I find it baffling when recruiters and potential employees request a CV. Why demand a document with all my skills and career history, when all of that is available on my LinkedIn profile?
Perhaps it’s because I live in South Africa, where technological trends tend to take a while to catch on – most likely due to sad internet services and infrastructure – but I find the idea of a custom CV so tiresome. That said, I have noticed that younger recruitment agents are more than happy to accept your LinkedIn account link, but the lazier agencies will still request a compiled CV as a separate document. Why? Filing purposes, I suppose. Easier for the client, perhaps. Waste of everyone’s time, absolutely.
On the other hand, if you’re a job seeker that clings to the age-old tradition of custom Microsoft Word CVs, then I have some sad news for you. Eventually the trend will hit, and then your fancy, designer CV will be worthless.
I’m not the only one that thinks a CV is a waste of time.
‘(CV) Attachments are work,’ writes Baldwin Berges in his article, Why use a CV when you have LinkedIn?, ‘Sending an email with an attachment is asking someone you probably don’t even know to do work for you already. This is not exactly a good way to offer value.’
Keep in mind, online portfolio websites designed as CVs are still very effective. Nothing stops you from adding portfolio links to your job applications, just ensure your LinkedIn link is also present. Eventually your online portfolio website will be a hassle to keep updated, but your LinkedIn account significantly less so.
Let’s briefly look at the benefits of opting for a simple LinkedIn link, instead of the traditional CV.
Benefits for Job Seekers
- No need to rip off other CV designs from the Internet, LinkedIn guides you through content and layout requirements.
- LinkedIn accounts are easy to update with new information, no need to redesign a whole new document to impress during every job hunting season.
- It’s easier to send a link than to attach a CV with emailed job applications, especially if you’re applying in bulk.
- You’re chances of being noticed is significantly higher, as employers are more likely to click a link (just ensure the URL doesn’t look dodgy) than download and open an attachment…even ‘View in Browser’ is a nuisance.
- By throwing out the idea of a traditional CV and embracing your LinkedIn account, you will start to connect with colleagues and like-minded professionals, building relationships that may be beneficial in the future; whether hunting for a new job, scouting for an awesome MC, or simply to ask for career advice.
Benefits for Job Givers
- The proof is in the pudding, as they say. The same goes for a CV. Yes, a CV can brag about skills and past experience, but a LinkedIn account shows endorsements and recommendations at a live (and transparent) level.
- You can easily contact references, simply send them a message via LinkedIn.
- Go through applications at a faster pace, without consuming mailbox space. If you only need to click on a link to review an applicant, how easy and fast it would be to compile a shortlist.
- You can spot the computer- and internet-friendly candidates by glossing over their profile page. Just to be safe, always enquire if applicants created their own LinkedIn profile during interviews.
- Avoid the phonies. With LinkedIn’s ‘Project’ addition you can see if applicants have been working on any jobs worth mentioning, and (if the applicant has added a website link in his project) check the website for accreditation.
All of the above said, nobody can force you to create a LinkedIn profile and there are many individuals out there that don’t want their personal information all over the Internet (here’s looking at you Facebook-haters). Just know, however, that a LinkedIn profile can reduce the job hunting period significantly.
Text: Andy Moller