Over the last few months, I’ve had the privilege to interview a number of sales, client advocate, and development professionals and I’ve detected a growing trend. When I’ve asked for a resume to review in advance of the interview, as often as not I’ve merely been pointed to the candidate’s LinkedIn profile. “Everything you need to know about me is there,” I was told by one candidate.
Sensing that I wasn’t going to get an actual resume to review – or worse, a copy-and-paste of said applicant’s profile – I went to LinkedIn and didn’t exactly find “everything I need to know.” I found a pretty generic list of accomplishments, only remotely relevant to the job we were hiring for, followed by a Facebook-like timeline of prior employment dates and companies. When did the LinkedIn profile replace the resume as a way to effectively communicate one’s qualifications to a prospective employer?
The problem here is not so much that the applicant wanted his LinkedIn profile to establish his suitability for the job. It’s that it was so generic that it didn’t differentiate him in any way. I could have easily done a keyword search on any number of the buzzwords in his profile (and there were many), and found hundreds of other candidates that were similarly “qualified.” It also left me with the impression that he didn’t care too much to map his skills and abilities to the requirements of the open position and therefore, didn't care too much whether he got the job.
The recruiting and job search landscape is always evolving and social media has become a large part of it. Despite this, one thing remains constant – employers want to hire the best-qualified people for the job. As a job seeker, if you insist on using your LinkedIn profile as a proxy for a carefully crafted resume, be sure that it contains “everything I need to know.”
Full disclosure: You won’t find “everything you need to know” from my LinkedIn profile (www.linkedin.com/in/kevinhegebarth/) either. I intend to remedy that as soon as possible.