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Executives: Beware Substituting Your LinkedIn Profile for Your Resume

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While it is popular for some people to refer to their LinkedIn profile as their resume, this simply is not so. Even in the age of social media authenticity, leaving something for the hiring manager’s imagination is still needed. While baring your career all in this structured, public forum may be tempting, reasons for strategically pulling back abound.

As well, despite the numerous developments and continual tweaks to the technology, you have limited control over your LinkedIn presentation. The resume, on the other hand, can be anything YOU desire it to be, expanding and contracting to fit your unique goals.

Three examples of how the resume is differentiated from your LinkedIn profile follow:

  1. The Resume Is a Forum for More Detail and Depth.
    You led the turnaround of a privately held company, converting plunging revenue into rocketing growth? The team of performers you inherited were not only under-performers, but also were dispirited and negatively influencing their colleagues? Enterprise business units were disjointed, operated in silos, and thus, were duplicative and cost-inefficient?

    These all are important, resume-fueling facts sought out by executive HR and Board members, but aired out too specifically online, many not only leave a reader a little too satiated, but also potentially breach company confidentiality. Being so public may even put your own current employment situation at risk.

    Instead, LinkedIn is an opportunity to allude to your skills and talents in the areas of turnaround, team motivation and efficiency improvements, but not necessarily to point at specific fractures in your company of employment.

    For example, in your LinkedIn Summary, you may say something like: “Career record turning around revenue + profit, reinvigorating teams to overachieve goals, and unifying business units to become more efficient.”

  2. Your Resume Is Limitless.
    LinkedIn has limitations.
    While LinkedIn offers a certain robust-ness; i.e., you can rearrange the various sections to create your unique LinkedIn presentation order and you can add links to articles you’ve published, there also are limitations.

    For example: If you want to use bold-face, italics or even change the size of a font to guide the reader’s eyes to specific phrases, you are unable to do so. You desire to add a little splash of color to headings, or weave in a chart amid the text, you will find options lacking. You want to publish a 2,005-character Summary, you will be out of luck, as LinkedIn has a size limit for each section.

    While in some instances, this is a good rule of thumb (deterring rambling LinkedIn profiles); in other instances, it creates artificial boundaries that limit creativity and differentiation.

  3. You Own Your Resume.
    LinkedIn is owned by LinkedIn. While you can create your own private login information and it is, indeed, portable (even if you leave your current company), the bottom line is, if LinkedIn closes its door, so goes your profile. If they change the look and feel of the profile, your presentation morphs, as well.

All this said, LinkedIn is an essential tool in your career portfolio toolkit. Without it, you decrease your chances of being found by key decision-makers who hunt the site daily. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming it is your resume, and thus giving your resume short shrift.


Written by Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Partner/Owner, CareerTrend.net
I am a career writer hired by individuals and organizations to build game-changing stories for executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. To find out how I can support your personal or corporate storytelling goals, please follow this link: www.careertrend.net.

Going Public: Why You Should Get Purposefully Uncomfortable in Job Search

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It almost goes without saying that job seekers should be more visible online than in the past. However, for many people that openness is at odds with their naturally private personality.

While lighthearted personal use of social media such as occasional Facebook or Instagram updates may now feel the norm, some people feel a sudden shift in mood when asked about updating their LinkedIn profile.

Whether you are struck by sudden job loss, or are securely employed seeking a better opportunity, you face the challenges of marketing your value effectively.

When you begin putting your job search feelers out, people often ask if you are on LinkedIn.

When they go to your profile, what will they see? Will you be present? If not, you must change that. Here are three reasons why. You can:

1. Be Found by Recruiters. According to JobVite’s Social Recruiting Survey Results 2014, “While 83% of job seekers flock to Facebook, LinkedIn remains recruiters’ top social network,” and “73% of recruiters have hired a candidate through social media.” Further, 93% of recruiters will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision.

Please follow this link for the rest of the blog: “3 Reasons Why You Should Go Public With Your Job Search.”

© Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Disrupt Your Resume Beyond LinkedIn’s Borders

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By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

As happens in the circle of forward thinkers and futurists, predicting the next trend is inevitable. In the careers environment, many experts feel that LinkedIn is surpassing the resume in value, and in some cases, replacing it altogether.

This likely will never happen. For one thing, the groundwork to create a career story  “foundation” is always going to require much digging, unearthing and investigating before the first line is actually etched onto the page or the screen. Where people get distracted is that they think it’s about the form of the career story (or, actually, what you “call it”; i.e., resume, LinkedIn profile, Career Story, Career Portfolio) versus the actual function.

A resume’s function is to tell a career story that grabs the reader’s (hiring decision maker’s) attention, and whether you do that through a Microsoft Word document or by publishing on LinkedIn, the foundational elements of creating a rich, deep, nuanced message are the same. And cutting through them to shortcut the process inevitably short-circuits an effective job search.

With that, the debate around LinkedIn’s eventual replacement of the resume rages on. Here are five predictions on LinkedIn and the future of the resume.

1. It’s too public.

Despite certain privacy settings, you are publicly broadcasting your resume when you publish to LinkedIn. Where you might be comfortable listing specific revenue and profit gains on a resume, you may hesitate to be as explicit on your LinkedIn profile. Company colleagues or executives may frown upon this because publishing such information could disclose competitive marketplace information. It is becoming a widely understood fact that company agents are researching LinkedIn profiles of their competitors to build marketplace advantage with products and services.

As well, while your resume may employ highly charged language such as “revenues languished” or “profits tumbled” or indications that you “took over a dispirited team” or “transformed a system wrought with inefficiencies, inaccuracies and missed deadlines,” you may tread waters a little more lightly on LinkedIn. You should avoid publicly offending or otherwise throwing a prior manager, employee or leadership team “under the bus.” With a resume, you have control over who you share it with, so you can choose when to be more bold and specific in your claims, without recourse.

To read the rest of the five predictions, please visit the full post at Glassdoor: 5 Predictions on the Future of the Resume. (more…)

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