The Recipe for a Social Media Enhanced Resume

To Begin
I attended a business-networking event where several students from a marketing class were also in attendance. When I mentioned that I am always on the lookout for interns and entry-level team members, several of the students made a beeline towards me with their resumes in hand.

I refused to take any of these paper profiles and handed each of them my business card instead. I instructed them to e-mail me if they were interested in a possible working relationship and left it at that.

With a fair degree of confidence, I announced to the students that ‘the paper resume is dead’. They all seemed to be surprised enough to have never heard this before. I was surprised, as well, but for the opposite reason considering they were taking a college level marketing course. I figured they would have already known this.

The paper resume is dead for numerous reasons. The most important reasons are:

  • Paperless is the way to go with everything today.
  • A traditional format resume needs to be e-mailed.
  • When companies receive resumes, they are prescreened by computer for particular keywords. This is done digitally.
  • Social media has become the initial introduction of choice (both professionally and socially).
A picture of the Betty Crocker Recipe Card Binder

The Betty Crocker Recipe Card Binder ©

The Recipe
Here is what I suggest and conclude as the ideal recipe for the present day social media enhanced resume. It is a good idea to carry something to give to a potential employer when one encounters such a person outside of the normal application/interview process, such as the networking event we attended. To me, the ideal thing to do is the same thing one would do at any business networking event, ‘get a business card and give a business card’ or even provide a cleverly designed post card (the graphic designer in me always needs to put  in its creative two cents).

The Ingredients
The business card would need information different from a typical business card since it would not include current employment information. It would not have a company name or title but information that would direct the receiver to information appropriate to the situation. This is the suggested information for an applicant to include:

  • Name
  • Phone number (preferably cell if the land line is their family’s number or shared with other people)
  • E-mail address
  • Web address (especially in the case of a portfolio)
  • Names for social media venues pertinent to the situation including Facebook, and LinkedIn as well as other venues that would cast a positive light on a prospective employee. A YouTube video, no more than a few minutes long, showing some extraordinary career related activity or appropriate personally enhancing topic can be a plus.
  • Consider using a QR code as a link from anything analog to digital.

Additional Information
These days, a prospective employer can learn an immeasurable amount of pre-interview information about a prospective worker from social media venues. Much more can be detected about a person from these on-line venues than a one-dimensional piece of paper could ever communicate. Certain things show up on social media that even a first time personal meeting could most likely reveal:

  • A Facebook page speaks to a person’s personality, friends, interests, maturity and integrity (or lack of the last two).
  • A LinkedIn profile is set up so that it can literally become a resume. There are provisions to take a traditional resume and import it into LinkedIn.

Here are some final thoughts about this resume recipe. I have more paper than I know what to do with. So do most people unless they are already paper-free. I am working towards the goal of being paper-free. At most, I might want to collect business and post cards.

But I am finding that I have so many cards that once the information is in my database, even these tiny pieces of paper go into a ‘never to be seen again’ box or circular file. Therefore, if I were so inclined, I could do one of two things:

  • I would immediately scan business cards into my smart phone and throw away the tiny pieces of paper
  • I could employ a person or even a company that does the scanning and puts the information into my database for me

You could safely say that the recipe for the socially enhanced resume is as close to paperless and as digitally oriented as possible. This is one more example of the shift from analog to digital technology.

With the amazing number of responses that this blog post has received and the almost unanimous opinion that paper is out or almost gone, something has occurred to me. A person who is computer savvy looking for a job who is asked for a paper resume may want to think twice about working at such a company. It may be a lack of being up-to-date on the part of the company rather than the applicant being out of touch with the current technology.


Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller and a photojournalist. She is a regular contributing author to DBME and, when time allows, to other blogs as well. She is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Business Marketing Solutions. She has been a marketing pro and designer for over three decades.
Alison has a ProTeam of experienced marketing, design and writing professionals offering the latest online marketing technology, social media, graphic and web design, illustration, photo and video, content management as well as the best of traditional advertising. Her client base has covered just about every commercial industry.

MARKETING BYTES specializes in local/small and start up businesses with a boutique (very personal) approach to client service. Although located on Long Island in New York State, Marketing Bytes can serve clients everywhere there is Internet access. Visit our site, Marketing Bytes, one of our Facebook pages, Marketing Main Street USA, our Facebook group, Local Biz Is The Solution, and the Marketing Bytes Blog. To contact us:  e-mail or call 516-665-9034 (EST, NY, USA).




  1. I like the idea of a business card for networking events. For interviews, depending on the type of job, the paper resume is still expected. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Grace Alexander says:

    Well done! Good explanation of the balance between paper and digital; in today’s business world!

