By Amy @BubbleJobs
Whatever industry you’re working in, I’m pretty sure by now you’ll have been told how crucial a LinkedIn profile is for your career. From making valuable contacts to getting noticed by possible employers and recruiters, there are lots of advantages to having a LinkedIn profile – and it’s no secret that when you apply for a new job, there’s a strong chance your LinkedIn profile is going to come under review.
Now, while most LinkedIn users will have an accompanying CV and wouldn’t dream of applying for a job off the back of their LinkedIn profile alone, that hasn’t stopped an ongoing debate raging regarding CVs and LinkedIn profiles – and just how interchangeable they are these days. In fact, just the other day, members of our own LinkedIn group were busy discussing the issue…
On the face of it, you can see why this debate going on. Upon first glance, both your CV and LinkedIn profile seem to do the same thing – they both list your job history, your core skills and personal achievements… but there are actually some big differences (and some pretty important ones at that!) between the two which suggest they’re actually not as interchangeable as you might think… and probably never will be. In fact, if we ever did end up a position where employers only ever considered LinkedIn profiles when recruiting for a new position, we could end up in a lot of trouble. Let me explain…
First up, while you might think there’s lots of important information on your LinkedIn profile, on closer inspection you’ll soon notice some key elements are missing. What am I talking about? Well, your LinkedIn profile doesn’t actually give a recruiter all that much information about where you’re based. OK, so it might give you a location – but is it the right one?
I know for a fact the location LinkedIn has assigned to me (and in fact everyone else here at Bubble) doesn’t match up to the location of Bubble whatsoever – in fact, it’s not even that close! This means that if recruiters went off your LinkedIn profile and your LinkedIn profile alone, there’s a risk you might end up missing out on a perfect position because they think you’re based somewhere entirely different.
Next up, there’s your good old key skills! OK, so you might have some listed on your profile – but guess what? Thanks to a few generous extra ‘Endorsements’ from your helpful connections, there might be some on there you didn’t add – and can’t actually do! Yes, so you need to approve these extra ‘Endorsements’ – but that’s actually easier to do by accident than you might think.
The result? Your LinkedIn profile might look pretty great – but it’s not actually all that accurate. The outcome? If a recruiter had just your LinkedIn profile to go off, they might overlook your actual key skills and discount you for your dream job because you’ve got so many extras listed.
Next in line, here at Bubble we love CVs that are tailored specifically to a job. Why? Because the candidate has put time and effort in to make their CV super-relevant to the role – and the employer knows and appreciates that! Needless to say, when it comes to LinkedIn, there’s no way you’d be able to tweak your profile every time you applied for a new job… so that special ‘tailored’ element simply wouldn’t exist. Similarly, your CV is your chance to stand out from the crowd – something which is easier said than done when it comes to a dull grey and white LinkedIn profile!
The fifth reason LinkedIn profiles and CVs will never be interchangeable? Contact details! OK, so some people are quite happy to list their contact number (particularly their business line) on their LinkedIn profile… but 80% of people aren’t – so if employers had just your LinkedIn profile to consider, they’d be forced to take an extra step (aka contact you for a contact number) before they could actually speak to you – something many recruiters and employers won’t have either the time or the patience for! Similarly, would you be happy if a potential new employer called you on your current work office number to discuss a new vacancy? Talk about awkward…
Just to clarify, I know this blog comes across as very pro-CV and anti-LinkedIn – but I do genuinely believe both have a place in business and recruitment as a whole. I suppose the point I’m trying to make is, just like job boards and social media, it really shouldn’t be an either/or situation when it comes to LinkedIn profiles and CVs. Both have their place and their own advantages – and both need to be embraced and harnessed throughout the course of any career to truly show off a candidate’s value and experience.
As with any other controversial subject, we’re really keen to get your thoughts on this one. Are you a recruiter who only looks at LinkedIn profiles? Or do you only go off a candidate’s CV? Leave us a comment below.