As part of the Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn Group Blogging Project, I extended the offer that anyone who wanted to participate, but felt the subject was too off-topic for their blog, could send me their post via e-mail and I’d post it here. Actually, the very first submission I received for the project was a guest blog submission from Scott Sehlhorst of Tyner Blain, entitled “LinkedIn as Resume 2.0”. Enjoy!
When I wrote my first resume over twenty years ago I did what everyone did. I created a version, printed it out, went to Kinkos and made 100 copies on the pretty, expensive, off-white paper. Off-white so it would stand out. Just like all of the other resumes. Then I found a mistake, edited my document, printed it out, went to Kinkos, etc. And I had some really nice scratch paper (with my resume on the back) from the first printing. And I might have given out five copies. What a waste of energy, time, and money.
When I looked for a job ten years ago, I had learned that recruiting firms were scanning in the documents, so now I had to think about formatting for machines as well as people. The “two page rule” was also allegedly dead. List everything, and maybe you’ll get a hit when the recruiter does some keyword matching. And HR personnel were supposedly using keyword-matches to filter out the barrage of mismatched candidates for their job postings. With email being mainstream, I was able to deliver it electronically. This time I created two versions of my resume – one for people (still under two pages) and one for recruiters (a longer, keyword-rich microsoft word doc, also saved as .txt). I saved some money and some trees by skipping the trip to Kinkos. Maybe 10 people saw my resume.
When I started my own company two years ago, I did something a little bit different. I wasn’t looking for “position X.” I wanted companies who needed consulting help to be able to find me. And I only wanted them to find me for the work I wanted to do – not just the work I had done in the past. And whenever a potential client is evaluating my background, I wanted them to have the latest news. And that means maintenance. But I needed to outsource this combination of PR-work, background-and-reference checking, and context setting. That’s where LinkedIn comes in. Sort of a resume 2.0.
The combination of using my LinkedIn profile and the about-me page on the company blog has been working wonders in this regard. I know that at least 1000 people have viewed them in over the last year from reviewing our site analytics data. No longer a waste of energy. This is also different in other ways.
- Keeping data on the web allows search engines to find it – they’ve replaced or augmented much of the recruiter closed-system databases.
- Sharing my LinkedIn profile is easy. It would be strange to meet someone at a bar camp and say “here’s my resume.” It is easy to say “here’s my contact info.” My LinkedIn profile is “just lightweight enough” that people can use it to stay connected without feeling like they just got a resume from the creepy guy.
- Maintaining a real network (friends and associates, not link-beggars) helps keep me connected with folks who may need my services or refer them to others. When I make updates to my profile, they get pinged. I love when they make updates – I can quickly check and see what they’re up to.
- LinkedIn’s recommendations functions help too – they provide a credibility check for people. A lightweight background check – which is all most people seem to need when looking for help.
I’m going to be printing new business cards soon – and I’ll put my LinkedIn profile address right on the card. One of the benefits of having your own company. And if you can’t do that, create a “social card” – it was in vogue in Victorian times – just have your LinkedIn profile instead of your employer.
As one of the first 10 entries, Scott will receive signed copies of both Liz Ryan’s Happy About Online Networking and Andy Sernovitz’s Word of Mouth Marketing, as well as being eligible for one of the other $4,000+ in prizes. Thanks, Scott, and congrats!