Take a stroll down the hyperlinks rabbit hole to face one of the BIGGEST debates in the resume-writing industry.
In the words of a modern-day Shakespearean candidate, it is: "To link or not to link?" That truly is the question.
Should or shouldn't you include hyperlinks on your resume?
On that school of thought, you should give the green light to any resume section that helps you build a consistent and enticing story to highlight that you're the best fit for the job.
If you decide on including links on your resume (apart from your email address) consider how they help you to
- highlight expertise/ skill alignment to the role you're applying for;
- display your achievements;
- validate the legitimacy of your experience, accomplishments, and certifications;
- stand out.
Be wise about how effective links would be to your overall resume writing strategy.
For example, if you're applying for:
- the creative industry - your portfolio could be just the proof you need of your expertise;
- academia - research, and publications definitely carry weight;
- jobs in the IT sector - home labs would work to show your unique know-how and further interests.
Final words of warning, before we get into the how-to section of this Enhancv guide.
What you’ll learn in this Enhancv guide
- Experts debate: the pros and cons of including links on your resume;
- URLs vs Hyperlinks: which works best for your resume?
- Tweaking your resume links: best practices and examples;
- Advice on perfecting the links to your portfolio and projects;
- Apart from your resume header, which other sections could be used to curate your links?
The Pros and Cons of including links on your resume
This is the exciting part of our guide: where we observe two sides of the same coin - or the pros and cons of links on resumes.
Let's start with the advantages of you including links on your resume.
Integrating them within resume sections allows recruiters to easily
These are some pretty valid points to win your case. But, of course, you can't brush off the disadvantages of including links on your resume.
We need to also address these resume links-related issues that could be:
Your links could either break in between or be incorrect, making you look unprofessional. Ultimately, resulting in a lost job opportunity.
N.B. remember to always check all of your links, before sending your resume out.
Links affect the optimization of your resume; with fewer advert buzzwords appearing at the top.
If the hiring managers tend to print all documents that they receive, an HTTPS address would serve absolutely no purpose.
What is more, recruiters may not even click on your links due to the:
- rising cyber threat of ransomware/ malware posed by external links;
- other 200+ candidates they have to assess for the role.
Weighing in on both sides, be smart about the way you curate the links on your resume.
How to include links on your resume?
Candidates often ask, "How many links should my resume include?"
This depends on a few factors - the industry and role you're applying for; your achievements and expertise; etc.
So, think about how much sense the links would make to your experience, and move on from there.
We recommend a bare minimum that consists of your:
- professional email
- LinkedIn profile
Now that you've selected your relevant links, we'd like to highlight one aspect that most candidates tend to underestimate.
That is the format of the links. Or the URLs vs hyperlinks debate.
Use this resume below!
Why are we all of a sudden mentioning the ATS?
We know for a fact that top-notch ATS (e.g. Workable) can cope absolutely fine with your resume hyperlinks.
But other applicant tracking systems and CRMs do struggle. When they transform your resume into text-only files, they often lose your hyperlinks.
One more thing about the ATS and hyperlinks.
The systems tend to assess your resumes for relevant keywords, with a focus on the top one-third of your document.
Imagine having links that are quite heavy and go on and on and on with symbols and numbers.
That would ultimately play a bad trick on your application.
To save space on your resume and make your links more readable via a link shortener (e.g. bit.ly; tinyurl.com; ow.ly; short.io).
Some platforms even allow you to add custom name tags for an even more personalized experience.
If you’re looking for further how-to advice, we've included six best practices about resume links.
Which resume sections work best with links?
Now that you've considered the relevancy of the links to your application, comes the fun part - integrating them through your resume.
You could include links within your resume:
- Header: add your professional email, LinkedIn profile, portfolio, or blog;
- Experience: company publications that don't breach your NDA;
- Education and certifications: to further highlight the legitimacy of your experience;
- Projects and publications: link to the most notable achievement;
Links within the header of your resume
The best window of opportunity to include links on your resume is within its header.
The header is never "something nice to have", but an essential element of your professional presentation.
What is more, it allows for a links-focused approach within three core sections.
This one is pretty obvious, but make sure that the first link on your resume is your professional email.
Your platform of choice - whether it's Gmail or Yahoo - doesn't matter, as long as you have access to it.
Also, make sure that your email account name is a professional one.
Substitute your "email@example.com" with "firstname.lastname@example.org".
You've submitted your resume for the given role. Now, why would recruiters need your LinkedIn profile?!
LinkedIn isn't just an online version of your resume. It's employers' and hiring managers' #1 research platform.
So, even if you think your LinkedIn profile is well hidden within the depths of the platform, trust us. Any recruiter could easily find you.
That's why it's a good idea to include your LinkedIn profile in your resume header.
For starters, make sure that your LinkedIn profile mirrors accurately the information on your resume. Pay specific focus on your experience items: start-and-end dates, companies, and expertise.
What we mean is that you shouldn't just copy and paste everything you have on your resume on LinkedIn.
