There’s a post on Forbes entitled ‘Linkedin is about to put job boards out of business‘. Although I know the author Dan Schwabel and like him, he is off-base with his assumptions.


LinkedIn just announced a new feature that allows job seekers to ‘apply with linkedin’. Its a button that companies can put on their career pages and let job seekers submit their LI profile. Dan is correct in saying that it will put the resume out of business. A profile is a much more valuable tool to sell yourself than a resume. I think eventually in 5-10 years the online profile will be the primary tool to job hunt, not the resume. If this new feature hurts anyone, I’d point to the ATS (applicant tracking systems). ATS’s are a bigger pain point for job seekers not job boards. This has the potential to become LinkedIn’s own version of tracking candidates for employers.


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Comment by Christopher Poreda on June 5, 2011 at 6:40pm

I consider myself a pretty easygoing guy and tolerant and respect those who put themselves out there on blogs.  But this one really hit a nerve, and perhaps that was your intention Dan so Bravo!


First and foremost LinkedIn in is a job board and [profiles] are resumes...period!  To claim otherwise only demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the space and business model.  Perhaps diversionary, like McDonalds really doesn’t sell hamburgers as much as they are one of the largest real estate holding companies in the world, I applaud Linkedin for their proposition.  


As for the blog itself, does anyone remember the story of Chicken Little?


I'm old enough to remember when cable television was introduced many predicted the demise of the big three networks.  A quick check today demonstrates that while few have rabbit ears or roof top antennas, the big three networks still win the ratings war on most fronts.


I began my recruitment career before the job board was introduced.  When it was, if I had a nickel for every article I read [predicting the demise of the third party recruiter] I wouldn't be writing this, I'd be on my yacht anchored of the coast of Boracay sipping champagne with woman much younger than me! 


Although I applaud your provocative commentary I can't see where your “personal branding guru” status lends any credibility to your blog.  Many have asked but I see you've only responded to the lay-up comments.  Below are just some of the comments that explain why it’s probably best to cut your losses:


1. "They [companies] only use job boards in a last ditch effort to hire a candidate because the best people for the job are the ones that aren't looking (sometimes [all the times] called "passive candidates").  If I'm putting my profile (or resume as I like to call it) on LinkedIn I'm looking to be found.  Please explain how these profiles are passive (or the difference, other than the format of LinkedIn vs. Microsoft word between this and a Monster resume database)?  


2.  "219 applicants per job board submissions vs. 33 applications per hire on their own corporate web site!"  I hope so!  Truth be told, I expected the spread to be wider.  Why?  Because job boards spend billions on marketing and "personal branding".  The wider the spread the more hiring options for the company.  Ever hear of the term, “database building”? What you're not commenting on is how many of those 186 additional applicants who are plugged into the corporate database and hired in the future and how much money that saves the company. 


3.  “…Job boards are black holes…stop submitting your resume to them and praying that a machine finds it and delivers it to a hiring manager.”  So I suppose submitting your resume through a company’s career site is not a machine?  And to the point of your article, the “Apply with Linkedin” isn’t a machine?


4.  "Companies will expect you to be on LinkedIn and if you are not, then you can't apply for jobs."  I saved the best for last.  I almost fell off my chair with this one, Dan.  Can you please cite one hiring manager, HR rep, recruiter or 10 year old child who supports this theory?

True, active networking and personal contact is incredibly effective.  But that isn’t the point of your blog and most don’t have the time or the contacts to utilize this method effectively. 


Job boards like LinkedIn, social networks, directories, ATS, networking, referrals, friends, etc. (all of which I've made placements from) are simply tools.  Each tool to be used to varying degrees depending upon the search.  To categorically discard any one is to discard a portion of the talent poll and demonstrates a foolishness that history has proven.


I work with  We are a general job board and proud of it.  Our unique proposition is our filtering tools, ease of use and dedication to one vertical.  Your comment that job boards look at Linkedin as competition is short sited.  In the internet space partnering is King.  As part of our job seeker experience we promote LinkedIn so they may find those they know at a company.  What does LinkedIn pay us for this...nothing!  It's an enhancement with our users in mind.  We partner with as well (as do most job boards) with a tremendous amount of success.


A satirical and provocative read Dan.  I'm guessing you've accomplished your goal.  Well done!  Perhaps as a follow up the title of your next blog should be, "Why Women Should Leave the Work Place?"

Comment by Chris Russell on June 6, 2011 at 8:26am
I meant to say he "may" be correct about the resume. I think resume importance has definitely been lessened in the age of digital profiles.
Comment by Henning Seip on June 6, 2011 at 8:53am
Future of resume vs. profile: It will depend on how much recruiters want to see specific job requirements set into context in the candidate's application information (resume or profile). This context helps to connect the dots from a candidate's work history to a specific job opening. A profile is a one-document-fits-all-jobs approach that is not tailored to a specific job. It leaves recruiters with assumptions and the need to obtain more information whereas a cover letter and resume specifically tailored to a specific opening gives the employer the impression that the candidate actually cares.
Comment by Amy Ala Miller on June 8, 2011 at 1:51pm
I recently tried to use this fancy new "apply with linkedin" button and it was a disaster.  I ended up going back and manually entering all my info into the ATS anyway... maybe there's something wrong with my linkedin profile at least for this purpose!  :)  Even uploading my resume didn't put all the right info in the right boxes.  Thanks but no thanks, I'll keep looking for work/business/candidates the old-fashioned recruiter way - and using linkedin as one of the many tools....


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