By Martin Yate
LinkedIn has transformed networking and how smart professionals of every age find jobs and leverage careers. It has also transformed the way recruiters find talent.
Some "experts" are saying that with a LinkedIn profile you don’t need a resume. Is this true? Simply put, no! Each has a specific and fully differentiated role to play in a maximally effective job search.
The technology advances that gave birth to the social media revolution have given recruiters another great source for finding candidates, and job seekers another great way to make themselves discoverable.
A good social media profile increases your visibility with headhunters and corporate recruiters. Simply put, for them social media sites are a different kind of resume database searchable with keywords just like other resume databases.
As my friend and esteemed colleague Joyce Lain Kennedy, author of the Careers Now column and multiple Dummies job search books, says,
"The online profile is not a customized document, but is more like a one-size-fits-all pitch posted on a digital billboard that’s located on a busy information superhighway and seen, hopefully, by hordes of unknown viewers."
A properly executed social media profile on LinkedIn is an important job-search tool that increases your visibility, but it does not guarantee that you will be seen, or seen by the people who have the authority and the desire to hire a professional like you. And as you will notice, LinkedIn recognizes the importance of the resume by offering a spot for it on your profile.
Your resume can be a passive job search tool, uploaded onto resume databases. It operates much like a social media profile, making you visible to people who are actively looking for professionals like you in that particular database.
However, it can also be tailored to specific companies and hiring managers and recruiters within those companies. Then, used as an active marketing tool that by-passes the databases, it can get you into conversation with the people who can hire you. That goal is the daily mantra of every successful job search: "Get into conversation as quickly and frequently as possible with the people who can hire me, because nothing happens without conversations being started."
A resume holds the potential to be an active and infinitely customizable job search tool: You can tailor it to one specific job or even to both the job and the company you approach.
You can have different resumes for different jobs you wish to pursue, and you can send such carefully customized resumes directly to the headhunters, corporate recruiters, and hiring mangers you most want to talk to.
Sometimes the more things change; the more they stay the same. Technology has changed every aspect of recruitment. So it has also changed the way job hunting is done, including how a resume is built and the story it tells.
Yet that resume is still the most financially important document you are ever going to own, because it is still the most succinct and user friendly professional biography yet devised.
Don’t believe me? Hire someone to do your social media profile, and you’ll see that the first thing they ask to see is your resume. Miserable as they are to write, or read, resumes are still your most powerful job-hunting tool.
It’s where you can forge your professional identity and establish professional connections that can help you for many years to come. What you share on your LinkedIn profile needs to reflect exclusively your professional persona, the way you want to see yourself, and in turn be seen by your professional community.
Written the right way, I find over 50% of the time that you can build your own social media profile by simply cutting and pasting your resume into the different sections of the LinkedIn template. Being in the resume writing and social media profile writing business, many times, a client will upload the resume we created for them, change the voice to first person -
and immediately get themselves on the first or second page of a search for someone with their skills. Not all the time of course, but over 50% of the time.
A successful job search always starts with getting that darn resume properly focused and written. Then you can adapt it for social media profiles and myriad other ways that serve the unique needs of your job search.
Successful careers don't happen by accident. Professional resume writing expert Martin Yate CPC is a New York Times best-seller and the author of 17 Knock Em Dead career management books. As Dun & Bradstreet says, "He's about the best in the business." For FREE resume-building advice and to view Martin's resume samples, visit the Knock Em Dead website. Join Martin on Twitter at @KnockEmDead.