Should You Include Links on Your Resume?

Should you include links on your resume?These days you can’t read anything online without being confronted with the opportunity to click on a link that will take you to something else online. These links — or, more often “hyperlinks” that turn the URL into a word or phrase — are a fact of life. But do they belong on your resume?

A quick review of online resources suggests a mixed response from the experts —

URLs or hyperlinks: The first thing to consider when debating the addition of links to your resume is whether to use the URLs themselves or make them into hyperlinks. Hyperlinks definitely look better on the page but in some cases they defeat the purpose. For example, electronic resume readers used by big organizations generally convert everything to plain text, so your hyperlinks will be null and void by the time a hiring manager sees the resume. Also, some managers like to print out the resumes they receive electronically and view them on paper, which also cancels out the usefulness of a hyperlink. URLs may not look as nice, but they will remain in intact no matter how the manager views the resume. Of course, really long URLs are fairly useless, because very few people will bother to type in a long string of characters to see where they might take them.

LinkedIn: The consensus is fairly strong here — if you have a LinkedIn page (and you should!) include it on your resume. It’s a great way to expand on the 1-2 page resume you’ll be submitting. Just make sure your page is up-to-date and includes the kind of information you want to share with the hiring manager. Also make sure you have a short URL for your page so the manager will be willing to type it in if she isn’t viewing your resume on her computer screen. To do this, simply go to your page, click on “Profile” and then “View profile as” and choose “Manage public profile settings.” On that page, look for “Your public profile URL” to make a short URL that will take people to your page.

Facebook: Experts are all over the map on this one. On the one hand, everyone knows prospective employers are likely to seek out your Facebook page, so why not just give them a link to it? On the other hand, Facebook pages usually include more personal than professional information, so what’s the point? The bottom line is, it’s up to you, but if you do include a link to your Facebook page, make sure it’s devoid of anything negative that could hurt your chances of getting the job.

Twitter: If you use your Twitter account purely for personal reasons, then it too should be added to your resume with caution. However, if you regularly tweet about studies or other information relevant to respiratory care, you could include a link to it. If you have a Twitter account but haven’t tweeted in a while, though, don’t include it — you don’t want to send a hiring manager to a Twitter account only to find you haven’t said anything in months.

Divide and conquer: One way to get around the personal vs. professional nature of your social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites is to set up separate accounts for your personal and professional lives. Of course, doing that right before putting the links on your resume isn’t a good idea, as the hiring manager will quickly realize you’ve only had that professional account for a short period of time and most likely only set it up to distract him from your personal account.

Other links: There are, of course, many other things you can link to — your previous places of employment, blogs you’ve written, papers you’ve had published, and the like. But overwhelming a resume with hyperlinks or URLs probably isn’t a good idea. The hiring manager isn’t going to spend that much time on your resume (at least in a first go-round), so choose your links wisely and only include those you feel will increase your chances of getting hired.