Monday, August 27, 2012

Why I Look at LinkedIn before Looking at Your Resume

Posted By: Kelsey Meyer

LinkedIn is the new résumé. If you’re applying for a job and you send me a résumé via email, I’m going to do a Google search of your name before I even download the attached résumé. The reason I do this is because I trust your online professional brand more than I trust your perfectly formatted, proofread, and scented résumé, and for our professional branding company, how you present yourself online is important.

LinkedIn shows me everything I need to decide whether or not I want to invite you in for an interview. Here’s an overview of what I look for in the different sections of LinkedIn, and what each tells me about you as a potential employee:

You have a full and active LinkedIn account.

This shows me that you understand new technology (even though LinkedIn isn’t really that new) and that you are actively positioning yourself as a professional in the online space.

Your LinkedIn profile photo is not of you drinking/doing illegal activities.
Again, this shows your professionalism. Leave the boozed-up photos for Facebook, or just leave them out altogether.

You have relevant experience and descriptions of what you did at each job.
This is basically the “meat” of your résumé. It tells me what you’ve done before, how long you did it, and what you learned from it that could potentially add value to my company. This is one area where LinkedIn is way more effective than a résumé. I can actually click through and read about the company from your profile. I can see who else works there and contact them about you – rather than simply contact your references, who are obviously people guaranteed to say nice things.

You have Organizations/Associations/Publications and Groups listed on your profile.
All of these sections accomplish the same goal: They show me if you are passionate enough about your field to get involved in organizations, write for publications, and network with other individuals. I like seeing people who are involved in a few LinkedIn groups, have published a few articles, and are actively engaged in different associations. It tells me that they live their professional brand longer than the 8-to-5 most jobs require.

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