Career Advice

Evangelists Unite! Long Live The Online Profile!

In my last article I wrote that I wanted the resume to die and for folks to manage their career profiles online.

Then a recruiter commented, “The resume is not dead. I’m a recruiter. Trust me, it’s not dead.”

And I agree. It’s not dead. Far from it, unfortunately.

However, according to LinkedIn, there are now more than 120 million members in over 200 countries and territories, and as of June 30, 2011, professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate that is faster than two new members per second.

Two members per second – do the math here with me – 172,800 people sign up daily – 63,072,000 people sign up annually. At that rate, if it can be sustained and the current members maintained, then it’ll take a few more years to hit all the billions of adult professionals working globally today (plus, those not working and looking).

This isn’t a shameless plug just for LinkedIn; it’s a greater call for managing your career online where the peer pressure element of keeping one another honest in an online community is consistent over time; where your professional history is available to everyone you’re connected with, many of whom you‘ve worked with or for at one time, if not currently.

But here’s the key – for those of you already have an online career profile you manage, as well as you employers that source and recruit online and value the online profile over the resume, please evangelize to accelerate the rest of the world.

In fact, the career management industry can help too by sharing some of the same best practices applied to the resume that can and should be applied to the online profile:

  • A consistent standard layout for portability
  • A concise professional summary
  • Accomplishment highlights that are relevant to the bottom line
  • A clear timeline of professional activities that account for any gaps
  • Search-optimized profile with the keywords you want to be found for
  • Request multiple online recommendations as well as giving them
  • Update regularly whether you’re looking for a job or not

An HR practitioner friend of mine pointed out recently that most of the readers of Glassdoor are more than likely to already manage their career profiles online. She recommended that articles like mine and others promoting the online profile should be presented to SHRM chapters and other professional organizations in person as to better educate those who are not online as much as those of us who have been drinking the social recruiting Kool Aid for years.

Don’t forget that there thousands of recruiting professionals scouring and sourcing online profiles every day. And your own professional connections you “know” could also be the back doors into the employers you’re interested in, as well as getting introduced to those folks you don’t know.

So do me a favor oh digital native brothers and sisters, online savvy job seekers, hiring practitioners, career management professionals and employers alike – share articles like this with folks who may still write out their resumes in longhand and then type them out on IBM Selectric III typewriters.

Let’s get everyone to know the power of the online profile! Long live the online profile!