With 225 million+ users, there’s no argument against the popularity of LinkedIn. The real question is, how does it compare to and should it be used as a substitute for the traditional CV / Resume?
You’re probably thinking that when pitting LinkedIn against CV/Resume’s, there’s only going to be one winner – the latter. But now, it’s time to rethink that outdated point of view.
So firstly, what is LinkedIn?
It is a professional networking website in which you create a profile of all your experiences, and connect with other people, such as work colleagues, clients, or potential employers.
Ok, but what advantages does LinkedIn have over the CV?
Well, exactly like a CV / Resume you can include sections on work experience, education, other skills (such as language, sports etc.), and even a summary about yourself. On top of this, unlike a static CV pdf document, the information on your LinkedIn profile is interactive. This means that, for example, when you say on LinkedIn that you have worked for a specific company, a link to the organisation will clearly appear with the company logo next to it. The advantage that LinkedIn has here over a CV is that potential employers can actively engage in a candidate’s previous experience, research company backgrounds, and even read through online projects.
Another advantage of LinkedIn is that your connections can endorse your skills.
It is sometimes difficult for potential employ to trust the information you have included on your CV. However, with LinkedIn, friends and work colleagues can endorse the skills that are present on your LinkedIn profile. Therefore, employers can rely on the information to a greater extent because it is supported by others.
LinkedIn also constantly encourages you to update and add to your profile.
You are asked to add things like extra courses taken at University or whether you have any links to a personal blog; all of which help you stand out as an experienced, proficient professional.
LinkedIn has a nice, simple style.
Whilst most CV’s have a different style, every LinkedIn profile is more or less exactly the same. As soon as you look at a LinkedIn page, you know where to find that person’s previous work experience, current job title, prior academic accolades etc. Moreover, you do not have to worry about whether to ‘attach a photo to my CV / Resume’ (a popular Google search) because everyone has profile photo’s on LinkedIn. This key difference could be argued as a bad thing, that no one stands out from the crowd with the exact same format for everyone’s profile. However, a CV / Resume does not stand out from the crowd for its style, but due to its content! With this in mind, surely the identical format of everyone’s LinkedIn profile serves to help present a clear, useful structure. Additionally, when sending a CV / Resume abroad, there can be complications due to the varying styles from country to country. However, with LinkedIn the same style and format is the same regardless of where you are in the world.
Should LinkedIn compliment or replace my CV?
The majority of people think of LinkedIn as a complimentary necessity to have alongside your CV / Resume, rather than something to be used in its place. However, LinkedIn can replace your CV / Resume. People are scared about disrupting the longstanding institution of the traditional CV or Resume. However, the world is rapidly changing. Technology has taken over our lives and, despite some trying, we are helpless to the winds of change that have been brought about through the internet, smartphones, Facebook, and now in a professional capacity, with LinkedIn.
Of course there are and always will be those that are skeptical, and don’t think that LinkedIn should be taken seriously. After all, what is one website capable of? Well, actually quite a lot. If you want to see an example of how LinkedIn is changing the way the world works, just look at how the profession of Headhunting has evolved. It is no longer just about personal contacts and physical networking, but about discovering new talent online.
On a final note, as if all this is not enough to persuade you, LinkedIn actually suggests job vacancies personally suited to each individual based on your geographical location and on your skill-set/previous work experience.
So embrace LinkedIn and the chances are you won’t regret it.
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