Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn #1 – LinkedIn as Resume 2.0

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81125_resume_2.jpgAs 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!

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  1. I agree that companies and executive recruiters are trying to find candidates that are “not” looking for a job, but who are subject matter experts in certain fields or with specific companies. Definitely worth the personal effort to create an attractive on-line professional bio about your qualifications/interests on Linked-in.

  2. A good resume backed by proper networking can ensure a job within no time at all. Totally agree with the Resume 2.0 concept and the additional work required in today’s competitive job market to secure a good job.

  3. I haven’t figured out how to best use LinkedIn yet with my business but this was certainly an entertaining method to consider. Has anyone else found resounding success with it?

  4. Although Linked In is useful it still seems like making a resume tailored to a specific company you are interested still might be a good idea instead of the one size fits all approach.

  5. Obsolete? Eh….I don’t think so…I highly doubt that until I start seeing a place to put your LinkedIn profile when browsing the web for jobs.

    • When was the last time you browsed the web for jobs? Almost every online application I filled out in my last job search had a place for you to put your LinkedIn profile, and many of them populated their resume form from it.

  6. These sure are some smart ways of using LinkedIn to your benefit. I’ve had some major success with it!

    When LinkedIn was still new, I filled in all my info and the profile quickly got indexed and searchable by Google. Within two weeks I had gotten myself a job at an SEO firm thanks to a friend who told the boss to “Google me” 😉

    /Nabil, from Sweden.

  7. @ Resume
    “I wonder if one day paper resumes will become extinct due to sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and other social sites.”

    I think they are becoming more and more extinct. The fact that almost every large company accepts resumes over the net. It’s easier to handle, but on the other hand nothing is as great as giving your resume personally to a staff manager.

    The job I got at the moment is from a staffing company, they only take resumes online. While at the interview, they even had my resume up on a projector.

    Kind Regards
    Caspar from Tandvård Göteborg

  8. Writing a resume tailor made for a specific job for a specific company is still better than the one size fits all approach. I haven’t found a good way to make use of LinkedIn yet. But I know I can’t avoid it, either.

    • Apparently so. 🙂

      Feel free to send me an invitation, just be sure to mention that you read Linked Intelligence. I don’t generally accept invitations from strangers with no personalized message.

  9. Would you recommend me to get the paid version of Linkedin? Is it useful?

    Also: If I’ll get unemployed, is it a good idea to buy some advertising on linkedin for personal branding?

    • The paid version is useful, if you’re going to use it. There isn’t much you can do with the paid version that you can’t do without it, but it’s more time-consuming. If you want to be able to just find anyone in the system and send them a message immediately, get the paid version. Alternatively, if you connect with a few super-connectors and join a couple of the largest groups, you’ll be able to find most of the people who are actually active on LinkedIn, and you’ll be able to either send them a message directly, send an introduction request, or look up enough information to contact them some other way (LinkedIn frowns on that, but let’s face it…people do it all the time).

  10. I just recently created a LinkedIn profile and immediately reinforced old connections while making many new ones. It’s a great online alternative to the traditional resume, yes, but it won’t replace one aspect of the old-fashioned application process which I still believe to be integral: the face-to-face interview. ;]

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