Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Should You List Your Social Media Skills, Like Using Facebook, On Your CV?

By Toivo Mvula

Several social media experts have commented on the importance of public relations practitioners in mastering social media skills.
Others have stated that there is a social media talent vacuum in the communications field, namely advertising, public relations and marketing.

A study by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) also found that masterial social media was one of the top three issues for public relations practitioners for the next two years.

Many tertiary education institutions offering PR courses heed the call and are now offering social media related modules as part of their courses and established practitioners are applying for short social media course to jump onto the social media bandwagon.


With many employees fired from their work for using Facebook and other social media websites during working hours, is it a good idea for public relations practitioners applying for a job to indicate on their CV that they are knowledgeable in the use of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc.?

Mashable reported that 8 percent of US companies dismissed someone for their behaviour on social media sites.

The problem is, not all employers understand the importance and increasing use of social media in public relations, nor do all organisations use or intend to use social media for their communication.
Most employers, if not all, block access to Facebook during working hours and only allow access before work and during lunch hours.

Potential employers might also perceive you as a gossip and, rightly so, see you as a threat to corporate secrets, because social media is a corporate reputation disaster if used incorrectly.

Listing your social media skill may seem like a risk to some, but it is important to do research on the organisation you are applying to, like finding out if they use social media; how they use it and understanding their social media policy.

Even if you don’t list your social media skills on your CV, you can still point it out during the interview and explain to the interviewing panel about the benefits of using social media and how a social media policy can erase their fears of reputation management.

Image by San Francisco Sentinal


  1. I think mentioning on your CV that you understand the importance of social media in communications campaigns is worthwhile.

    I see your point about the use of social media during work hours but at the same time, I feel it would be a waste of our knowledge about social media to disguise it in our CVs.

  2. Is your company or workplace blocking, or considering blocking employee access to social media apps? Here's a helpful resource, it's a whitepaper called “To Block or Not. Is that the question?”

    It has lots of insightful and useful information about identifying and controlling Enterprise 2.0 apps (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, SharePoint, etc.)

    Share it with the IT Dept.

  3. I think that it is important to highlight an awareness of social media, it's not something that should be overly highlighted but in a digital crazy world it would be unrealistic not to have any understanding of it. I don't however think it is wise to discuss the personal use.

  4. @Lisa Thanks for sharing the link.

  5. Toivo,

    I understand why one would say it is a risky thing to mention, but in this world where social media is evolving and becoming increasingly meaningful for companies and individuals, I also think it’s worthwhile mentioning on your CV.

    Anything you know is important, and you should never hide it. As a PR student I believe it is even more important to mention that you know how they work, the benefits etc...Which would again assume you understand the risks that social media may bring.

  6. I think that it is important to write in your CV your experience with the social media, because a lot of people have a degree, different languages, master´s degree, knowledge of Microsoft Office, but few of them about social media, and this could be the difference between you and other interviewees.

    This weekend I had the visit of my friend Ana from Madrid and she told me that nowadays the companies are very interested in the social media, though they do not have a lot of knowledge about them.

    She told that it was important to write all your social media skills in my CV because not a lot of people know about them, but the companies want it.

  7. I also think you should put social media skills in your CV. After all, you are going to do the social media for the company. And not specifying about your social media doesn't mean they can not find out about your use of social media. And also, if you do have skills in social media, then you know how to manage your personal online presence. Therefore, there is no point in not doing that

  8. I think it depends on where you apply. If you are looking to work in an agency setting, then you should definitely make appropriate mention because you will be expected to be able to come up with strategic tactics for their clients. If it's a corporate client, I would get a sense of their online presence and corporate culture to see if it's something they'd value. Some governments block social media sites yet in Canada they seem to want communications professionals who understand their merits. Non-for-profits would be excited to have that 'talent vacuum' addressed because that means more innovative and cost effective ways of getting their message out. Feel out the environment and go from there!

  9. If you include it on your resume, the employer will more than likely ask about it. So, if it’s on a resume, I would hope you would be active. However, I think it really depends on what job you are applying for. I think it is important to include real examples of your involvement.