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  • Death Battle: Resumes vs. LinkedIn Profiles

    I am writing this post because I want to help you be more successful in advancing your career, whether in active or passive job search mode. I want you to avoid the wasted time and frustrations arising from ineffective activities that produce minimal results. At the top of my ineffective activities list are applying for jobs online and endlessly revising resumes.

    One of the many common job search pitfalls I have observed is becoming “resume centric.” By this I mean that many job seekers focus on revising/tweaking/etc their resumes under the false belief that creating a better resume will improve their odds of getting their next job. Their belief is a mythic bull which I seek to fatally gore in Chapter 6 of Fast Track Your Job Search (and Career!):

    “Having coached hundreds of job seekers and discussed the subject with many hundreds more, re-writing resumes based upon untrained advice appears to be an epidemic.”

    Three recent posts of mine have touched on resumes in some way. Keeping Your Job Search Confidential discussed how to use your resume discretely. Job Seeker Employment Date Codes sensitized you to the importance of employment and unemployment dates. Don’t Give Me Your Resume was my strident plea to stop wallpapering our planet (literally and electronically) with resumes.

    If you have invested too much time and placed too much emphasis on your resume, it’s not too late to confess your sins and turn your life around🙂 My first suggestion is to start applying more of your efforts toward a tool that probably deserves more time and attention: your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn profiles are on a steady march toward eclipsing resumes as a career marketing and job search aid.

    There are several good posts on this blog about LinkedIn. Check out Leslie Truex’s post on keyword optimization of your profile and Ceren Cubucku’s post on leveraging LinkedIn as a networking resource. I do not want to duplicate their information, so I will just offer you one suggestion and that is to include your phone number (or at least your email address) in your profile. The vast majority of the job seeker profiles I have reviewed have failed to add this vital information that will increase the likelihood that recruiters and hiring managers contact you when they have a job they feel you match.

    Here is the bottom line: If you are fishing at the bottom end of the job market, such as applying for jobs on craigslist or other blind postings that don’t tell you the name of the company, the pay, etc., then continuing to wallpaper the earth is fine with me. But, if you are seeking a good paying job with a company that is not cheapo and understands how to find higher quality job candidates, you need to give your resume a rest and revisit your LinkedIn profile with an eye toward improving it.

    I’d love to hear your comments and experiences. Let me know what you think… and best wishes for your success.


    Richard Kirby is an executive career consultant, speaker on career strategies, and author of Fast Track Your Job Search (and Career!). Richard Kirby’s earlier experience includes managing engineering, human resources, marketing and sales teams for employers that ranged from a Fortune 100 to a VC-funded entrepreneurial startup. For the past 11 years at Executive Impact, Richard has helped hundreds of executives and professionals successfully navigate today’s transformed 21st century job market and achieve better employment for themselves. Richard’s expertise includes career assessments and goal setting, personal marketing/branding, resume enhancement, strategic networking and job interviewing, and “contrarian” job search methodologies. He is a Board Certified Coach (in career coaching) and a Certified Management Consultant (recognized by the ISO).

    Richard Kirby is a Vistage Chair (http://www.vistage.com), executive coach (http://www.executivecareerconsultant.com), and author of the book/eBook Fast Track Your Job Search (http://tinyurl.com/k39rb2u). He helps business owners improve their business operations' financial performance and helps individuals improve their career financial performance. Richard is a Board Certified Coach (BCC) in career coaching and an ISO-recognized Certified Management Consultant (CMC).

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