If you’re a LinkedIn aficionado with an updated profile, lots of posts and a prodigious list of connections and peer recommendations, it may be tempting to consider LinkedIn to be your new resume. After all, isn’t everything on social media now?
Although having a strong LinkedIn profile is important, it’s not quite time to throw out your resume just yet.
Lots of recruiters use LinkedIn as a way to quickly find potential candidates, but a ‘traditional’ PDF or Word document is likely still going to be how you apply for a job, whether you’re headhunted or responding to an advert.
For now, it’s better to think of both your resume and LinkedIn profile as working harmoniously together. To impress, both need to be outstanding. Both need to complement each other. Both need to showcase you clearly and comprehensively.
Essential elements of a resume
Let’s consider your resume. What are its must-haves?
When you apply for a job, make sure your resume is not a one-size-fits-all summary of your career.
Instead, carefully tweak it so it mirrors the job you are going for, clearly outlining why you are a brilliant candidate and what you would bring to the role.
Think of ways to add value to your resume. For example, include facts and figures to show how you have contributed to a company’s success – such as whether your role has boosted sales, and by how much.
There are some instances where the type of industry you’re in may allow you to make your resume more creative in presentation, such as if you’re a photographer, an IT expert or a graphic designer.
One Canadian designer whose passion was brewing found success by handing out beer with snippets of his portfolio printed on the label and a QR code.
But for most professions, a detailed resume document with a clear and uncluttered layout is still the way to go – and remember to keep it to one or two pages at most.
What about LinkedIn?
No matter what level you’re at, LinkedIn gives you an excellent opportunity to showcase your expertise in your field. Use it to post insightful content, share relevant articles and comment on other people’s posts as well. Build up your peer recommendations and use the summary and experience sections to detail your experience, previous roles and accomplishments.
LinkedIn also has immediacy in its favour. If, for example, you have just won a prestigious award, been commended for a task by your peers, or been invited to be the keynote speaker at a prestigious conference, posting this on the site is a great way to highlight current career successes that may not be on your resume.
There is little doubt that LinkedIn is a clever way to be noticed. But don’t fall into the trap of assuming it’s all you need. Most employers will tell you a resume still has merit.
There may soon come a time when you will only need a digital platform and a ‘social resume’ as a means of applying for a job. But whatever the future holds on that front, it’s a given that a well-produced resume and LinkedIn profile will work to your advantage now.
They reflect who you are professionally – and who doesn’t want that to shine? Talk to us about polishing up yours!
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