You’re coaxed to login multiple times every day by the steady stream of e-mails. People have written on your wall, sent you private messages, commented on your pictures, tagged you in notes. Facebook is as addictive as a pack of cigarettes to a nicotine hungry smoker. You add a variety of information about yourself ranging from how you are feeling to where you are working. You probably have at least three bumper stickers (I have about 12). When you take a good picture, or something cool happens in real life, you probably think about how long it will be until you can upload it to Facebook. Your profile is you. People can have a favorable or unpleasant impression of you before they meet you in person based solely on your Facebook profile. You must keep it fresh. You cannot and will not be a lame bucket of blandness. Your page needs to show who you are (or who you want to be). Your Internet social status depends on it. This is your life.
So what’s the difference between your Facebook profile and your resume? Take a second. Think about it… Ding! Ding! Ding! The only difference is in whom you’re trying to impress. Imagine if all those comments, private messages, and friend invites could be replaced by employers pinging you regarding legitimate job opportunities? Wouldn’t it be great to have options presented to you, rather than having to aggressively chase them day after day and week after week? Despite the gibberish you’re hearing about the economy, there are still plenty of companies that need you. They need individuals with unique personalities and accomplishments to complement the attainable skill set. Your Facebook profile shows who you are, so your resume should show the same thing… within reason of course.
Employers look at a ton of resumes each day. You look at a ton of Facebook profiles each day. There are things that can irk you about someone’s page. The type of stuff that will make you click away, or delete the person all together. Employers do the same thing with resumes. Typos or cheesy formats can turn them off just as quickly as a married status or a cluttered mess of applications can turn you off. When you’re on someone’s page, you probably skip past a lot of the basic information. Hometown, college major, where they lived on campus, and what other networks they are in carry little significance in comparison to interests, quotes, and the “about me” section. Even if your “about me” section is 2 lines, it probably says something that you want people to remember. It can be the deal breaker for that friend request – almost as much as a nice main picture and a series of follow up pictures that are aesthetically pleasing can be a deal maker. So how do you fill your resume with deal makers? Continue on and you’ll see.
Your profile picture follows you around Facebook. Whenever you write a comment, change your profile, or do anything else that is news feed worthy, people will probably see your main picture. Even if you just happen to pop up in someone’s friends list, people may decide to check you out based on your image. Apply this picture perfect attitude to the design of your resume! I’m not saying you need to use Photoshop or have Flash animation, but you need to do something that will catch the eye of the person who has paper cuts or strained eyes from the previous batch of bland resumes. Try a different, but legible font. Times New Roman is played out. It’s the default. You’re better than the default. Consider using a border around your resume to give it a portrait of perfection look. Make simple (and subtle) changes that emphasize what you think is most important about you. Do not copy and paste your Facebook picture to your resume.
Be self-centered and lead off with a summary or list of accomplishments that show you are more than a piece of paper, and that you will put paper (of the green variety) in the company’s pocket if they bring you on board. Are you a national champion in something? Do you run a website that isn’t filled with vulgarities and profanities, but speaks to your capabilities? Do you have a personality or a pulse? Let that show! You have no problem gloating in your Facebook status, so why not do it in your resume? If you’re too shy to put a picture up on Facebook, nobody is going to click your profile. If you’re too shy to brag about yourself in your resume, nobody is going to hire you.
Don’t be vague. What good is a gigantic plate of pasta if the sauce tastes like crap? If you have a detailed Facebook profile that lists every rapper or rock band you are a fan of, this one’s for you. If you’ve managed money, know how much. If you’ve had to deal with 30 screaming camp kids during the summer, let the employer know that. It shows you have thick skin. If your actions resulted in a positive outcome, it needs to be described in your resume. This goes back to being a narcissist!
When recruiters are on job boards looking for candidates, they can see the file name of your resume. They can also see the description heading for your profile on Monster, Career Builder, Yahoo Jobs, or whatever other site you desperately posted your resume to. Do more than just put your name or the position you want. Describe who you are in a few words. “Creative blogger with a knack for recruiting”. That’s me. Anybody looking for a recruiter who doesn’t want to click on that works somewhere that I don’t want to be. Obviously, if an employer tells you to label a resume a certain way, do what they say.
Having a box about zombies on your profile tells me nothing about you except that you’re an idiot (I’m sorry, did I offend you? Why don’t you use your zombie powers to turn me into a zombie then?). The same can be said for wasting space by saying “References Furnished Upon Request.” Thank you Captain Obvious. Of course references will be furnished upon request. Duh! You just wasted the chance to close out your resume with a great quote, or final question to ask the employer. Questions like “Do you like me? Circle yes or no.” are considered inappropriate. Maybe something along the lines of “I’m more than a profile. I’m worth the call.” If your resume didn’t dazzle the reader, then maybe this statement will get them to show your resume to someone because it’s different. Maybe that person will tell him or her to bring you in or give you a call.
If you are still struggling with putting together a resume at the most basic level, I’d suggest using a resume editing service. There are a bunch of them out there, some pricier than others. If you can invest $100 in shoes or t-shirts with underground designs, then you can invest in the piece of paper that’s going to sell you to an employer. I offer resume advice on my site RichResume.com, and you can also feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more specific questions. I can point you in the right direction and help you sharpen your job-hunting skills. I can also help you with your Facebook profile. I don’t know why you would want me to, but I will. It sounds kind of silly to invest money to have someone work over your Facebok profile, right? Well time is money. You’ve probably put many hours into perfecting your Facebook persona, so why can’t you give your resume the time (or money) it deserves? Your Facebook friends won’t get mad that you only updated your status 7 times yesterday.
Next time you’re on Facebook and complaining about not having a job, or wanting a new one, remember this article. Why fight with thousands over opportunities, when you could put yourself in the position to have the opportunities fight for you. Besides, it’s as simple as updating your Facebook profile.
Photo Credit for the Dude Doing the Keg Stand in the Facebook Mini-Feed: Flickr User Boltron
Learn about interesting employers with awesome jobs.
Check out our job search course and articles.