Many employers look you up online to learn more about you before proceeding with an interview or making a job offer. They’ll especially check to see if you have a presence on LinkedIn. More than any other platform, your LinkedIn account demonstrates that you’re a serious professional. However, there are do’s and dont’s to consider before you add your LinkedIn URL to your CV. Other social media accounts can also value to your CV, but there are pitfalls to watch out for. Here are some best practices.
While having a LinkedIn account is important, you need to make sure that your profile portrays you in the best possible light. Recruiters often use LinkedIn to search for candidates, so it’s important to make sure that your profile is professional, comprehensive and attention-grabbing.
Tips for including your LinkedIn profile in your CV
Before you include your LinkedIn URL in your CV, consider optimising your profile with the following tips:
- Use a professional photo and not a selfie of you holding your phone.
- Customise your LinkedIn URL by adding your name: http://www.linkedin.com/in/yournam
- Add relevant keywords to each section.
- Don’t just regurgitate the contents of your CV! Tell your story in a conversational tone.
- Use a mix of text, images and videos to showcase your work.
- Ask your contacts for endorsements and recommendations to give your statements credibility.
Once you’ve polished up your LinkedIn profile, you’re ready to add your LinkedIn URL to your CV. Simply add it to your contact details at the very top of your CV.
Other social media accounts you may want to include in your CV
If you have other social media profiles, they can add value to your job application when presented in the right way:
If you create educational content on YouTube and have a large following, this is an excellent way to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Be sure to remove any comments that might make a poor impression on prospective employers.
It’s worth including your Twitter handle (the username that appears after the @ sign) in your CV if you regularly follow businesses and make insightful comments about industry trends.
While not every tweet has to be related to your profession, your tweets should be strictly professional. However, if you mostly use your Twitter account to comment on celebrity gossip or TV programmes or to vent about poor customer service, leave your Twitter handle off your CV.
Your Facebook account is your most personal social media account. Unless it’s directly related to the role (e.g. a social media position) you’re applying for, there’s no need to mention your Facebook account on your CV.
If you choose to open your Facebook account up to employers, you don’t need to share the personal, unfiltered version that you share with your friends. Instead, make use of Facebook’s privacy settings to present a professional image of yourself to recruiters and employers.
You also need to consider the possibility that any information that you share with friends and family could still be accessible to employers. To be on the safe side, avoid posting anything that could harm your image or reputation.
- Instagram and Pinterest
As pictures can convey more than words, Instagram and Pinterest can be great personal marketing tools. If you’re applying for a creative job, these platforms can be used to showcase your portfolio(s). Just bear in mind that employers won’t be interested in pictures of your dinner or your dog.
Social media accounts to leave off your CV
As with other platforms, Snapchat allows you to share videos and images to tell stories. However, the biggest disadvantage of Snapchat is that you don’t leave a digital footprint on the platform. Any content you share immediately disappears after it has been viewed.
If you need to share live content with recruiters and employers, it may make sense to mention your Snapchat account; otherwise, leave it off your CV.
Tips for including social media accounts in your CV
No matter which social media accounts you include in your CV, here are some points to consider:
- Relevance to the job description
Do you use your social media account(s) to share your thoughts on industry trends or to market yourself? Insightful tweets on Twitter or educational content on YouTube can help demonstrate your suitability as a candidate to employers. However, if you’re only using social media for personal use, avoid mentioning them to protect your privacy and public image.
However, no matter which industry you’re in, include your LinkedIn URL Recruiters and employers will expect you to have an account, so make sure you create one if you haven’t already!
Make sure that your name is the same across all of your social media accounts; this includes hyphens or name changes through marriage. Using different names could confuse recruiters and employers, and leave them wondering if you’re the same person.
Whether you choose to include links to your social media accounts in your CV or not, your employers will almost certainly look up your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts regardless. They’ll want to know more about you as a person and to check whether you’ve posted any controversial content (related to race, gender, politics, etc.). That’s why it’s worthwhile applying privacy controls on your accounts so that you’re only sharing personal content with friends and family.
This may not be an option on platforms such as Twitter where content is public, so to be on the safe side, go through all of your tweets and remove any content that could be considered inflammatory.
As a rule of thumb, avoid using posting or tweeting anything that could be used against you in a job application (e.g. semi-naked pictures of yourself, incendiary remarks about previous employers, etc.), even if your settings are private. If you have hundreds of friends or followers, it only takes one to share an inappropriate picture or post. In this interconnected world, you never know who is friends with your employer.
- Spelling and grammar
Lastly, make sure that any content that you’ve posted on social media is free of spelling and grammar errors. This tip applies to your CV as well. You don’t want to undo your good work by giving the impression that you’re careless and don’t pay attention. Comb through your social media accounts and correct or delete content that may reflect poorly on you.