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Will LinkedIn replace the traditional CV?

Written by Kimberley Startup | April 16, 2012 | 16 Comments

LinkedIn is becoming a popular recruitment tool, but it won’t replace the need for the traditional CV just yet, a poll run by online recruiter, webrecruit, has demonstrated.

The poll revealed that 42% of people do not think LinkedIn will replace the traditional CV, compared to 32% who believe it will.

More interestingly, however, was the growing consensus that LinkedIn already poses a threat, with 26% of respondees stating that it may replace the CV in the future.

A prominent trend within the responses is that a LinkedIn profile offers jobseekers an extra dimension to their CV. Its ability to provide additional insight into someone’s skills and expertise, acts as an extension to their skill set and as such, should be captialised on.

On the other hand, some respondants emphasised the need for personal, face-to-face contact in the hiring process, suggesting the most effective recruitment is done over the telephone.

These findings are indicative of the market, and perhaps a sign of things to come. Employers are already using social media channels, such as LinkedIn, to identify talent and increase their brand exposure, whereas jobseekers use them as additional tools to market themselves.

Phil Roebuck, Founder/Director of webrecruit said: ‘The CV is the most important part of the job search – it’s what gets a hiring manager’s attention. Especially in today’s tough jobs market, as a job seeker you should be using as many complementary tools as possible to market yourself.

‘Job seekers are getting smarter with their applicatons – whether that’s capitalising on LinkedIn’s functions, using Pinterest to upload their portfolio or writing a blog to provide extra depth. This poll has shown just how online recruitment has embraced social media and gives further insight into how job hunting trends are changing’.

webrecruit is experiencing considerable success with LinkedIn in helping both candidates and employers. Its group, Webrecruit Transforming Recruitment Online, for example, welcomed its 76,000th member, cementing its position as one of the largest UK recruitment groups on LinkedIn.

16 thoughts on “Will LinkedIn replace the traditional CV?

  1. Joan on Reply

    I agree with Susan. When applying on LinkedIn, I have been asked for my LI Profile, rather than for a resume. Dieter Hertling, CEO of Emprove Perfomance Group and guru of leading edge trends, also agrees that LI and such will replace the traditional CV….if they haven’t already in many cases.

  2. Andrea on Reply

    I very much hope that LinkedIn will replace the CV and the thousands of different online application systems that are out there. It’s a mundane job to type in the same details from time after time, application after application. Not to mention that my LinkedIn profile is ALWAYS uptodate and can provide additional information if the recruiter wants it without overloading them.

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  5. Lucy on Reply

    Hi Matt – great points. I think it’s fair to say it’s becoming common practice to use tools like LinkedIn to find a job – so using the profile as a CV will be more used. Especially with the market being so tough any tool that will help to market your skills is a good one!

  6. Matt Bannister on Reply

    We can already see a shift to the benefit for a structured application via a LinkedIn profile as preferable to an uploaded CV in areas where candidates and their skills are in short supply and the ease of application to a role is paramount. As the technology improves and the acceptance of holding a public profile with your professional experience is more widely accepted I see this as becoming the norm, the question is whether LinkedIn have dominated the market or whether it will face competition in the difficult to monetize candidate sector, a USP of LinkedIn is that it is the one place, as a potential candidate, to hold your full information.
    As a tool for publicly marketing oneself to recruiters it is already second to none.

  7. George on Reply

    LinkedIn ultimately will replace the resume / cv, since it is already there. It will not, however, replace the need for a face to face, since whether you are looking at a traditional CV or a LinkedIn CV, it still does not give the level of insight one gets from a face to face. You can like the CV, and be impressed with the credentials, but in a face to face, that person may not have the soft skills for your organization. The same for someone that, on CV, may not be a complete fit, but in a face to face, they may in fact end up being perfect.

    However, in the end (and I am speaking from a recruiter perspective), it will replace the traditional CV, but it will take time, since it will take the younger individuals, the ones in high school now, to really make the shift. As much as I would like to see it earlier …..

  8. Web Recruit on Reply

    Great comment, Susan – especially regarding keyword optimising your profile. Especially today, job seekers need additional ways to market themselves and personally, I think a LinkedIn profile adds a new dimension to someone’s application.

  9. Susan79 on Reply

    LinkedIn already has replaced the CV, at least for me anyway. I gave up on paper based resumes and CV’s in January. Time is money, so if I want to find a particular background or skill set, I’ll run a search for it. I simply can’t cross reference and compare all the different factors as easily or quickly. If an applicant hasn’t kept their profile up-to-date or provided the info I need, well it is there loss. People should be thinking of their LinkedIn profiles as if they are websites that deserve to be search engine optimized. If I miss out on one or two good candidates, so be it. There are plenty more fish in the sea.

    I can’t speak for all recruiters, but I am paid for the number of people I place, not how hard I try, how thorough I am, nor how many CV’s I read. Companies pay me to get them great employees, by any means necessary. With unemployment as high as it is, I usually have too many applicants so I don’t worry about passive job seekers. I run all applicants through, which collects their LinkedIn profiles, then Cream will shortlist the best and brightest, and from there it is easy for me to search through the remaining top 3% of candidate’s LinkedIn Profiles.

  10. Karin on Reply

    I think the traditional CV will be replaced by more comprehensive tools, LinkedIn and blogs being just two of those tools. Depending on the industry and role being applied for we will likely find videos, portfolios [Pinterest as an example] and interactive options becoming available.

    The “phone interview” comment surprised me as I can’t think of a worse interview tool to use. I have always found phone interviews, regardless of whether I am the interviewer or the interviewee, to be a less than stellar choice. Video/Skype options are better as an initial direct contact.

    1. Web Recruit on Reply

      Hi Karin – really like your comment, and how it touches on the increasing use of videos, portfolios etc. We’re doing some work on Pinterest at the moment, and have found it is a great platform for designers looking to showcase their visual CVs.

  11. Web Recruit on Reply

    We’re getting many people tweeting this article – does anyone else have an opinion? Do you see LinkedIn’s profile replacing the CV or is it an add-on to your application?

  12. Andrew on Reply

    How can LinkedIn ever replace a CV?

    LinkedIn is a content management system (CMS) where the vast majority provide their content for free. That is, LinkedIn’s business model is reliant upon the goodwill of millions of business people to provide their time, effort, thoughts, ideas and intellectual property for free. But once that content is uploaded it is no longer under the control of its creator, and can (amongst other things) be deleted without the creator’s prior knowledge.

    It’s a huge ask then to expect any contributor to make LinkedIn their sole repository for anything important, or anything they want to persist. For this reason I struggle to imagine that any sensible person would want to be solely reliant upon LinkedIn (or Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter etc.) as the sole limb of their marketing strategy.

    And for as long as a business-owner/contributor cannot be 100% reliant upon any information repository, so they must have other alternatives working in parallel to protect their revenue stream. Which means that, regardless of its growth, LinkedIn will never completely completely replace the CV.

  13. Dan Smith on Reply

    The whole Labour market is a complete mess. You need an incredible amount of sang froid to work in a competitive market and one’s personal life does have a habit of intruding. Employers need to make up their minds whether they want cardboard cut outs or fully functioning human beings who make profits.

    1. giovanni rivelli on Reply

      Excellent reply Dan. In today market you also have race and nationality as a factor. It has become a numbers game, I feel that I have a better chance in playing the lottery. In the good old days a phone call and a simple interview would suffice nowadays all is narrowed down to whom has the best CV that include words to siute the recruiters lack of knowledge.
      Unfortunately character, which is perhaps the most important element, is no longer a factor, hence the turnaround and instability of engagement.

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