Do You REALLY Need A Resume In the Age of LinkedIn?

We were tweeted the question “Do you really need a resume in the age of LinkedIn?” and it started a great discussion in the office.  The simple answer to this question is “Yes!” You definitely need a resume as well as an up-to-date LinkedIn profile…do you know why?

The Traditional Resume vs. Your LinkedIn Profile

  • LinkedIn is a great tool for job seekers and hiring managers.  It can be an effective way to communicate your work history and business profile but should really be used to compliment your resume and not replace it.
  • As we recently covered in “Resume Writing Tips” your resume is where the details of your work history, job skills and achievements should be communicated.
  • The big advantage of a resume over LinkedIn profile is that your resume can be customized and tailored to a given job you are applying for.  There may be specific nuggets of experience you want to highlight for a particular job and this can be achieved by modifying your resume.
  • You may have a number of variations of your resume for different kinds of positions, depending on your skill set and industry you are applying to.  You do have the ability to change and update a LinkedIn profile, but it really isn’t a good idea to be constantly changing it for each role.
  • Although LinkedIn gives you an option to save your profile as a .pdf document, you cannot customize or add in any additional details such as your telephone number and/or email address which are important details.  Also, with all the extras on LinkedIn your pdf resume will likely be 8 pages long!
  • LinkedIn provides excellent additional features that can be a big advantage — recommendations, groups, skills — but it can be too much information that clients/hiring managers may not need to see.  LinkedIn profiles that have too much detail may dissuade an HR manager who may be looking for someone with specific experience rather than someone who says they are not only a ‘marketing visionary’ but can do anything!
  • On the other hand, a LinkedIn profile or personal website with not enough detail won’t help your chances either or put your best foot forward. No different than a good resume, you need the right amount of content to sell yourself to get the interview but not overdo it.
  • We know of several big corporations who limit internet access and sending just a link to your profile or website won’t be an effective way to present yourself or experience.

LinkedIn along with other social networks, personal websites and blogs are all part of your digital footprint and your online brand.  They can be effective tools to profile your experience and skills but should not replace a proper resume. 

From a recruiter’s point of view, we will always need a resume to present to our clients, whether it’s part of an HR process or not.  Potential employers generally want to have an actual resume on file and in hand along with your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn Tips:

  • You should fill out your profile as much as you can, use a professional photo (this is not your FB profile so no pictures with your boyfriend or partying with friends)
  • Join relevant groups, give and receive recommendations and include your twitter or blog feeds when appropriate.
  • Links to your portfolio, blog or website are also very important to include.  Everyone working in the digital world should have some sort of online footprint, whether you have an page that links to all of your sites or your own domain for a blog or portfolio.  This gives you a chance to show off your skills and work to potential clients and employers.

One last point to mention.  If you are a jobseeker it is a good idea to have your contact info visible on your LinkedIn profile – email only is fine – as you want to make sure potential employers can contact you as quickly and easily as possible.

Do you have any LinkedIn Tips or Tricks?  We’d love to hear your thoughts!  Send us an email, leave a comment, tweet or FB message.