With the popularity of LinkedIn and the indisputable necessity of having a presence there, many people claim that the resume is dead, or dying . . . that it’s no longer needed, or valuable . . . that a robust, fully populated LinkedIn profile is, in fact, the new resume.
After all, people searching for viable candidates like you will likely see your LinkedIn profile before they ever reach out to you and request your resume.
Social recruiting has become the norm for executive recruiters. They spend a significant part of their days searching online for candidates, and a significant part of that time specifically on LinkedIn. The cost of social recruiting is minimal (compared to posting on job boards) and opens them to a much larger pool of potential candidates.
So, if you have a strong online presence, with a LinkedIn profile (and other online profiles, personal website, web resume, social media activity, etc.), why do you need a resume at all?
First of all, lose the mindset that LinkedIn is an online resume. If it ever was, it’s not any more. There’s a lot more going on at LinkedIn – social branding, networking, curating content, etc. – than the ability to publish your career history online.
For another thing, you can only have one LinkedIn profile, but you can (and should) have several resumes, customized for each of the employers you’re targeting.
A LinkedIn profile needs to be somewhat more generic, like a “kitchen sink” resume, so it will appeal to a wider audience than just one employer. Obviously, you can’t customize your LinkedIn profile for each target company, but you can indicate your job-type and industry preference.
Your resume shines when you’re actively networking your way into the companies you’re targeting. To hit home with each person reading it, you’ll customize your resume (as much as possible) for each target company, and send it to select people at, or associated with, each company. The world will not be privy to your resume, as it will your LinkedIn profile.
Four other reasons a LinkedIn profile alone won’t do . . . you still need a resume:
- If you’re in confidential job search, your LinkedIn profile may need to be tamed down so much that it doesn’t position you as a good-fit hire.
- There may be certain confidential information about your current and previous employers that you can’t put online, but you can put in the resume you’ll privately send to select people.
- During the interview process, you’ll need to bring several hard copies of your resume (along with other relevant printed collaterals) to pass out to everyone involved.
- Human Resources, at each target company, is going to request a copy of your resume for their database.
And consider this.
The old fashioned strategy of mailing a hard copy of your resume with covering letter is a powerful NEW differentiating tactic to capture attention and perhaps an interview, because so few people do it any more.
Try snail mailing your resume and customized cover letter, sending it flat, unfolded in a 9 x 12 envelope. The larger envelope will be noticed more than standard #10 envelopes, and probably will be opened first.
So don’t give up on that paper/digital resume yet . . . or maybe ever.
The key, as always, for an interview-generating resume, is to:
- Immediately capture attention above the fold.
- Match your promise of value with the current needs of your target employers.
- Demonstrate your good-fit qualities and strengths through clear examples of past contributions, with value-driven metrics.
- Generate chemistry with personal branding.
More Information about Executive Resumes and LinkedIn