The days of the traditional one-page resume may be numbered, but it's still not quite time to ditch those well-crafted, battle-tested documents. Recruiters and career development consultants say the resume is not dead; however, the LinkedIn profile has surpassed it in terms of importance to modern job seekers.
For many professionals, resumes are static documents that are dusted off and updated only when they begin a new job hunt. LinkedIn profiles are dynamic and always changing.
"LinkedIn's strengths also are its weaknesses," according to Emily Gordon, strategic director of recruitment firm Seven Step RPO.
Many users have trouble setting up and maintaining up-to-date profiles. "You have to keep [your profile] updated, relevant and clean," Gordon says. "If you do this, and have a strong network, it will increase credibility and your chances in securing an interview."
Resumes also capture less personality than LinkedIn profiles, because "they are often more of an exercise in grammatical and formatting skills versus true content," Gordon says. "However, this allows recruiters to see if a candidate has a strong attention to detail and doesn't make small, but important mistakes like typos."
LinkedIn Profiles, Resumes Are Different Tools for Different Goals
Gordon says the goal of the traditional resume is different than that of a LinkedIn profile. "The goal of a resume is to secure a more in-depth conversation with the candidate and to create a framework for the interview," she says. "The initial screening process is often enhanced by a LinkedIn profile if a candidate has set it up and maintained it in the right way. What you do with each is completely different, and you need to be smart with how you maintain your resume and LinkedIn profile."
Though LinkedIn hasn't killed the resume, according to Gordon, it has directly influenced its evolution. For example, LinkedIn has made certain aspects of the resume irrelevant, including references, because LinkedIn puts such a high priority on personalized recommendations and connections.
"LinkedIn goes right to the long-form resume," says Rick Gillis, a professional career consultant, trainer and author. (Gillis also contributes to CIO.com's ICN blogs.)
Using a lengthy, detailed LinkedIn profile instead of a more concise, attention-grabbing resume can do more harm than good. "The longer and the more detailed a resume, the more likely I'm able to find a reason not to accept you or reject you out of hand," says Gillis.
LinkedIn Slowly Winning the War
When Gillis last asked a forum of peers for their opinions of LinkedIn profiles versus resumes, about 18 months ago, the response was evenly split between those who had fully abandoned resumes and those who were at least considering the move.
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