms is now second nature, the perfect time filler - or waster - in our everyday lives. But have you ever considered the impact it might have on your career job applications?

How your Social Resume affects your job applications

No one expects you to just post work-related stuff online, because that in itself would be a little weird and definitely unhealthy.

However, recruiters and HR are more than likely to check out your social resume as part of the application process for jobs that you apply for.

In fact, studies have shown that up to 70 per cent of employers have rejected job applicants because of something they found on social media.

Studies have shown that up to 70 per cent of employers have rejected job applicants because of something they found on social media.

Let’s just put that in perspective.

You worked really hard at school, spent time and money on an impressive range of qualifications and successfully made your way up the career ladder.

Your perfect resume has won you a place on the short list for a great job but then the recruiter checks your Facebook account … and sees what you did last weekend …….

So, yes, your Social Resume most certainly does affect your job prospects.

And I mean everyone.

Social resumes aren’t just for people in high-level corporate jobs because 87% of jobs recruited through social media channels are for non-management roles

No matter what level you work at, you can benefit from paying attention to your social profiles.

Perhaps you are now thinking, Ok, I will just cancel all my accounts or make everything private, that way I can’t make any mistakes.

Unfortunately, though it is not as simple as that.

Multiple research projects have shown that blocked accounts or no online presence at all can be just as damaging

Transparency is critical to a successful social media presence otherwise you can give the impression that you have something to hide.

Now, depending on how you have been using your social accounts, you may have a bit of work to do.

You may be asking yourself this question.  Is it really worth putting in all this time and effort to create a perfect Social Resume?

The simple answer is yes, you bet it is.

Over a third of recruiters (37%) use social and professional media as their primary way to find talent. So it’s not just important when you apply for a job. It can also be a way for recruiters to invite you to apply for their vacancies.

Now you know you need to give your Social Resume some attention, let’s take a look at what you can do so that it will work for you, not against you, when you apply for your next job.

How to create a great social resume

Here's what you need to know, and what to do, so that HR and recruiters aren't disappointed with what they find.

Before we look at each of the major platforms, I want you to check what your current social media is saying about you.

Then, we we look at individual sites, you'll be aware of the changes that need to be made.

How to find and assess your current Social Resume

Open a new incognito tab or use your phone to Google your name.

The first few results will probably be links to your various social media accounts

If you have a blog or a website these will show too.

Next will be things you may not have considered such as comments on posts, likes, and tags.

Click on each link and do a quick scroll-through

Don’t forget to search images as well

Now ask yourself the following

What words would a stranger use to describe me based on the information on these sites?

Is my online profile respectable and professional, or does it contain bad language, inappropriate images or constant references to alcohol-fuelled parties?

Would I hire me?

Whether you are now happy, relatively happy or a bit embarrassed by what you have just found, there are many ways to correct and improve your online persona.

Let’s look a little closer now at each of the obvious major players and then at a couple of different options that will help support your job applications.

Creating a great Social Resume on the major platforms

Facebook logo


Facebook has always been great for keeping in touch with friends and family, sharing personal life events, memes and funny videos.

It’s the main reason that recruiters like to check on jobseekers’ Facebook accounts to see ‘the real person’ behind job applications.

It has always been ‘LinkedIn for work and Facebook for play’ but now, thanks to Facebook Jobs, companies are able to post job openings to a Jobs tab on their Page, their Jobs dashboard, Facebook Marketplace, and the News Feed that they can promote with ads.

As a job seeker, you can discover openings, auto-fill applications with your Facebook profile information, edit and submit your application, and communicate via Messenger to schedule interviews.

So now is a great time to look at your activity.

The big question is, are your posts suitable for public consumption?

If you are not careful with your privacy settings, then everyone will be able to see everything you post and like

Go to your account now and look at your posts critically through a recruiter’s eyes.

Be honest. Would you hire you?

If the answer is no then you have 2 options.

Make your current site private and create a new FB account which is safe and public or go through your privacy settings for different groups of friends and moderate your behaviour going forward.

A key thing to remember here is that recruiters and HR can build up a picture of you from the posts and comments that you like.  

You don’t have to actually be at a certain place, or perform a certain act, for it to work against you. Liking and supporting behaviour that is ‘unprofessional’ is just as bad.

LinkedIn logo


Facebook Jobs could help them steal some revenue LinkedIn earns for Microsoft but it  is still the best site for professional networking, allowing recruiters to search, find and connect with candidates, and users to create a profile using relevant keywords, join industry groups, and networks.

In fact, someone gets hired every 10 seconds through LinkedIn and a massive 97% of recruiters use it to find potential recruits, so you definitely should work on perfecting your profile.

At the very least, you should ensure your summary and experience sections are up to date to accurately showcase your accomplishments, roles and duties.

You should also add a professional looking head-and-shoulders shot as your profile photo.

Remember though – No fish just caught, dogs, cats, partners, kids, cars or motorbikes please – just you looking approachable and professional.

Twitter logo


Twitter is all about enabling users to send out brief messages to large audiences but is often left behind by job seekers in favour of Facebook and LinkedIn.

It can actually help you find hidden job leads, network with industry insiders, research companies and interviewers and build your personal brand within your industry

If you already have a Twitter bio, now is the time to check it out by asking yourself again this simple question.

“If a potential employer read this, would they want to employ me?”

Monster logo

Job Sites

Don’t let your guard down and forget how you present yourself here too.

Most sites give you an opportunity to create a profile of some kind which can attract various levels of attention.

Keep it consistent with quality information and professional, appropriate images

If a recruiter finds conflicting information from LinkedIn, it might just cost you the job.

Wordpress logo

Blogs & Personal Sites

The ultimate in creating your Social Resume is to ‘own your name’.

That is, check out whether your first name and surname are available then use that URL to set up a blog or website showcasing your skills, experience, and knowledge.

You can then use this URL on your resumes, your social networks and your business cards.

10 ways to ensure your Social Resume never ruins your job applications

Having a great Social Resume isn't enough. Because it is a live and ever changing collection of information, you need to put some rules in place to make sure recruiters and HR never eliminate you due to something they see on a social profile.

Here are 10 things you need to do to ensure it doesn't ruin all the hard work you put into your applications.


Keep up to date

Regularly update all social profiles so that they reflect the same information and messages. 


Don't mysteriously disappear

Don't set up accounts and never return because it looks suspicious.


Protect your private life

Make full use of privacy settings options on all your accounts. 


Don't rely on privacy settings

Keep up to date with those privacy settings though because they are always changing and you might get caught out 


Be presentable

Take care with spelling, grammar and the general presentation of all content you produce on each platform. 


Be a grown up

Don't be vulgar, swear or act unprofessionally.


Share the good stuff

Contribute positively to online communities by sharing insightful, helpful information that will benefit others. 


Be respectful

Never make rude or disrespectful comments on posts that others have taken the time and effort to share.


Be an expert

Try to position yourself as an expert in your chosen field by helping others.


Don't highjack other's posts

It's always bad form to comment on a post just to promote yourself or your business.

Key takeaways...

Even if you found things that made you want to cringe in your Social Resume, try not to worry. You now know what to do and why it is so important - and that is something that the majority of jobseekers are unaware of.

Have a question? Leave a comment below and I will be happy to help.

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About the Author

A career coach, headhunter, Amanda has founded and been involved in developing multiple companies known for innovative HR and recruitment solutions. Originally from London but now in Queensland, Australia, she is the co-founder of Real Life Career Advice

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