Everyone including your grandma uses social media these days - but that doesn’t make them all digital marketing experts. With resume options already available on LinkedIn, and new ones rolling out on Facebook, it’s time to find out if you're stretching the truth about your social media experience.
If you want to avoid potential employees rolling their eyes at your resume, ask yourself these five questions before adding your social media skills to your work history.
1. Have I only used social media for personal use?
If the answer is yes, then you probably have no business adding social media to your resume - that’s like saying that I volunteered at an animal shelter, so now I have veterinary experience.
Creating content and managing accounts only for yourself rarely pushes you to think outside your own personal brand and opinions. Acting as a community manager, content creator or social media manager means building strategies and writing in a completely different voice with a different purpose - not to mention, you may be put in a position to write about things that you may not be interested in, or even disagree with.
If you've used social media to promote your blog and personal brand, then consider adding that to your skills section, but not as listed work experience.
2. Do I love to write?
This one always feels like a face punch - I’ve interviewed people who've listed social media as a proficient skill, but then tell me that writing isn’t their strong suit.
"Are you serious, Clark? You do realize that social media is 80% copywriting, right?"
You need to love to write - and be darn good at it.
3. Do I have documented success using social media?
A potential employer is going to ask you about your successes with impressions, link clicks, and engagement rates. If you don’t have clear examples, then you shouldn’t claim to be a social media expert.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to have worked for a Fortune 500 company, but maybe you have successes from a blog you managed. You should be able to talk about some challenges and how you overcame them.
4. Would an employee be impressed by my timeline?
Take a look at your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram timeline and ask yourself if it comes across professional, diverse, and well-executed.
Are there grammatical errors? Do you use images effectively? Are you up to date on all the latest trends and tools?
You should aim to have a clear personal brand, with consistent and appropriate messaging.
5. Do I have marketing experience?
Social media is a form of digital marketing. Do you have the ability to brainstorm large campaigns that filter up to specific marketing objectives? Do you have the ability to think strategically about potential copy, platform guidelines, images, influencers, and more?
If you want to work in social but failed this pop quiz, don’t be discouraged. You can pave your own way to gaining the experiences that you need. You can take a freelance job in your spare time, or volunteer with a non-profit's marketing department.
Do what it takes to give yourself documented social media experience to avoid potential employers using your resume as a dartboard. Not that I’ve done that…
Main image via Pexels.