LinkedIn vs Resumes: Where does one stop and the other start?
First, the incidents:
- About a month ago I got a cold email from a recruiter looking to place a web Chief Architect at a multi-million dollar in annual revenue global company. I've discovered job opportunities from friends before, but this was the first time I got pinged by somebody I never heard of and it was for a job I was actually a good fit for. As you might have guessed, the recruiter found me through my LinkedIn profile and we had a nice conversation. I'm happy where I am at HP, but now I have a nice contact with a recruiter I didn't have before.
- Last week, I got an introductory email from Mindy Roberts, who runs The Mommy Blog and saw a message I sent out to a Yahoo group we both belong to. She looked up my LinkedIn profile and shared that we were both at UC San Diego at the same time. Then she shared that she worked for The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, giving us another common interest. We went on to have a nice exchange (and discovered we both have high energy 5 year old daughters too), which would have never started without LinkedIn since she would have had no other way to easily discover those details about me, very much in line with an earlier post of mine on using LinkedIn before meetings to make a better impression.
- Last month, I had an email conversation with Liz Handlin, who runs utlimate-resumes.com about whether or not she should add LinkedIn profile assistance to her portfolio of services and then Thursday, Scott Allen at LinkedIntelligence starts running a series on LinkedIn Extreme Makeovers.
What's going on here?
People are using this service to discover very pertinent information about others for a variety of purposes. We're starting to treat these profiles like resumes as we've begun to use similar methods to construct and critique them, but does that mean a LinkedIn profile will eventually replace a resume? Am I going to apply for a job some day by sending a URL and that's it?
For now, at least, I think you still need a resume. It can be tailored to highlight particular skills for specific situations. Hiring managers still need a way to quickly assess whether or not you are a good fit for a job and be pushed that information.
But, I think the day is rapidly approaching in the future where if you don't have a LinkedIn profile it will be like not having an email address today. Your LinkedIn profile is not your resume, but it's your proactive online persona. It lets you say to the world, "here are some things about me and my job history you might find interesting." When someone is trying to pull information about you as a recruiter might when looking to fill a position with very specific skills or you might if you are trying to find an interesting side discussion to have at a first time meeting with a new person you want to make an impression on, it is extremely useful.
That LinkedIn profile is how you enable people to find things out about you even if you have no idea who might find it useful or why. That's a very different context than a resume, which tells things about you for a specific reason. I'm betting that you'll always need that resume, but if you don't have it already, you're going to need that LinkedIn profile too.
Labels: General stuff