CV versus LinkedIn: What’s the difference?

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The world of job seeking has been transformed by the introduction of social media websites such as LinkedIn. With over 500 million users, and two new members joining every second, LinkedIn dominates as the job seekers social site. 

LinkedIn_graphicHas LinkedIn replaced the need for the humble CV? The answer is no – not yet at any rate. Why? The two are really quite different. Read on… 

CVs and LinkedIn Profiles have different purposes. 

Recruiters spend on average just 6 seconds looking at each CV they receive, so it’s a seriously limited time and space in which to impress. For this reason, CVs should be role specific, tailored to each and every job that you’re applying for. They use more formal, third person language (no use of I or My).

On the other hand, LinkedIn is an online portfolio designed to sell you. It’s colourful, allows for slightly less formal language with first-person allowed, and more in-depth descriptions and posts. It’s your space to link to projects, share graphics, results and achievements that will help to demonstrate your well-rounded skills and career expertise. They need to reveal more about you as a person, rather than just a job history and list of skills! 

Unfortunately for over-stretched candidates, it’s important to have both! 

While a cover letter and smashing CV is your foot in the door, 94% of recruiters follow up by using LinkedIn to vet potential candidates. So even if your CV is incredible, if you have an outdated, unprofessional LinkedIn profile its unlikely you’ll stand a chance against the competition.

Your CV and your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t just be duplicates. Use these two platforms to create a 360 degree view of you,

Don’t panic, we have put together our top tips to ensure that your LinkedIn profile secures you your dream job… 

Top Tips for LinkedIn Success: 

– Your photo. It can’t be a cropped out selfie or you on a night out. While LinkedIn is a fraction more informal than a CV, you still need to create a professional looking profile. How recent is it? No good having a photo of you from 10 years ago! 

– First impressions. The design of your LinkedIn profile has changed, and viewers now see less information on first click. Your headline is just 120 characters, so it needs to be short and sharp and sell you! It’s your place to brand yourself. What are you all about? Don’t mention that you’re currently unemployed or looking for new opportunities. These phrases as a huge turn off for employers … 

– Paint a picture of you. While CVs have to be kept concise, LinkedIn allows a little more room for vivid description. Think of this as your online portfolio where you can add digital media, links to websites, graphics, presentations… even videos! Unlike a CV, your LinkedIn profile isn’t tailored for a specific job application or role, so show how diverse your skill set and interests really are.    

– Keywords really are key. When recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn to look for potential candidates, they do a keyword search. Based on the job description and key requirements, they will ask LinkedIn to filter their results. Make sure your LinkedIn profile features the keywords relevant to your industry or the role you are looking for. 

– Real recommendations. A much more efficient version of ‘references’ on a CV! A place where real people can leave real endorsements and recommendations. These build up a picture of you and your work history, making you more trustworthy. The more recommendations you have, the more you will stand out against other candidates. 

– Engage. Remember, LinkedIn is a SOCIAL media channel, so get social! Engage with your connections, comment on their posts, ask questions and get involved in conversations relating to your industry and interests. If you want to, write an article to publish on LinkedIn. This will help to assert your authority and again, build up a picture of you and demonstrate your skills.

But whatever you do, don’t neglect your CV! 

While LinkedIn may appear to have taken over the job seeking market, CVs are still just as important. Don’t forget to keep yours updated whenever you change your LinkedIn. Invest time in tailoring your CV to each and every job you apply for – it may seem like a lot of effort but your success rates will be much higher. Hiring professionals can smell a ‘scatter-gun’ approach from a mile off!

If you’re left feeling out of touch and left behind, get in touch. We specialise in helping candidates to secure their ideal role and we’re ready to share the secrets with you! Just email Katherine on  or call 01223 633535.

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