Cvs vs LinkedIn

Cv expert Emma Alkirwi offers some advice on how to use LinkedIn and your cv to your best advantage.

ipad with 'send cv' button


There has been an increasing debate over whether you should use your LinkedIn profile to apply for jobs and whether cvs are now becoming outdated and no longer relevant.

For the avoidance of doubt, we provide both cvs and LinkedIn profiles and therefore I have sought to be unbiased in my opinion.

Firstly, I think both cvs and LinkedIn profiles have their place and can be very effective as long as they are used correctly.

LinkedIn is a fantastic way to increase your public presence, do business, showcase your recommendations and offer an insight into your skills, experience and what it is like to work with you.

However, LinkedIn profiles cannot do certain things and I believe cvs are very much still required to apply for positions and secure an interview.

I have set out below why cvs are the most appropriate tool when you are applying for positions:

  • Cvs should be tailored towards the particular position you are applying for to show the employer your relevant experience for the role. A LinkedIn profile cannot do this as it is one static version that covers your overall experience.
  • Cvs are better equipped to handle Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), from the layout of your cv and attention to keywords. Even when not going through ATS and filtering through internal recruitment or hiring managers, this is always going to be more effective than a generic LinkedIn profile.
  • You can effectively showcase your achievements on your cv such as the budgets you manage, the clients you have worked with, any initiatives you introduced, projects you have led and new accounts you have won. This would not be appropriate for LinkedIn due to restrictions on confidentiality that may be in force from your current or previous employers.
  • Compiling your cv and cover letter for a position shows your commitment to applying for the role as you have put in the time and effort.
  • Due to the cv being more detailed this can also aid the interview process and both you and the interviewer can utilise some of the information on your cv to talk about your achievements. You can highlight specific things, re-organise your cv to suit the requirements of the role and really emphasise your relevant skills and experience.

Where LinkedIn can be very effective is in raising your profile, getting you headhunted and promoting your industry knowledge, experience and network.

This can help you to be invited to apply for a role.

Whatever your view on the CV vs LinkedIn debate, remember both need to be written well and used appropriately. Poor layout, spelling and grammatical errors or unprofessional language can be damaging.

Even though LinkedIn may appear more business-like and/or casual it is still important to use formal language and keep things strictly business.

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