Linked in profile vs The CV: Face off...

There has been quite a lot of argy bargy in the recruitment space recently following the launch of the 'Apply with LinkedIn' button, hot on the heels of their IPO announcement. A large amount of the debate is centred around the impact of the tool and, given LinkedIn's ever extending reach into resourcing, whether it will replace/kill off the CV.

Regular readers of this blog will know that over the years I've definitely fallen out of love with the CV. Given the advancements in technology you would have thought we would have come up with a better way of presenting ourselves. Which I guess is where those that sit on the pro LinkedIn side of the fence are right now - This IS the CV replacement we have all been waiting for. And I have to say, I do find that appealing. Personally I've become very attached to my LinkedIn profile simply because it pretty much sums me up, is easy to update and I know where it is - no digging round in folders and comparing 'last updated' dates etc etc. Also, my LinkedIn profile points to all the other bits that reflect who I am including this blog and my twitter stream.

However, those that sit on the other side of the fence in the defence of the CV, including Steve Ward from Cloud Nine Recruitment make a valid point about how largely unflexible the LinkedIn profile is. What if, as often happens, I want to re position my experience in a certain way to highlight a certain skill set, relevant to that great job im up for? Indeed, some people maintain multiple CV's for this very purpose.

Anyway, the whole debate got me thinking about the LinkedIn profile and how it actually does compare. Now, one of the benefits of doing what I'm doing now is that I frequently get asked to look at technology, specifically new recruitment and assessment technology. One such piece of tech that came across my path recently is from the new career management solutions company Workpepper. The concept is simple but quite clever - take the requirements of several thousand seasoned corporate recruiters and distill down what they look for in a good CV. Pop that into an alogorhythm and hey presto - a CV grading device. Makes you wonder why no one ever did that before doesn't it?!

To those of you well versed in recruitment tech this wont be new to you as it is licensed in the UK from in the US. However, seeing the pre launch UK version got me thinking - how would my Linkedin profile compare to my CV? So without further ado, I gave it a spin. First up, my CV. Recently updated in January of this year, results were mildly pleasing - a relatively pleasing B+! See Below:

"Your CV is Good" it stated, although at 2 pages I was still advised that "Your CV is too long"! To understand exactly what the scores mean and to get a report on how to improve your 'grade' you need to invest 9.95 or more, depending on how much help you want in making it hit the spot.

Next up, my LinkedIn profile. To do the comparison I simply went to my LinkedIn page, clicked on 'view Profile' and chose the download as PDF option. It was this PDF that I then uploaded to CVScore. The result? Drum roll please....

Oh... A resounding "Could do better" in the form of a C-. I was also advised that "Your CV could benefit from a more professional tone". Hmm, not good given its my profile from THE professional networking site.

So where does that leave us? Clearly, even though I like the LinkedIn profile, I have some work to do! And as for hitting the spot with hiring managers, according to CVScore, my CV is currently the medium of choice if I'm to get that coveted interview.

Having said that, I'm sure it's not going to be long before LinkedIn work out a way of allowing us to have multiple, 'tweaked' profiles that we can chose to rotate as necessary. And I'm pretty sure they will charge a tidy premium for it too. Attn Ariel Eckstein - if you are not currently planning for this feature, see me after class ;)

Im off to download a few of the usual suspects LinkedIn profiles and run them through the system before they get a chance to change them. Watch this space - I might just publish the grade league table...

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Comment by Paul Alfred on September 6, 2011 at 11:47am
Gareth some of us still use our profiles as marketing tools ( Add me to that list)  -If I were on the market I would only want the company I am interested in seeing my entire background and life's work history from a personal resume prepared for their eyes only  and prepared for that role... The profile shown on LinkedIn is geared for other business  and is geared to project an online image from a marketing positioning  perspective  -  lots of professionals I know do that especially those working in the SM world.    I am still of the believe that until a user in LinkedIN says "please take a look at my profile, and Let me email you my resume, I am interested". He/She is not a candidate, and Recruiters internal or external -  will come to sad conclusion if they make a judgement call on a online profile without looking at a personal resume.  The key words are " I am interested, let me send you my resume"  This user has changed from profile to "Interested candidate" ...   Perhaps over time people will have no problem bearing their entire professional souls to to world - for now you know only what I want you to know and on my terms ( There is a privacy blog somewhere in this conversation).... My 2 cents.
Comment by lisa rokusek on September 6, 2011 at 12:01pm

Agreed, Paul.  


Look, if a "click" is all it takes for someone to opt-in as my candidate I am not doing any due diligence up front.  The magic of our dance is when we locate and QUALIFY appropriate talent. Part of the qualifying process is doing a hip-check to see how serious they are BEFORE we present to the people paying us.  If they can't be bothered to tell us why they are a fit for a articular position heartbreak lies down the road.  Kill them quickly, I always say.  Don't fall in love with a candidiate so much that you alter your process for him or her. Better to die early than later. (Three more slogans for those that are keeping count)

Asking for a resume tailored for a position is a basic barometer of interest.  Removing that hurdle or replacing it with a "click here to apply with your online profile" will lead to pain pure and simple.  My opinion:   take with grains of salt, lime and a shot of tequila.

