LinkedIn to Replace the Traditional Resume?

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by Traci K and BrightMove Applicant Tracking and Recruiting Software

In a society where we already expect things faster, sleeker, and more streamlined, social media has made it possible to connect and communicate at hyper-speed. As paper letters and messages went by the wayside, it seems only seems logical that with the advent of professional sites like LinkedIn, it is just a matter of time before all former paper processes are gone, including resumes. While paper resumes are certainly dinosaurs outside of career/job fairs and first interviews, the document itself is still used to electronically send a candidate history with an application or email. However, more and more users are attaching LinkedIn addresses to emails, business cards, etc., begging the question, when will the conventional online application and resume submittal process disappear? Or will it?

A site called Market My Career posted an article in October 2011, posing a similar question. While the tools LinkedIn provides have definitely made things easier for some recruiters, determine for yourself whether this is the wave of the future:

Will LinkedIn Replace Your Resume?

Yesterday I watched LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner give the keynote address at the LinkedIn Talent Connect 2011 Conference in Las Vegas from the comfort of my office via Ustream. Weiner suggested that it was only a matter of time before LinkedIn replaced your resume, business card and Rolodex®. Let’s take them one at a time:

1. Your Resume

Earlier this year LinkedIn introduced an “Apply with LinkedIn” plug-in that enables you to submit your credentials for an open position with a few clicks of your mouse. Instead of submitting your resume, you’re submitting your LinkedIn profile. Once you apply you can manage your contacts within the company and even ask for a referral. LinkedIn reports that thousands of companies are already using the button so expect to see more of it in your future.

2. Your Business Card

Earlier this year LinkedIn acquired mobile app CardMunch. Now you when you exchange business cards you can easily add them to your mobile phone and then in just 1 tap, also add them to your LinkedIn network. A new and improved version 2.0 is already in the works.

3. Your Rolodex®

When you log in to LinkedIn you can easily see who in your network is doing what. Before you pick up the phone to make a call you can easily see if they’ve updated their profile, posted a status update or shared and new content. With easy integration to Outlook and other popular contact management systems such as Highrise, LinkedIn is quickly becoming part of every recruiter’s workflow.

And now for the big news. Yesterday LinkedIn announced a new product called Talent Pipeline which will allow hiring managers and recruiters to track all passive and active candidates directly via LinkedIn. So whether a recruiter finds your profile on LinkedIn or someone passes along your resume, it will be stored, managed and share via LinkedIn.

From a job-seekers perspective this is huge news because it means more and more recruiters will be ditching whatever outdated means they’re currently using to manage their candidate pipeline and turning instead to LinkedIn. Whether you’re on the job hunt now or expect to be someday, if you’re not yet on LinkedIn I have just two words for you: Get there!

While I agree that someday we will be using a different form of “standard” for our application and resume process, I don’t see that happening in the near future. The majority of businesses are too many leaps and bounds away from truly utilizing the necessary tools to push LinkedIn forward and old processes out. As well, I believe employers will be to afraid to move forward completely and eliminate candidates that may not be taking advantage of social media to its fullest potential. Only time will tell.

Traci K. is an HR professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in recruitment and immigration.  When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.

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