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Why a LinkedIn Profile Does Not Replace the Resume

A few career management experts have predicted the demise of the resume in today’s world of fast-paced social media connections. This is based on an assumption that the LinkedIn profile will act as the replacement. However, there are several reasons why this assumption is incorrect.

A LinkedIn profile provides background information. A resume also provides background information. Where they differ is in perspective and the audience each serves. The resume acts as a marketing tool specifically for job hunting purposes. The LinkedIn profile operates as a marketing tool for networking, generally a broader scope that includes an audience of clients, peers, and supervisors, in addition to potential employers. In many ways it is more like a person’s bio than a resume.

Another key difference between a LinkedIn profile and a resume concerns variation. A person can only have one LinkedIn profile, but may rely on several resume variations, customized for different career targets. In fact, a person transitioning through a career change would likely have a resume that is very different from their LinkedIn Profile when protecting a confidential job search. The resume would present information in terms of the new career field. Cognizant of the fact that the current employer and peers can access LinkedIn, the profile would mask the intention of the resume. The very public nature of LinkedIn may necessitate using language to avert suspicions of an active job search when the current position needs to be protected.

Although perspectives differ between the two, it is always important that essential information, such as job titles, dates, and degrees match. Comparisons made in background checks should not uncover discrepancies that could lead to issues of credibility.

The modern world grows ever more complex, as do methods and ways of communicating our value to others under a variety of circumstances. Appropriate understanding and use of self-marketing tools can strengthen an individual’s career mobility capabilities.


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