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June 5, 2014 / Stephanie Anderson

Is LinkedIn eliminating the traditional resume?

A LinkedIn profile is a must for today’s savvy business professionals. It provides a critical way to network and build a positive online presence. It’s also an important tool for hiring managers who want to review a candidate’s interests and experience. Does this mean resumes will soon be a thing of the past?

While LinkedIn has proven it’s here to stay, the traditional resume is unlikely to go away anytime soon. Both social media and good old resumes should be separate, complementing elements that represent a person’s professional background.

“As a recruiter, I use LinkedIn to scout for talent: who has done what I am looking for, who are they connected to that could advance my company’s mission or get us to our vision, [and] what activities are they involved in,” says Dethra Giles of ExecuPrep. “When I look at a resume, I am looking for solid experience, tangible projects, education…”

While it’s ideal to have both, some professionals opt to have just a resume. This is better, of course, than deciding to have only a LinkedIn profile and no resume at all.

“I have hired top-level executives who did not have a LinkedIn profile; I have not hired a top level executive who did not have a resume. Is the resume changing? Yes. Is it going away? Not any time soon,” says Giles.

For professionals, an up-to-date resume is a must, but LinkedIn can be used to expand on experience and stay connected on deeper levels.

“LinkedIn provides an opportunity to not only list your employment history, but display links to previous projects,” says Natalie Bidnick, a digital strategist and recent job seeker. “Unlike a traditional resume, which flourishes with brevity, LinkedIn allows the user to be found through strategic keyword placement. By keeping my profile updated and switching out my keywords regularly, I both grew my network by 15 percent and gained a new position within a few short months.”

Professionals should consider these tips to ensure their resume and LinkedIn profile work together to best represent their experience:

1. LinkedIn shouldn’t necessarily mirror your resume, but there shouldn’t be any discrepencies between the two. Ensure information is accurate on each.

2. A resume provides succinct information on one or two pages. A LinkedIn profile should expand upon the information on a resume to provide additional insight about who you are and what your talents are.

3. A well-written resume will be shorter, feature bullet points and use a third-person tone of voice. LinkedIn copy can be longer, more casual in tone and use first person.

4. LinkedIn is public, therefore it is subject to peer and colleague review. While neither a resume nor a LinkedIn profile should be embellished, the public nature of social media means online information must be honest and forthright.

5. Use LinkedIn to highlight skills, build connections and gain third-party endorsements. It’s not always what you can do – it’s who you know and who will vouch for your skill set.

6. Recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates prior to an application. They then share resumes with hiring managers after the application is submitted.

7. Use LinkedIn to increase your network. Always keep information up to date and be active on your profile at least once a week.

8. Resumes do not typically include a photo, but LinkedIn profiles benefit from a head shot. In fact, LinkedIn profiles with photos are seven times more likely to be viewed.