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Linkedin or CV?

by Jake on April 10, 2012

So is Linkedin the new CV? Well quite possibly yes. You may be thinking that by mirroring your profile to your CV they are simply one and the same, but there is a major difference between the two.

What is that difference? Well it’s just the way they work. A traditional CV is very much a reactive document. You want a new job, see a role you like and email it across. Not much has really changed in that respect since the days of post and fax machines. But a Linkedin profile is very much proactive.

It’s there online all the time and if set up right, it can attract potential employers to you. Let us make no mistake, recruiters, head hunters and employers are looking on Linkedin all the time for new talent and a well crafted profile could land you an amazing job opportunity without you even actively looking.

There are now over 150 million users worldwide on Linkedin. That’s a lot of potential opportunities for you across the globe.

Recruiters, whether agency based or in-house view Linkedin as an amazing database of skilled professionals where they can hunt out new talent for their clients or departments. By matching keywords like they would on a normal recruitment database or job board they can find your details and make an approach to you.

Not everyone wants to be approached by recruiters, but let’s be honest, who stays in the same job for their entire lifetime? Not that many of us.

So why not update your profile and be ready for that day when you want to move on up the career ladder? Mirror your CV to your profile. Have accurate job titles and dates of employment. Make your that what you do is clearly set out and add in any achievements that make you stand out from the crowd.

Keywords are essential so get these into your profile too. Don’t spam it full of keywords though as this will simply render it unreadable. Always write for humans as they say. You could also look at the new skills section on Linkedin and get your keywords listed there too.

If you add a photo make sure it’s a professional one. I’d suggest a headshot only and try to smile.

Get your education details in the profile too. Put in the grades you achieved. When recruiters don’t see a grade they automatically think that you didn’t do well. This is probably not the case so make sure it’s clear what your achieved.

Actively chase up recommendations too. Ask colleagues and former managers to recommend you. It goes along way when hunting for a job if a recruiter or hiring manager can see some great recommendations about your work history.

There are a range of apps you can add into your profile too such as Slideshare. Do you speak at conferences? Then add those presentation to your profile. Show people what you are capable of doing.

To ensure you get the best results, always write in the first person and remember to include those keywords relating to your job. If you work in SEO make sure it’s mentioned. If you are a Java developer get that in there as well as related technical skills such as UNIX.

Use the status update too. This will help keep you visible to your connections and join some relevant groups to your industry. Interact in them as the more visible you are, the more likely someone will proactively approach you.

At the end of the day, the one thing you need to take away is the thought that Linkedin is a place where you can showcase your talents and achievements to the world, and at the same time new employers.

Will Linkedin replace the CV? Not yet, but it’s another tool you should have in your pocket of tricks for finding work.