It’s a wholly imaginable sight to see on job adverts in a few years’ time: ‘To apply, please send your LinkedIn URL to…’ With a cool 259 million members, the social media site is the ultimate resource to access people’s online CVs at the click of a button. But is it making our paper CVs redundant? Rather than taking the time filing through hundreds of physical CVs, and chucking most in the bin no doubt, for hiring managers it’s surely easier to simply navigate to candidate’s social media profiles: their professional one on LinkedIn and then their personal profiles on Facebook and Twitter if you’re keen to find out even more.
We mention physical CVs – but even they’re getting to be more and more redundant. Nowadays, an online recruitment agency would deal almost entirely with thousands of online CVs that are emailed to their recruitment specialists every single day before being thrown, metaphorically, of course, into the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ pile. Despite this, just using LinkedIn to evaluate candidates saves even more time.
You can also add a lot more detail and interactivity to your LinkedIn profile. For instance, you can be endorsed for skills by other users, it’s easier to expand on your hobbies & interests, whilst if you completed a dissertation or similar relevant projects at college then you can add a link to that in your profile. Not only is it more convenient for bosses, but it’s easier for candidates to say more about themselves.
Other than that, it’s also easier for bosses to quickly and easily research candidates’ previous places of work. How big are the company? What do they do? Has the candidate been endorsed by their work colleagues? All of these factors can help employers get a really clear idea of what their prospective employees are like- both at work and as a person.
Despite the plethora of information that you can cram into your LinkedIn profile, there’s one major problem: you’ve got to stick to their format. This means it’s pretty tricky for people to tailor their profiles to specific job applications. The standard method of applying with a CV and a cover letter means that candidates can emphasise the skills and experience that they deem most relevant- giving them a better chance of securing the job. For an employer it’s better to see their relevant skills rather than the general overview that LinkedIn offers.
Also, the more personal nature of LinkedIn could actually be a hindrance for some candidates. It’s one of the recruiting strategies which perhaps isn’t quite fair to candidates- it’s hard to not draw negative conclusions from things that you might have seen on someone’s social media profile after all. Maybe it’s important to retain the distinction between a candidate’s personal and professional profiles. A CV allows them to do that.