Do Social-Media-Generated Resumes Actually Save You Time?
By Brian Sullivan
If you are mid-career and in your mid-30s like I am, you have likely noticed that the way your parents applied to jobs is very different than how you have found to successfully secure employment. Driving around town with printed copies of your resume, and dropping them off to companies that seemed to interest you? Mailing (via USPS) dozens if not hundreds of resumes to companies hoping for a response? Looking through the newspaper’s classified section for job ads, and then calling the hiring manager to learn more? Showing up in your best business suit and requesting an unscheduled meeting with a manager? Yeah, no… none of these things have been part of most people’s job searches for quite some time.
However, it might have also come to your attention that the way younger jobseekers seek jobs is just as foreign to you as you submitting a resume on LinkedIn while in your pajamas is to your parents. There have been some great resources and techniques that have developed over the years, and we will definitely want to explore some of them in future posts on the R&W Group Blog. Today though, we’re going to discuss a trend we are starting to see more and more frequently: social-media-generated resumes. Social media companies like Facebook offer to create a resume from your profile details, pitching it as something that will save you time from painstakingly crafting your own so you can focus on what’s important and let them help you with the boring stuff. With the click of a button, a resume is made for you. Is this really saving you time though? Let’s find out…
Should I Use the Auto-Generated Resumes?
To answer the question about auto-generated resumes, especially if you’ve never seen one before, it might be worth looking at one first. This first one is one of the better ones I’ve seen (seriously), and yet it still leaves quite a bit to be desired (Note – personal identifying information has been changed, deleted, or redacted, but formatting has been maintained for demonstration purposes. Altered details have been typed in red):
The good news is that you do get the bare essentials of what you need to know about a candidate. You get their name, location, contact information, educational background, and the title, employer name, and dates of the positions they’ve held. However, what we see in this first example is that there are literally no supporting details about what any of those roles entailed beyond the absolute minimum. And remember, this is one of the better examples we have seen.
What makes it one of the better ones is that this particular applicant has kept their social media profile fairly accurate. You see, the way a website like Facebook auto-generates a resume is by compiling the information available on your profile, specifically the About You section. Some candidates will share more information, giving them a stronger resume (to be clear, relatively stronger… a resume that provides no details about duties completed, accomplished achieved, or value added is still pretty weak, all things considered) than those who have chosen to be less open about the information found in their profile.
This next resume, for example, comes from a Facebook profile where the user did not include any education background, nor did they include any specific dates regarding their present job, other than the fact that they are still currently there; it’s unclear whether they started 10 years or 10 minutes ago.
This next one has even less information. The Education heading is not there at all, there are again no employment dates, there is no job title, and this time the employer is “Self”.
It is worth pointing out that there is nothing wrong with having incomplete information on your social media accounts, or even no information at all. In fact, it is probably a best practice more of us could stand to adopt in terms of keeping our private lives more, well… private… separate from the prying eyes of the internet. The issue we’re trying to illustrate here is that, when you choose to have a resume made for you, auto-generated by a social media platform using solely the details found in your profile, they need to be complete in order for that to truly be a time-saving feature.
Is an Incomplete Profile the Only Drawback to Auto-Generated Resumes?
No, sadly. While some people prefer to keep their personal information close to themselves, others like to have (what they think is) a sense of humor about it. Really though, especially when this sense of humor is sarcastic, dramatic, or downright offensive, you really need to be careful to not draw from those details when it comes to your resume. Putting something such as “Nacho Business” (a bad pun for “Not Your Business”) or “Nunya Business” (a similarly bad pun for “None of Your Business”) as your current employer might be something you find amusing to have on your personal Facebook page, and maybe your friends and family will agree but, I assure you, it’s less than appealing when that is what shows up on your auto-generated resume that an employer reviews. As before, it might just be better to put nothing at all on your Facebook profile than these sorts of attempts to be clever.
We have many examples to showcase this particular kind of auto-generated resume, but it might be tough to give our alumni of the School of Hard Knocks any mention without inadvertently erasing some of their anonymity, even with redacted versions. The point of this post isn’t to embarrass applicants who have used these auto-generation features, because they have likely already done that on their own; the purpose is to provide you all with some guidance so you don’t inadvertently misrepresent your candidacy.
The Final Word on Auto-Generated Resumes
Resumes that have been auto-generated by major social media platforms are, first and foremost, limited by whatever information you’ve included in your profile. While a website like LinkedIn might offer similar features, it’s safe to assume most users will include far more educational and professional background information in their LinkedIn profile than they did on other platforms, so the resume LinkedIn’s algorithm composes for you will likely be higher quality. That being said, it cannot make something from nothing, so while it is better equipped than Facebook to handle the task, the source material found in your profile will ultimately determine the level of quality that can be achieved in an auto-generated resume.
Most attempts at an auto-generated resume (regardless of the platform or the thoroughness of information included) will still have issues, whether it’s things we’ve already mentioned like missing dates, incomplete lists of position responsibilities, or absence of any descriptive details whatsoever... or things we haven’t discussed like jobs being listed out of order, including hobbies as though they were positions you held, or just an aesthetically ugly document that looks more like a packing slip than a resume. If the purpose is saving you time, and you still have all these issues, it defeats that very purpose.
It bears repeating that you do not need to have a no-holds-barred, tell-all About You section on your social media account in order to have a strong resume. Sometimes, the old way is still the best way. Will it take more time to make a resume from scratch than it does having it auto-generated? Absolutely. However, most employers see an auto-generated resume and promptly put it in the No pile. It shows a lack of effort, a lack of passion, a lack of creativity, and (almost always) a lack of attention to detail on the part of the applicant. That should never be the first impression you’re comfortable setting with a potential employer. Invest the time making a showstopper resume, and you’ll end up saving time in the application process because you’ll actually get interviews, especially compared to other candidates that still insist on the auto-generated version.
If you need help getting your resume up to showroom standards, the professionals at R&W Group are happy to help. Please email us a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!