Is it okay to list your LinkedIn groups on a resume? Do employers really care if you're a member of these online groups? Here are my thoughts on which LinkedIn groups are worth putting on your resume and how to list them.
What LinkedIn Groups Say About You
I believe LinkedIn groups can add value to your resume. Like your off-line professional memberships, your list of LinkedIn groups tells the employer:
- You keep up on the latest in your field.
- You add value to your professional community.
Unlike your off-line groups, your list of LinkedIn groups can:
- Encourage a recruiter to visit your group (with just a few clicks) and read what you've been saying online.
- Open the door to contact with the recruiter / employer if he's also on LinkedIn.
Listing LinkedIn Groups on Your Resume
Now that many of us meet online in social media forums such as LinkedIn groups, how do we get "credit" on our resumes for our online participation?
You may already have a special section on your resume called "Professional Affiliations" or "Memberships" where you list trade groups you belong to. If not, you can create one and list your LinkedIn Groups under that heading.
Here are some tips for listing your online groups under that type of heading.
If you are a member of a LinkedIn group that relates to your career goal (let's say you're an IT manager and you join LinkedIn's IT Focus Expert Group), list the group on your resume just as you would list a brick-and-mortar group. If you belong to several online groups that are relevant to your career, you could create a special section (or subsection of your Membership section) called something like "Online Professional Groups."
If you're very active in one or more of your professional LinkedIn groups, you could highlight it on your resume by writing a short statement after the name of the group. For example, a marketing pro might list his LinkedIn groups like this:
ONLINE PROFESSIONAL GROUPS
Name of Marketing Group, LinkedIn
Moderator, New York subgroup, 2012-present
- Moderate discussions among web-based marketing professionals with focus on blog-related advertising. Membership: approximately 1500.
Name of Another Marketing Group, LinkedIn
Active participant, 2010-present
- Post opinions and research findings at least once a week on topics related to viral marketing.
If you're unemployed and you have nothing else (for example, school or community service) to list as your present "job" in your Work History section, you might list your most active LinkedIn group as your current "job." This works only if you are really active in the group — enough so that an employer would see you as a mover and shaker when he went to the group's discussion pages. It would also be fair to list this as your "job" if you are officially a manager or moderator of the group.
Don't List LinkedIn Job Search Groups
As a job seeker you may belong a few LinkedIn groups that target job search. If so, don't list these groups on your resume unless, of course, you're in the career development field and listing those groups would support your job objective as a recruiter, career coach, resume writer, or job where you help people with their careers.