Instead, use your profile to save space by
- including a link to your portfolio in the featured section;
- showcasing all the projects you'd like to bring to recruiters' attention;
- detailing the impressive list of clients, you've worked with in the past;
- pinpointing the referrals from past employers or clients;
- highlighting your communication style with comments and posts.
Remember that your LinkedIn activity could be a vital instrument to hint at an array of your hard/ technical and soft skills.
You could also decide to hyperlink your LinkedIn profile. Just make sure that you've written out your full URL address, in case your resume is printed.
Sometimes your resume isn't enough for hiring managers to understand your expertise. They need further evidence of your technical capabilities.
A link to your portfolio - that includes your projects and/or publications - can be the sole proof of your expertise.
How do you curate your project portfolio?
Best practices point that you could:
- complement your resume with all past projects that showcase your know-how;
- focus on just the biggest achievements of your career and highlight those;
- create a dedicated landing page: to highlight the alignment between the job's required skills and your projects.
Entry-professionals who are still wondering whether they should include their portfolio - it's a big YES from us!
Even if your work or personal projects are not that glass-shattering, highlight them with an engaging, visual presentation.
It's extra effort, but at the end of the day, this demonstrates to hiring managers your desire to learn more.
Going about building your project portfolio: it doesn't have to be a thorn in your side.
There are plenty of free platforms (with portfolio templates) you could choose from, including
Just make sure to select the one that is most relevant to your industry and allows hiring managers to get the best feel of your work.
Within the next section of this guide, we'll focus on one standard and two innovative ways to present your work.
If you're in the IT industry, GitHub is the best platform to host your home labs, while demonstrating your unique know-how.
If you're looking to curate client work on your GitHub profile, be extra cautious about the legal framework and NDAs you've signed.
It's most often the case that your employers are the sole owners of the codes and programs you're working on.
Our best advice is to include personal projects you've developed (including apps, websites, etc.) to show that you're actively learning and growing your skills.
2. Social media
If you're looking for a job in social media/ digital marketing, you definitely have to demonstrate your brand presence on the expected platforms.
Employers don't expect to see your #slay #yasqueen #travelbuddies Instagram/ TikTok profiles as part of your professional resume.
Rather, they'd like to preview bespoke, professional accounts.
Ones, that are centered around your personal brand, that have nice KPIs (e.g. healthy amount of followers, likes, impressions, etc.).
Or, alternatively, hiring managers are looking to understand how your style of writing and content creation could fit their organization.
So, if you're to include a link to your social media channel on your resume, just make sure that it adds value to your application and isn't just another #instalikeforlike account.
3. Video portfolios
And for those outside-the-box thinkers - there's one more channel that could do wonders for your resume portfolio.
Including a link to your professional vlog could make your application even more interactive for recruiters.
Especially, if your channel focuses on teaching know-how within your area of expertise.
Even though YouTube (or even TikTok) portfolios may be less common - if you've invested the time to create quality content on the platform, use it as a trump card for your application.
To recap it all, here’s an example of how to curate links within the header of your resume:
Experience section and resume links
There are two schools of thought about links in the experience section of your resume.
Some say that it's nice to have links to your previous projects within the description of each experience item.
Those links could lead to either your current/ previous employer's website or your LinkedIn profile.
Candidates opt to do so to save space on their resume and at the same time - to showcase their work even further.
Whatever you decide to do, first check the NDA you've signed to see your copyright legal obligations.
The second school of thought - against including links - points out that URLs make each of your experience items less ATS-friendly and information-heavy.
The choice is entirely up to you.
Before you decide on including links in your experience, check out the below example to get a better sense of the potential look and feel of your resume.
Should you include resume links in the education and certifications sections?
Long story short: it's entirely up to you. For starters, consider what value would the links (within these two separate resume sections) bring to your application.
Perhaps it could be the "social proof" recruiters need of your
- remarkable publications and projects within your education section;
- certificates you've attained at the end of a given training session;
- projects you've built, thanks to your certifications.
It’s not a definite, 100% must, but could be something extra to add to your resume.
Other resume sections for your links
There are plenty more sections within which you could decide to curate your resume links, including
- Projects - links to up to two projects that are really something (within the relevant industry);
- Publications - to showcase the further effect you have on the academia and research environment.
But don’t get too caught up in including your proof for every single section of your resume. Instead, select the ones which you believe would really impress recruiters and take it a step further by curating a dedicated link.
It’s a win-win strategy for all.
- Links allow hiring managers to learn more about your expertise, skills, achievements, and interests - thus aligning your application even further to the role you’re applying for.
- If you’re to include links through your resume, make sure that you’ve included URLs, instead of hyperlinks. You could also use link shorteners to save up space.
- Be strategic about integrating links within different resume sections - if the link adds more value to your application, then you should go for it.
- The resume header is the most popular section for links - apart from your contact details (email address), also include links to your developed LinkedIn profile and/or portfolio of work.
- Remember that recruiters may not have the time to click on every single link you’ve integrated, so think ahead about what would make their job easier in assessing your application.