24 Jun LinkedIn versus Resumes
Which is more important in today’s modern, technology driven world…a LinkedIn / Online profile or powerful resume?
There is a bit of debate and conversation about this at the moment, and I have had a few conversations about this with clients too. Yes, technology is changing the recruitment game…..the rules are changing. But the resume is ‘not dead’ as I read recently.
Both platforms (your resume and LinkedIn or online profile/s) are used to market yourself. They complement each other, they work together, just like a business or organisation uses both traditional and digital marketing strategies. Marketing YOU and your brand is the same. There’s a time, a place and an audience for each.
Each platform attracts and engages different markets, and works differently/ better depending on your audience and intent. Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges.
Both have varying pros and cons. It is still expected that you will be able to send a copy of an up to date resume if requested – you need one, absolutely, to apply for advertised jobs. It is also expected that professionals should have a LinkedIn profile. The same managers reviewing resumes, will often jump on to LinkedIn and social media to check you out before giving you the nod for the shortlist. (side note – PLEASE manage your privacy settings on your facebook pages, google yourself and clean up the ‘mess!’ – so many managers do this before shortlisting these days to get an insight who you really are, ‘sans polish’)
Anyway, lets just stick to looking at the power, importance, influence and relevance of these two things for now…..
The RESUME’s power, relevance and influence
In todays modern competitive world the resume expectations have changed significantly…. without question, you still need a resume if your in the job market. It is the personal marketing equivalent to traditional business marketing.
A lot of Managers and senior executives are from boomer and gen x mindsets. They want a good ol’ whizz bang resume sent to them….a link to your LinkedIn profile just won’t cut it for many hiring managers…..and many of your profiles wouldn’t even scrape the surface of getting anyone’s attention. Content anyone?
I believe in breaking boxes, and shaking things up….but this box doesn’t need to be broken, it just needs to be gift wrapped! A resume should be impressive, up to date, and power home the message about why you are the right person for the job.
A modern resume is about marketing yourself effectively, career highlights, achievements, achievements, achievements, summarise skills and experience in a list at the front to save recruiters and hiring managers time and effort, provide context of your jobs (especially if a smaller company, do not just list responsibilities. Who cares what you did, if you didn’t do it well!…..We want to know what you did better than the rest of them! Please tell us.
Your resume is part of your brand – so use it to brand yourself!! Choose 3 words and a title that reflects the awesomeness of what you do. The resume is a critical part of your own branding and marketing. A resume can, and should be adapted to target each specific job or company you apply for. It provides greater detail than can be put on LinkedIn.
A resume should “hit the nail on the head” for the job you want…LinkedIn uses a broader brush and is an overview of everything, A resume gives all the extra detail that can’t be put on linked in for a gamut of reasons – such as the very fact that it is online – and viewable by everyone – people shy away from self-promotion on LinkedIn a LOT! “Tall poppy syndrome” affects many peoples use of LinkedIn. The resume is a safe haven for people to self-promote, toot their own horns, and fly their flags without the fear of employers, friends and colleagues shooting them down. So this is where the resume has greater power and truth. You don’t want your employer to know your looking for a new job. I get that. So what do you do? You send your resume to jobs and companies you’re interested in. You can manage your privacy and intentions through marketing yourself with a resume, but not a LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn profiles, power, relevance and influence
LinkedIn profiles are meant to be a summary, a “teaser” and an attention grabber that entices people to connect or know more. Your LinkedIn profile is a tool to help you tap into the ‘passive’ job market – an online resume (like LinkedIn can help you be found based on key word searches and content. This is why you need to have comprehensive LinkedIn profiles. I have had a lot of my clients head hunted from their LinkedIn profiles. So they are powerful and vital. If you have no content in your profile….you rank lower in searches…it’s like how google ranks business pages….You need content in it to rank in searches….so if you are a Business Development Manager, and keen to be hunted for a better but similar role…you should have those words, and the title in as many jobs as possible. ie. If you were a Sales Consultant, but responsible for Business Development – list a past job as Sales Consultant / Business Development.
Don’t leave your job descriptions blank either. You need to populate it with the industry you work in…such as education, mining etc – the industry key words should be in your summary, and your job descriptions. Its content marketing. It’s SEO. It’s branding. It’s selling you. So if you have a profile, use it properly. It’s not about how many contacts you have. It’s about how engaging and optimised your content is….if you are wanting to be found for new opportunities.
Employers often use their staffs network and profiles to help with their own business branding – ie. They want you to populate your content with their message – such as your current employer wants you to say in the job description – “ABC Company is awesome and we do this and that, and bla bla” They want you to share their stuff. So you do, because you don’t want to compromise yourself with your current employer. But are you anyway?
Can you share and write what you really want to write to get where you really want to be? Or are you being politically correct to please employers, and your network. This is where LinkedIn gets tricky. And this is the exact reason, that LinkedIn can’t replace a resume, it can only work in collaboration with it.
The many well known and obvious benefits to LinkedIn – mainly your ability to connect in with others and share your knowledge, opinions and expertise. I love LinkedIn, and I love resumes – because I love personal branding – and these two go hand in hand.
Do both…..and do both exceptionally well. If you are going to invest time and money in anything to do with your career, your growth and your potential…..start with optimising these two branding platforms. Get it right. Keep the main ‘messages’ and your brand consistent across both platforms. There are of course other platforms besides LinkedIn, but few that allow you to build your personal brand.
Remember – online profiles and resumes work together…knowing what works for what purpose is what you need to be clear of and aware about. Inject personality, colour, life and individuality at every opportunity. You are more than data.
I am so over reading posts from the 1990’s entrenched older mindsets, about resumes, saying, ‘don’t do anything too different or try to stand out too much!’ Seriously, WTF? The whole point is to stand out – so stand up, stand proud, and to hell with all the people who don’t like your style. Choose who you want to work with and emulate their style, their culture, their values as much as possible – if their company slogan is “Innovation in action” – then show them you are innovative and proactive! If their company slogan is “Old school tradition” – then sure send them your boring resume in 12 point black times new roman, with nothing innovative and no personality. It’s about knowing your audience, and yourself…and presenting and aligning your brand with theirs – whether LinkedIn or your resume.
Let’s wrap this up by linking this back to the business marketing comparison – Your resume is the targeted marketing platform (like submitting a business proposal) to secure a deal – and your LinkedIn is more general (like a company website) to gain leads. The safest bet, is to be yourself and if they like you they do, if they don’t, they don’t.
Just be awesome at what you do! Always.
To your success,
Seona Craig – Personal Branding Strategist, Career Coach, Resume and profile writer.
0423 171 234