The resume is a static snapshot of the past. It’s a backlog of career experiences boiled down to 1-2 pages. As our workforce continues to evolve in the digital age, the resume is a poor representation of a job candidate’s abilities. It communicates next to nothing about a person’s character and integrity, their ability to collaborate with coworkers and their drive and determination to get things done in crunch time—all soft skills and intangibles that distance the exceptional employee from the mediocre one.
In many ways, the resume is a microcosm of a larger issue: today’s arduous, clunky hiring process. From the tedious, repetitive application black holes to the HR phone screen to rounds of interviews with a candidate’s prospective team, this rigamarole is a disjointed experience for the candidate and a time suck for everyone involved.
While industry leaders have been calling for the resume’s demise as far back as 2012, it has continued to linger like the scent of a skunk on a country road. Why? Despite the constant chatter about the resume’s deficiencies, no suitable replacement has ever earned widespread adoption. Until now. Instead of harping on the resume’s deficiencies, it’s time to explore a more effective alternative. Let’s finally end it.
Job candidates need to enhance their LinkedIn profiles: Adding video is step 1
Video can help both employees and recruiters cut through the noise. Right off the bat, it feels more like a personal experience than a few bullet points on a sheet of paper. As a job candidate, recording a brief video introduction and pinning it to the top of your LinkedIn profile is a great way to go beyond the dates and summaries of your employment experience and communicate the unique qualities you bring to the table.
For instance, you could go the Q&A route and record yourself answering five key questions about your skillset, strengths, career and life goals and even your hobbies. Interesting life experiences—even ones that don’t pertain to the job—can help you catch the attention of recruiters.
Yes, it can feel awkward at first. Most of us aren’t entirely comfortable in front of a camera. But the bar isn’t high, and a relaxed approach should do the trick. In the sales world, only 17% of professionals have added a video to their LinkedIn profile. This means candidates have an opportunity to be an early adopter and present themselves in a more dynamic fashion.
What’s the best way to add video to a LinkedIn profile?
Currently, there is no option to directly upload a video to the “About” portion of your profile. However, as a workaround, candidates can post a video to their timelines and pin them to the top of their profiles. Here’s how:
- Upload it as a Native Video
- Copy the link from the Native Video
- Go to your profile and add the Native Video as a link
- Customize your title and description
- Click “feature on top of profile”
When viewers click “View” on the Native Video inside your profile’s Media section, it will direct them to the individual post, where they can like, comment or share it. The minimum LinkedIn video length is three seconds, while the maximum length is 10 minutes. As a best practice, I recommend keeping your video under three minutes.
Alternatively, you could upload your video introduction to YouTube and share it with prospective employers from there. But either way, incorporating multimedia into your job search will give you more firepower than your rivals and propel you to the top of a hiring manager’s shortlist.
Reinforce your profile with LinkedIn Recommendations
Beyond video, LinkedIn offers several other ways for candidates to build a rich profile that helps them shine. In my opinion, recommendations from references are the most valuable. There’s no substitute for the approbation of managers and colleagues. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your connections and ask them to write you a quick recommendation: giving authentic recommendations to those you’ve worked with will encourage people in your network to reciprocate.
Augment your profile with certifications and extracurricular activities
Many recruiters and hiring managers are scouring LinkedIn for specific qualifications, and job candidates who add primary skill assessments and industry certifications to their profiles have a great chance to cut to the front of the line. As a candidate, I recommend reaching out to your network and leaning on your peers to learn what hiring managers in your field are looking for—and which skills they find most valuable.
In addition, it doesn’t hurt to take online classes, subscribe to industry newsletters and podcasts, and then write a blog post on the topic to share with your network. Hiring managers will undoubtedly find it attractive to see you engaged on social media and continuing to improve your craft.
Grow your LinkedIn network to 500+ connections
Finally, if you haven’t already hit the 500+ connections benchmark, it’s time to expand your network ASAP. It’s just another way to pad your profile and showcase your industry expertise. Since LinkedIn doesn’t tally up connections beyond this milestone, you’ll essentially have the same clout as Oprah.
Launch your portfolio website
Beyond LinkedIn, a portfolio site can help you build your professional brand. In the marketing and advertising industries, many employers are specifically looking for designers and copywriters with a slick portfolio website packed with work samples. But it doesn’t just have to be limited to creatives—from business analysts to product managers to scrum masters, creating a portfolio site or an about.me page is a great avenue for posting methodologies, blog articles, agile processes and case studies. Ultimately, it’s an avenue for you to establish yourself as a subject matter expert.
Hiring in a resume-free world
Let’s face it. The resume has been ineffective for years. It only communicates a small part of your story. So why not phase it out of your hiring process altogether? Between multimedia-driven LinkedIn profiles and AI-powered assessments, we have the tools and technology to design a smooth, friction-free process that saves time and stress for job candidates and employers alike.