“I don’t have a resumé; you can look at my LinkedIn.”
My colleagues at SPMB hear this all the time. Do job candidates really need a resumé in the era of LinkedIn? Should we insist on a traditional resumé before we present a candidate to a client? How do resumés benefit candidates and/or potential employers, if at all?
The Case for Resumés
- Accomplishments – LinkedIn highlights what a person has been responsible for, as opposed to what they’ve accomplished. Past performance is an indication of future performance. Resumes should provide a more in-depth showcase of what the candidate has accomplished than LinkedIn.
- Confidentiality – To say what they’ve accomplished, candidates will have to reveal confidential information, and confidential information should not be put on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not the place to share sales numbers, customer information, or any other data pertaining to past or present employers–all of the stuff that potential employers need. As a candidate, your resume should only be seen by those involved in your hiring, which makes it–and your interview–the appropriate place for those disclosures.
- Presentation – A resume is a direct example of the candidate’s communication style. Is the resume well presented–visually and factually? Are there typos? Is the candidate able to condense a career’s worth of accomplishments into a concise and compelling document that tells a story of her professional evolution? Most of the time, the job seeker with a four-page resume turns out to be a long-winded communicator–and often, pretty boring, too.
A final note here for employers who are in the hiring process. If candidates are coming to you without resumes, take a moment to consider how interested they really are in the job. One colleague, frustrated by how many people were just interviewing out of curiosity with a well-known client decided to impose a “no meeting until you submit a resume” policy. He found far fewer candidates withdrew from the search after one interview. The ones who took the time to craft a resume were truly interested in the job. If a candidate can’t take the time to commit their career to paper how committed are they, really, to the job search process and to getting the job?
The Case for LinkedIn
- Unnecessary – Some employers genuinely don’t care about resumes. They’re more interested in a candidate’s style, attitude and ability to communicate what it is they bring to the table. This premise is especially true with smaller, hyper-growth companies that are forward-facing. They’re more interested in what a candidate will do for them and less about what has been done in the past.
- Relevance – Resumes are filled with dead wood. Yes, cataloguing a candidate’s work history is important, but anything more than five to eight years old is so outdated it’s typically irrelevant anyway.
- Truth – it’s easy to lie on a resume–who’s going to know? It’s much harder to exaggerate–or just plain make stuff up–if it’s out there on LinkedIn for colleagues to see.
- Inviting – Hiring companies are as much in sell mode as buy mode, particularly with A++ candidates. Especially if you’re an early-stage, less well-known company, you don’t want to scare off candidates from talking to you by asking them to write a resume.
Hiring managers, no matter how great the “vibe,” ensure that you always do your due diligence on your candidates before you hire. Even if you have your heart set on a candidate, talk to their former bosses and colleagues. Investigate their past. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache down the line.
Before you turn up your nose and think it’s a “status symbol” to go without–ask yourself: “Is there a Wikipedia page written about me?” If not, then maybe that opportunity deserves an updated resume.
Becky Stein is a Partner at SPMB, a retained executive search firm, specializing in placing senior executives at consumer companies nationwide.