Posted by Brian McCullough
This is a question we’ve been getting a lot lately at our professional resume service. I suppose it’s a sign of the times. It’s almost impossible to imagine a world without social networking. Facebook is so much a part of our everyday lives that it’s almost natural that job seekers – young professionals especially – feel like it’s a natural thing to put a link to their Facebook page on their resume.
But is this a good idea? Is it something you should actually consider doing?
I hate to hedge here, but my answer is: probably not.
My logic goes like this: for the vast majority of us, Facebook is a personal thing. It reflects our personal lives. So Facebook doesn’t reflect our professional lives, nor should it. You’ve all heard the horror stories about people getting fired because of something that was posted on their Facebook page. Even if you don’t face something that drastic, I still think you should keep a bit of a distance between your Facebook life and your professional life. Your Facebook page probably doesn’t belong on your resume. The hiring manager doesn’t care about your vacation photos, even if everyone is fully clothed in them.
Now, I know you can do all sorts of things to customize your public Facebook profile. If you’re a wizard who can outsmart Mark Zuckerberg’s constant tweaking of the privacy controls, in theory you could have a public Facebook profile that is all propriety and professionalism. But even if you do do this, I still say your Facebook profile is not professional enough to go on your resume. Facebook is just not assumed to be in, or appropriate for, the professional realm. So you run the risk of coming off like a naive kid if you put your Facebook link in at the top of your resume along with your email address and cell phone number.
But what about Twitter? Well, Twitter is a slightly different story. Twitter is used for personal stuff, but more often, it’s used for personal, professional branding. Building and cultivating an audience.
I’ve even recently made the case that Twitter handles are the new business cards.
So if you’re one of those life 2.0 people who has a Twitter account and you use it specifically as your professional face to create a brand, then yes, I think you should put @yourtwittername on your resume.
One final word on all of this. It should be obvious, but there’s a great service that from day one was designed to be the place you went to do professional social networking: LinkedIn. Your linked in profile can be like your professional Facebook profile. If you haven’t set up a LinkedIn profile, do it now, and add THAT link to your resume!