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Not that you can't do both, but which has the bigger bang for the buck? Will there come a time when we don't send resumes around, just hyperlinks to online profiles such as LinkedIn?

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This is a highly speculative question. Nobody knows if one day we won't be emailing our pdfs in anymore, unless they have a crystal ball... –  abby hairboat Apr 10 '12 at 23:01

13 Answers 13

up vote 23 down vote accepted

You should take care of both variants; the LinkedIn profile matters for many recruiters. I think the on-line profiles will be more powerful in the future than the actual CVs are.

Also having a website to show off your awesome work is a very big plus as more and more new companies are interested in this kind of way to evaluate candidates. Some of them will recruit this way only :)

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Additionally, LinkedIn allows you to upload your resume, and it builds your profile automatically from there, significantly lessening both the time and the effort involved in building the online variant if you already have a paper one written. –  Shauna Apr 11 '12 at 23:57
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And the otherway arround, there are generators to create a resume from your LinkedIn and LinkedIn itself has an option to save it to PDF in "some kind of" resume format. –  MrMichael Sep 19 '12 at 12:46

I think it's becoming much more prevalent that recruiters are starting to rely on online profiles - they're starting to realize that the second you send over a Word document to them, it starts to get stale and 6 months to a year down the road, it's good for historical reference, but might not be relevant to current postings.

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This depends a lot on how you normally find work. I obtain most of my work (both full time and consulting) through referrals. Referrals eliminate the need to keep up a LinkedIn or SO Careers portfolio. Because they tend to be local I also get face time along with good support from whomever made the introduction.

Do you like dealing with recruiters? You'll probably love LinkedIn. Non-stop hammer on the inbox for anyone who actually has a skill set listed on their profile page.

In short, having a LinkedIn or other online resume / portfolio can't hurt you, but it's something that you should keep up-to-date if you rely on it for any work.

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Recruiters use Google and they use it well. Online resumes are much more important than Word resumes. I used to maintain a Word resume and still occasionally run into people insisting on one. Historically, such people have been a complete waste of time and energy on job searches and I now ignore them with the same happy zeal as people who want you to re-enter all of your resume info into their own form field setup on some site (I wouldn't recommend even Jr level devs waste time on those).

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+1 for describing how some leads are weak (i.e. non-Glengarry leads). –  Scott Wilson May 6 '12 at 11:10

I find that the online profiles are (1) more and more commonly used, and (2) are way more flexible and more likely to be up-to-date. From a functional standpoint, recruiters and potential employers want to get a profile of you, and what you've worked on. Keeping the online version up-to-date (and making sure that it's publicly accessible, so recruiters won't have any trouble accessing it).

I spend zero time keeping my paper-based resume up-to-date. If someone needs a physical copy of it (e.g. for an interview), I will create one for them at the time the interview is going to happen, and not before. I've completely moved to managing my experience, portfolio, and work experience online.

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Today (Summer of 2012) you still need a resume. LinkedIn can get you an interview (especially when you are not looking) but you still need to show up with a resume in hand.

Sometime (1 year? 10 years?) the resume may be obsolete. People will say, "Here's my LinkedIn Account and StackExchange handle" but we're not there yet. If this happens, it will happen in software first.

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They both have their strengths, and both are necessary.

Your LinkedIn Profile can be a general overview of your career, while your resume can be tailored to specific experience relevant to a position. Your LinkedIn Profile also shows off recommendations as well as other interests that you may have, while a resume wouldn't.

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Will there come a time when we don't send resumes around, just hyperlinks to online profiles such as LinkedIn?

This is hard to say, and I think depends on your type of work.

For those whose job type involves a lot of online, searchable portfolios, having an online presence is far more impressive. Resumés are, after all, mostly formulaic with a list of achievements that don't highlight your individual skillset. Allowing an employer to see your work and as such review how you do the job before you get there will go an awfully long way to getting employed.

That said, some, indeed many types of job, do not have such portfolios. I still think online networking is important for many types of career, but I wonder if simply providing a link will work. Smaller companies with less IT literate staff, including directors, for example, might well not be able to parse that.

In addition, I always think it looks bad to just say "hello, here's my url". As such, I've personally mixed the two approaches - a paper (well, PDF) CV which acts as a traditional CV but also prominently links my online profiles.

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Forget the Word. Do linkedIn and SO.

I stopped doing traditional paper "resumes" (especially the Word ones) about 10 years ago. Until 2 years ago I just did my own own simple web site resume. Now I do linkedIn.

If nothing else it sure cuts down on scammy head-hunters:- they want to upload you into their system. If an actual job is there that you are a perfect fit for, a Word resume won't get in the way (i.e. be needed) in today's market.

A side tip that does help though:- make sure emails about your information have a title of say "Resume - Joe Smith, 617 555 1212 joe@example.com". Nothing makes it easier to find and sort folks than clear labeling like that.

This is the most true if you are in IT, but it's spreading rapidly in other industries.

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Will there come a time when we don't send resumes around, just hyperlinks to online profiles such as LinkedIn?

That's difficult to say. Without being able to predict what you will need in the future it's best to spend the few hours to have the .doc version ready. My experience has been you need to have both fully complete and ready at hand. Some especially recruiters will feed off of online material, but watch them eventually ask for a .doc version when submitting your information to an employer.

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Linkedin profiles are too generic. Resumes should be prepared specific for a job. This is especially true the further up the ladder you are looking to go. An exec from a fortune 500 company (who also holds a PhD in business communications) once told me that she couldn't believe the volume of generic resumes she was seeing for a middle-management job that paid six figures. Prepping a custom-resume for a position makes you that much more attractive over the competition. It's one of the "little" things you can do to distinguish yourself from the pack.

The bottom line: if you are looking to move into management or up the management ranks, do the custom resume. This means word doc, because Linkedin profiles aren't customizable. Other resume formats (i.e. PDFs generated by LaTeX-scripts) aren't desirable because most systems don't read PDFs well.

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I was contacted through Stackoverflow Careers 2.0 few weeks ago, despite I had very few details about me. So I'd say it's worth to use it and make it look decent.

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since you "had very few details", this rather reads that it makes little sense to curate. This sort of contradicts your further note "it's worth to... make it look decent" –  gnat Apr 26 at 18:12
    
Actually I said decent, not perfect - like a proper CV should be. And we cannot exclude that, if I had curated my CV more, I would have been contacted even more. And you cannot deny that my experience supports the use of that site; you may question the level of quality needed to get attention, and I agree that it doesn't need to be super-accuarate, but not that it gets attention. –  Igor Fobia Apr 26 at 19:03

The one that has the most visibility is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck. If the recruiters can't see it, they can't see if they can employ you.

Also most online CV systems give an option to save to a document. LinkedIn for example will allow you to export to PDF from the "Edit" profile button (dropdown menu). The structure generated matches a CV.

What you are going to see in the future is more data mining of the shadow you leave on the internet. For example, questions answered/asked in StackOverflow. So systems that allow you to focus the recruiter to this information easier is good to have.

That said, if you are explicitly targeting a particular role in a company, then a personalised CV is the best way to go. HR/Recruiters may still scan your data shadow.

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