digital and social media | August 06, 2013

Has LinkedIn Rendered The Résumé Obsolete? Alexandra Samuel In HBR

For all the similarities LinkedIn has with the résumé, social media speaker Alexandra Samuel doesn't think it's time to get rid of that paper or PDF version of your job history just yet. While LinkedIn does offer a platform for sharing your credentials and job experiences, "it's more usefully understood as a cross between a dream phone book (one in which you could search people by any combination of company, job title, and keyword) and an atlas of of human relationships (mapping who knows whom, worldwide)," Samuel writes in her new Work Smarter with LinkedIn e-book. Although LinkedIn is a useful tool for networking and presenting a current version of yourself to potential employer, it shouldn't be the only tool you use in your job hunt.

One reason is that LinkedIn has several restrictions. "You have to fit your career story into its structure, and you have only minimal control over formatting," Samuel writes in The Harvard Business Review. Another reason is that many employers now use "Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)—software that screens résumés to determine which applications warrant human review," and applying for those jobs requires that you to have an uploadable résumé to submit.

Using the two tools in tandem is the most beneficial way to land that job, Samuel advises. If you keep your LinkedIn profile up to date, you'll have both a strong online presence and a great resource for honing and editing your paper résumé when needed. "Make sure to update your LinkedIn profile regularly, especially after any job change or significant professional accomplishment," she suggests in her book. "Get in the habit of updating your profile every quarter, or better yet, commit to a half-hour each month in which you will [update your profile]." While LinkedIn hasn't replaced the résumé, it can help you to think differently about the way you present your achievements to that future employer.

Samuel takes the guesswork out of social media. She is the VP Social Media at Vision Critical and a regular contributor to HBR. Her conference and event speeches are customizable to fit the needs of different clients. Whether you need help navigating the social media landscape, or, you're in the game already but want to go that extra mile, contact The Lavin Agency to book Alexandra Samuel for your next keynote event.

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