It’s said that your LinkedIn profile is your online resume, but does it actually replace a hard-copy or separate resume? As of right now, most people agree the answer is no. That is not to say that it will never be the case as LinkedIn and the online market place grow.
Currently most job applications require a resume to be uploaded and screened via ATS, which means you need your tailored resume ready. As Harvard Business Review explains, “A strong resume is still the gateway to an interview, and with more and more employers relying on Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) — software that screens resumes to determine which applications warrant human review — you need a resume that you can upload to those systems.” LinkedIn can help with that, they have a resume builder. You should not use an unedited LinkedIn built resume, but it is a great place to start.
One reason you still need a resume is because your resume and your LinkedIn profile should not be identical; they can, and should likely, differ in detail and formality. LinkedIn has character limits, and you must fit your information into their structure. Resumes have basic rules and formatting styles, but you have more flexibility and can go into more detail. “Used correctly, the LinkedIn Profile is a teaser that gets a recruiter to want to contact you for more information.”
One major differentiator from LinkedIn and resumes is that LinkedIn has recommendations. Recommendations are important because rather than a quote that could be from anyone, a recommendation links back to the person who left it. For that reason some recruiters consider them to be even more indicative than references. “The people who recommend you can be powerful advocates of you and your strengths and as the recommendations are linked back to a person, there is a much higher level of trust.”
In the future it is possible that LinkedIn does replace a resume. If it gets structured to work a little better with ATS or new systems and has some more flexibility. Recruiters are absolutely using it for sourcing, searching, and verifying, so make sure your profile is up to date. As HCareers suggests, “Add value in each and every document you create for your job search, whether on or offline. This particularly holds true with the Resume versus LinkedIn debate. Though their message and content may cross over, they are distinctly different communication channels.” LinkedIn is still important, but should be used in tandem with your resume to advance your job search. It should not be your only professional record.
If you need help updating your resume or LinkedIn profile, give us a call, (650)995-7158. We can help with your job search needs!