Using LinkedIn vs. Resumes in a Job Search

Rhonda Howell —  April 20, 2016 — Leave a comment

Technology has drastically changed every aspect of recruiting in today’s job market.The social media revolution has bought many changes to the job search process of today. In the past the resume was the single focus for hiring managers in the recruiting process from the screening, to the phone interview, to the face to face interview.  Today social recruiting has become very prevalent among recruiters and human resource professionals alike.

LinkedIn and your resume both highlight you as a person and tell the world who you are but in very different ways. LinkedIn is used for multiple purposes but a resume can be used for one single purpose. So let’s examine how LinkedIn can be used more effectively in a job search over a resume.

Linkedin v resumes

Broader Audience for Your LinkedIn Profile vs. Your Resume

A resume is distinctly used for people who are looking for a new job. Normally a candidate will submit a resume to apply for a job and chances are your resume may never be viewed by the hiring manager if you are not selected as a viable candidate for the open position. However, LinkedIn is used for multiple reasons such as job searching, networking, connecting with new contacts, publishing articles, posting information, sales people communicating with potential prospects, recruiters reaching out to passive candidates, gathering information from industry leaders and many other uses.

According to the Pew Research Center 25% of adults use LinkedIn which is 22% of the entire adult population. LinkedIn is the only major social media platform in which usage rates are highest among the age group of 30 – 49 years old. With this social media platform 32% of users are employed compared to 14% of users who are not employed.  Therefore, the reach of LinkedIn users are vastly greater than the number of people a job seeker will send a resume to and who may view your resume posted online. LinkedIn will give you greater exposure than a resume ever will.

Professional vs. Social

A resume is a formal document that is professionally written to highlight a person’s employment history and past accomplishments. Your resume is a simple text document that is tightly formatted to highlight STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) bulleted points. However, LinkedIn is considered a business social site which allows a person to highlight more than just your skills and work experience. This format is less formal and more personable. On LinkedIn a person may highlight their accomplishments and skills by including media links on both your profile and positions. A person might include a portfolio, a professional presentation, a PDF e-book, pictures, links and videos to highlight your talent and work product.

Past vs. Present

A resume is a one to two page document of your professional history, skills, experience and career highlights. A resume shows your job history and past accomplishments. By comparison a LinkedIn profile is a person’s present and future professional life.  A LinkedIn profile consists of many more sections such as your career summary, experience, education, skills & endorsements, recommendations, honors & awards, groups, volunteer work and more. Status updates are part of your profile and a person can update their profile daily which will organically grow your profile each time you add a new skill, a new job, receive an endorsement, share information, and engage in a discussion and other activities on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Profile Builds Relationships and Continuously Grows

By using LinkedIn regularly you are able to build relationships with people through your daily interactions and discussions. LinkedIn allows you to connect with people in your industry of business and also connects you with group members who share the same interests or profession. A resume just sits on a desk or the inbox of a hiring professionals email. However, with your LinkedIn profile each time you post an update it is shared with all of your first-degree connections. These updates will put you in front of an audience repeatedly which is what candidates need when looking for a new career opportunity. Your status updates can now appear on your Twitter feed which is one more avenue for exposure when looking for a new job. In addition, to these updates you can include links to articles, videos, websites as well as pictures.

Recruiters and human resource professionals now practice using LinkedIn once they receive your resume and may be interested in pursuing you as a potential candidate. They venture onto the social site to gain more information about a candidate’s personality to determine if they would like to initiate a phone screen with you. Lastly, with LinkedIn a person can separate themselves from the competition better than using a resume. The LinkedIn profile will allow a person to demonstrate and articulate what value you can bring to an organization and why you can become a valuable addition to the team.

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Rhonda Howell

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Rhonda is an Account Manager. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and has a diverse background in sales, marketing, and teaching Business to undergraduate college students. In her free time she enjoys volunteering her time and talents to her church and other non-profit organizations.

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