  3. Good information. I guess I’ll set up a Facebook page and update my LinkedIn profile.

  4. I’m with Dana on this. I like my business card because it comes in handy more often than I ever thought it would. Also, I am still a stickler on the paper resume. One day it may all go away, but I’ll just be a dinosaur then I guess. Nicely done article.

  5. Some excellent points here.

    I do have to say though, that in our new Digital age I think I now use more paper than ever before. One of the people I use for design and I had a conversation about this just the other day.

  6. Having been a full time SAHM and out of the work force for 6 years, I had no idea about this. I had 4 kids when I quit working and 6 kids now, and I feel so out of the loop. I’m glad I read this as a heads up when I start trying to sell myself for a job again next year.

    I really like the business card idea.

    Sharon from EA

  7. I have to say, if you know me then you know I think the business card is the last tangible thing in the digital world. I spend about $1 a card to have nice suede with foil for my cards and I yet to see someone not find them impressive, especially considering the digital background most know I have. I also say I started to remove all the extras, its my name, a website and phone number.

  8. I was amazed with your article! I’m not in the market for a job but the information in your article really opened my eyes to what young people just out of college must do to create a resume and forward it to potential employers.

  9. Great recipe. Thanks

  10. Great post Alison! Awesome tips all the way around. Especially about using social media. Summing up many gurus of social media I would conclude: if Google can’t find you, you do not exist for employers.
    Specifically about LinkedIn, I have a few articles on my website. One of them about how to use LinkedIn for a job search.

  11. Thanks for the tips. I’ll be using some of them for sure. Enjoy your day.

  12. camountain says:

    You have really hit the mark with this post. The days of the traditional paper resume and pounding the pavement looking for a job is over. There may be a few traditional hold outs, but even they are adapting to the new paperless age.

  13. If I were to leap out of my digital employment and pound the pavement again, I think it would be a completely different world from which I began. With a personal business card in mind, I believe that having a living online resume/website would be the way to go. Almost anything can be hosted there, and it also proves that you have some know-how in the digital world as well. I don’t think my paper resume from years back will ever come out of retirement. 🙂

  14. Thank you to all the comments I have received. Some of you seem to agree close to completely. Some a bit less. It both cases, everyone agrees that social media does play an extremely important part in the recipe for the current day resume and the enhancement or detraction of getting a job. Paper may not be totally gone but I believe it is blowing in the wind. Any thing larger than a postcard is too much for me.
    Again, it means so much to me that my recipe provided each of you with valuable information.

  15. Nice idea for a business card and nice post.Thanks

  16. Kim @ says:

    Great post filled with lots of helpful info. I tweeted this out! Kim

  17. Social Media Does Indeed Have Enormous Potential.
    We do however have to learn more effective methods and find Target Audiences.
    I believe that Attention to Location is left somewhat open at the moment and time
    is spent gathering an Audience that would be mostly no benefit to your Business.
    This can be relevant for Suppliers or Employers, with this in mind I as Alison is aware
    have created many Facebook Pages that are Dedicated to Various Locations.
    If you wish to know more about this please feel free to ask me questions.
    By clicking on my name you can visit our main Facebook Page.

    • Kevin is amazing. I have learned so much from him about facebook. It is funny that only a few years ago many computer savvy people really looked down their noses at facebook as frivolous. Well, things have sure changes. The opportunities that facebook as well as other social media provide is staggering. I think at this point we are only limited by our imagination. If we can think it, we can do it. Or someone will be also thinking it and doing it too.

  18. Whether people realize it of not any prospected employer will do online due diligence. So you better have your LinkedIn page right, and take down any pics on your Facebook that may be considered in a bad light. I would not say that the paper resume is dead, but I would much rather work for a company that understands that it is irrelevant.

  19. Very useful information! I know this will help me to get my professional profile in order.

  20. While I agree with many of your points, and am a firm believer in social, I think that there is still a time and place for the paper resume, unfortunately. Many fields are still in the digital dark ages, and are being brought forward kicking and screaming. Until everyone is on the same page, paper resume’s will still be a necessity.

    Thanks for a great article!

    • As with everything else related to paper versus pixel, we are part of the transitional generation. All of this will be moot in a few years.
      On the dark ages, I agree totally that many people are kicking and screaming. These are the ones who do not know digital technology, refuse to learn it and fear it, as many unknowns are feared.

      But on the digital side, no one that I know of is kicking or screaming except for kicking all the paper refuse out of the way or saying, ‘get our of the way, old-ways of doing things, and get on the rocket ship to the future, since the future is coming faster than we can imagine’.

      Thanks Craig for you comment. I value your opinion even if did mention the dark ages. (Readers, Craig is a colleague of mine at DBME and I can not help but tease him since he is so good natured and laid back). Of course, his thoughts are important and appreciated by me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: