Are You Showing Your Best Self on GitHub? Here's Why You Should

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By Alison Griswold

What you do on Facebook may be more influential to your job search than what you say on your resume, according to Shon Burton, founder and CEO of recruiting platform HiringSolved.

Burton says he breaks social media profiles into the three types of information they can reveal about a candidate: contact details, location details, and insight into hobbies and interests. He thinks the complete picture offered by social media is much better at sizing up a candidate than the traditional resume and cover letter combination.

"Resumes are dense, often unreadable, and ignorable," Burton tells Business Insider. "Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, yes, but also YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Spotify and others – these are the places you see a candidate's real interests at work, as well as their abilities in motion."

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The first category of social media – communication sites – includes Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. These profiles help recruiters or hiring managers contact and communicate with potential employees in a way they never could previously.

The second is location-tracking sites like Yelp and Foursquare. These help recruiters pinpoint where you are and where you've traveled, potentially confirming your location and also revealing where you spend your time.

Finally, insight platforms may include LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as Quora and GitHub. These types of social media sites help employers get a sense of what you know about and what you're interested in learning. Especially in this last category, having a profile that reflects professionalism and a clear interest in your chosen field can make or break a job opportunity.

"Today it's much harder to get hired as a software engineer at Google or Apple or Twitter if you haven't been sharing your work on a site like GitHub," Burton explains. "That's a huge change from five years ago. Hiring managers will literally say, 'No GitHub? What's wrong with this picture?'"

The bottom line: Think carefully about all of your social media profiles and what they might say about you.

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