Just a quick browse through LinkedIn should give you an idea how the professional social media platform got its name. To have access to LinkedIn’s capabilities can quite literally link you in to an uncommonly useful network of job seekers, entrepreneurs, CEOs and just about anyone looking for career advancement.
But in addition to this, more and more offices and industries are using LinkedIn as their own standalone resumes — and slowly forcing their “real world” paper counterparts into the dustbin — which is usually where they end up anyway.
This trend is causing those of us in the professional world to ask — could LinkedIn usher print resumes into obsolete antiquity? Are we seeing a major shift in hiring and networking practices towards a social media-based platform?
While this shift has not yet taken full effect, I believe it will. You might not have to waste any more paper on printing your resume for much longer. Here are 6 reasons why:
#1: It’s Simply a Better Resume
LinkedIn was already developed as …well, an online resume. Resumes have the same basic information, but in paper or .doc form, which makes LinkedIn a far more interactive and connected alternative.
Of course, for those of us in the startup, office, tech-driven world, using LinkedIn makes sense —but what about for other industries, like contracting or construction work?
Companies like Empire CAT sell new and used heavy construction hardware, so it would be conceivable that they would opt out of using social media platforms for finding folks in their niche job market. But this isn’t the case — because their LinkedIn page can be found quite easily.
#2: It Thinks Like a Cloud
LinkedIn can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection — which is pretty much everywhere.
Say for instance, you were on a trip, or just out on the town — and you just so happen to run into a job opportunity. Being on LinkedIn means that you no longer have to frantically run to the nearest Staples with your thumbdrive in order to hand out your crumpled résumé. If you have a profile, then you can simply display that information on your business card.
#3: It’s Convenient
Not only can you skip that long jog to a printer, but human resources departments will find it easier to tidy up the office.
If they are using LinkedIn for hiring and scouting candidates, then they no longer have incidents of accidentally filing a name under the wrong folder — possibly losing that would-be company asset forever.
LinkedIn offers a convenient approach for keeping track of employees, candidates and other important professional contacts, while minimizing on the time and effort involved with paper. This is one reason why many companies have already moved to a web-based application process and keeping résumés as PDFs. LinkedIn simply standardizes all of it, allowing for far greater efficiency.
#4: It’s Global
In a tech-savvy, smaller, more connected world, it’s important to have a global way to find the people you need to. LinkedIn offers that to both employers and job seekers.
Cultivating your professional network often means reaching out to firms and individuals that are located thousands of miles away. LinkedIn is built to connect a web developer from Beijing to a firm in Dallas, or an HR manager in Augusta to an accountant in Tampa. This practically eliminates geographical limitations, enabling more possibilities for advancement to abound.
#5: It Gives Employers a Way To Pinpoint Their Candidates
Because it’s a global network, the availability of candidates is practically limitless — which means that it will be far more probable that employers will find the right person for the job.
LinkedIn was developed so that employers can target the exact specialty skills they need. That means that when there’s a larger group of candidates to sift through, it no longer has to be such a daunting task.
#6: It Is the Future For Job Seekers And Employers
Though it is uncertain whether or not LinkedIn will always be THE professional social media platform… it has already gone to work, hammering nails into the resume’s coffin.
Social media platforms can come and go, but it doesn’t seem logical that the next best thing would exclude LinkedIn users. Greater progress is usually experienced when social media sites work together, so it is more likely that even if LinkedIn did eventually go out of style its networks would not.
I wouldn’t recommend deleting your resume file just yet, but that time is coming soon.