When I first graduated from college many years ago a resume was an important job search tool. Today with LinkedIn it has become relegated to a second-class document. It seems easier to use LinkedIn to capture your career snapshot, accomplishments, and connections. I still run into people who don’t have an account or an orphaned account.
Do I need a resume anymore? I am sure you could make a case for not creating one. I would keep one up to date along on your LinkedIn profile. For the most part, I think they should mirror each other. The resume should be more concise. LinkedIn is an online document and you can share more there. It could be in the future there will be no resumes but, let’s keep one around for a little longer.
In technology, I have met a few people who are abstaining from LinkedIn. Most often I have heard from these people that they don’t want the headhunters contacting them. There are ways to have a wonderful LinkedIn profile where you can not connect with placement agencies. A few of my tech brethren can be shall we say introverted? They don’t care to talk to anyone who doesn’t grok code. This can spell disaster when they are looking for a new job. Have something on LinkedIn and online. Don’t be like Luke hiding out on Ahch-to.
Like your resume keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. I am not sure why but some people are scared to change their profile. As you learn new skills make sure you add them to your profile. Same goes for new co-workers. You never know who might have something that fits you better. And as you get a few years of experience you begin to forget all the technologies and projects you have worked on.
Take some time and search around to find what other people have on their profile. It will guide you on things to add. I coach people all the time to spruce things up and make it professional. Plus LinkedIn is changing and evolving so what works today won’t work in a few months or years. Plus it helps to experiment with changes. I know a friend who does consulting. She made some minor tweaks to her profile and got a lot of business.
Always use an updated professional photo. I like to have fun as much as anyone but, your profile photo needs to convey some professionalism. Along with a good photo, you can add a nice background photo that fits your industry. These both build your brand so make sure they are both high-quality images.
Create an effective but, concise summary. Don’t try to cram too much into it either. When you create the summary try to use the keywords that relate to your work and industry. For instance, developers can include languages they use or are proficient in. This can help when people are searching for candidates.
Think of your profile more as a passport instead of narrative. It can help you to your next stop on your career journey. As you explore new career options the profile can open doors. Connect with people who can help you along your journey.