Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

09 Oct


Social Media Resume: Better Than The Traditional Stuff

October 9, 2007 | By |

Twitter just had me stumble over Doug Haslam‘s pointer to Bryan Person‘s thoughts on the Social Media Resume. (Hm, this is going to be link-intense.)

I’d like to quote the headline of Bryan’s post to summarize up front. His blog entry is titled “Die, resume! Die! Die! Die!” Bryan works for

Exaggerating? Let’s see.

I took notice of the resume thing because I’ve just recently handed in the final thesis for my masters degree. Thereby I’m pretty much done with the degree (the thesis is currently being reviewed). When would be a better time to clean up the resume?

I’ve never been a big fan of resumes as they don’t seem to really represent a person. However, they do have their place in the world, or at least, did. But while resumes may have been really useful in the times of long-time employment and a linear life, today I’m not so sure. How would you represent all the studying while working part-time while founding a company while starting some cool pet project while spending a few months abroad while… you get the idea.

There’s a whole generation growing up as part of some weird Nagara-zoku, or “multi-tasking tribe”.

This kind of life is pretty hard to cram into two pages and give the person reading it an adequate impression of what you’ve been doing those last few years. It gets even more intangible, and thereby worse, if your work has focused primarily on web stuff.

So what do we make of that? How can you make a better kind of resume? As pointed out before, a Social Media Resume might be the solution.

Christopher Penn made a neat little demo on a Google Page. Centered around a brief video of Christopher talking to the viewer you’ll find plenty of contact points on one side as well as the classic resume in many different formats, links and pointers to shared social media on the other side. This is actually pretty cool already, and even in case you don’t have your own website don’t want to tinker with your blog’s templates, you can set it up with minimal effort. While the idea of linking to all your major points of web 2.0 output sure makes sense, I’d prefer not to provide the classic resume in three different versions: The chance of the three versions starting to develop in different directions, and of typos sneaking in while maintaining different versions, is just too high. It’s not practical, and not very elegant. Apart from that, two thumbs up. But not everybody is a video person with a background in radio.

As stated before, Bryan gave it a shot, too. He also used Google Pages and produced this. Besides his contact data he provides links to his most relevant social network profiles, as well as his blog and podcast, and a brief written profile of himself. Additionally, he links to events he has co-organized and other stuff he’s worked on, and his Twitter. That’s a neat and powerful mix, I’d say: It’s quick to scan, you can dig deep if you choose to, and you get quick access to Bryan’s work samples.

Personally I don’t really like the idea of letting your work intrude completely into your private life, and into all your social networks. While I don’t mind my LinkedIn profile and my Twitter stream to be visible, I’ll mostly reserve Facebook for personal friends. But of course that’s a personal choice.

So far I’ve been trying a somewhat pimped version of the classic resume, which consists of a written profile, a mostly chronological listing of my work and other relevant projects, links to some articles I’ve published as well as pointers to some social network profiles. Also, for completeness’ sake, I have a PDF version somewhere that I email when necessary. Is that a good way? Not sure, but so far it has done its job. (Although, sadly, it completely fails at indicating how much time I’ve spent at any given time on what kind of job, project, my studies or anything else: You cannot see the priority of each of those items listed there, or if they were part-time or full-time. Maybe some kind of graph would be in order there.)

So what happens when you’ve built your Social Media Resume? Is it going to be perceived as some freakish hyperlink orgy, or is it going to be read by someone who shares your love for social media and knows how to handle it?

How do you do it, and what’s your resume format of choice? What are your experiences with this format?