Comment by Richard Cialone on September 6, 2011 at 12:57pm

I agree with Lisa about setting some hurdles for prospects to overcome.  It's a lesson that apparently was NOT learned from implementing ATSs.  Remember how easy that made it for people to apply?  The systems were overrun with candidates...unfortunately the vast majority being supremely unqualified.


Notice that now many ATSs require substantial work to complete an application.  I think that's done a good deal to discourage the tire kickers.  Of course, it's also caused more than one high-caliber person to abandon the application process, but that's a story for another day.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on September 6, 2011 at 1:23pm

It's interesting to me that many of the Linkedin profiles i have seen are gross misrepresentations of what people have actually done.  Jobs left off, responsibilities enhanced to the point of being laughable if one happens to know the person or has seen their resume in the past.


The fact that a profile is not a resume is probably the fatal flaw in the one click apply as well as the thousands of profiles that are bare bones only.  My other thought is that if someone is not actively looking but might entertain contact about a position ,if they have a complete resume on their Linkedin profile with the detail most employers want to see, i would guess their current employer might see it as a red flag that somone was looking, i take it as "actively looking".


I agree with Paul, Lisa and Richard that the easier it gets to fire in something the less likely a candidate will be considered very serious.  I don't accept a Linkedin profile and most of my clients will not either.  If i send one they will come back and ask for a full resume.  It's my take that most employers are not too concerned about the bleeding edge of innovation in recruiting.  They want to see a good resume in a format that they are comfortable reading and evaluatiing. 


If anybody is taking Linkedin recommentations very seriously they still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.  :)  Would anybody post a public rec that was not wildly complimentary?  The recs might be a person to contact for private conversation about someone but i doubt it would be anything but sugar coated good stuff like most provided references.

Comment by Gareth Jones on September 7, 2011 at 4:39am

Hi folks - thanks for the great comments.  From what i understand there are already problems with the apply now button for some organisations - one has apparently already removed it after a trial because there were inundated with incomplete data - obvious when you think about it.  Over time, that may change as more people keep their profiles clean.


There are big differences between the two mediums for sure, and they have come from two different places.  But LinedIn's aggressive recruitment revenue agenda is pushing the profile into the same arena whether we like it or not.  


RE applications, it has always been to easy to apply and job sites were primarily responsible for that - a job is only a click away!  But lets not kid ourselves that the CV is more private than the LinkedIn profile to your point Paul - once your CV is on the interweb somewhere its accessible, especially if you apply through one of the many job boards with databases.


Personally, whilst i understand the desire of recruiters to have a CV, for me its becoming a pain.  Sandra, i hear you when you say LI profiles are full of holes etc and the recomendations are worthless and totally agree.  I never solicit recco's - the two i have were put there spontaneously.  And ive stopped giving them against requests too, preferring also to do spontaneous ones to people i think really deserve them.  But my LI profile reflects my CV - i am making sure its the same - because its easier for me to keep up to date, i can access it anywhere and its got links to my other stuff.  I dont want a CV anymore.  Unfortunately, everyone else does!


Thanks for the comments guys.

Comment by lisa rokusek on September 7, 2011 at 10:39am

For me, it isn't the privacy as much as getting candidates to put some skin in the game. I imagine a day when everyone is listed in some consolidated global database (and we are really very far from that day).

So what.  Even if we all have access to the same data we will still need people to poke folks, qualify and enthuse them about opportunities. 

Asking someone to write up a personal summary of relavant business information seems a pretty minimally painful entry point.  I think it will be a while before we leave that behind.

Comment by Gareth Jones on September 8, 2011 at 10:29am

Hi Lisa.  Yes, i agree we are a long way from it.  And of course, you touch on my favourite subject - "we still need people to poke folks".  In the UK anyway, we have become an industry of resources focussed on application management.  Response handlers.  We have forgotten how to poke, if you pardon the expression!


And i hear you about the fact that we wont leave the CV behind.  But its not that long ago that the writing up a personal summary involved physically typing it up and printing it out, stuffing it in an envelope and sticking it in the post.  At that time we could have said the same.  Can you imagine job seekers doing that now? No.  A job is only a click away (or at least an application is!) and we are worse off for it.

Comment by Paul Alfred on September 8, 2011 at 11:23am
Gareth ... Let me remind you that candidates that develop a resume and upload it to a job board has a public resume open to the public  - that is one kind of user=Job seeker.  Any role I have ever applied for has been a direct submission to a hiring manager  or key sponsor so my resume is private to me and to who i have "Allowed permission to view"  (but that's me perhaps being self-employed for so long I might be in the minority).    My professional online profile is not private but crafted to achieve specific objectives of how I want to be perceived online across all SM channels FB, Quora, Twitter, linkedIn Google+ etc...  You would be surprised how often I come across so called SAP or Peoplesoft or Security specialist with a great online profile - can't wait to get the actual resume in my inbox - to discover missing specialty in areas our clients need.  Infact I can openly admit that the deeper the specialty the less we rely on LinkedIn to find the resource - great tool for getting that hidden referral who does not have a public profile - here is lies the point I am trying to make.    I think this will change over time with continued impact on the state of the recruitment market  ...


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