Applying with a LinkedIn profile is a mistake

Applying for jobs with your professional profile – whether it’s your LinkedIn or your Ladders profile – puts you at a disadvantage compared to people applying with full resumes.

Here’s why.

LinkedIn profiles are not compatible with ATSs

In my mega-interview with the CEOs and technical experts at the resume parsing companies last year, Robert Ruff of Sovren shared: 

“Another thing that we see that’s related to PDFs that’s happening more and more, is people are using their LinkedIn profile as a resume. I agree that the content is there, but LinkedIn has, for several years now, been on a campaign to make their PDF profiles not accurately readable by parsing software. Which is their right to do, but it’s a disservice to their users. And it’s a mistake for people to then use their PDF LinkedIn profile.”

LinkedIn would prefer HR managers to log on to their software to see your information. Unfortunately, the hassle involved hurts you and turns off HR and hiring managers.

I’m pretty sure you don’t care about LinkedIn’s corporate profits or goals and just want to get hired.  Use your own resume to avoid this mess.

Numbers tell a better story about you

Business is driven by numbers. Your numbers are the best way to communicate your success:

– Your ability to increase revenues by $

– Or decrease costs by $

– Or increase efficiency by %

– Or reduce waste by “x”…

…all speak directly to your professional capabilities.  And that makes future bosses sit up and take notice.

But it’s uncomfortable to share specific numbers in public. Confidentiality concerns, not wanting to brag, or simply because it’s not common practice, all mean that the social norm is to not share detailed numbers on your public profile.

A recent review of 129 randomly selected profiles on Ladders and LinkedIn confirm this: 97% of users avoid using specific numbers and instead describe their job performance in the most generic terms. You’ve probably observed this in your own experience.

It’s understandable. The most important numbers in your career achievements are likely confidential. It feels indiscreet to post an employers’ sensitive data in public. As a professional, you might feel an obligation to keep that information private. And as a hiring manager, you probably frown upon candidates that are cavalier and show bad judgment by including confidential information in their profile.

Which is why most professionals don’t post specific numerical information in their public Ladders or LinkedIn profiles. 

Instead, a majority of users describe their past or current jobs by copying and pasting the company’s “About Us” section into their profile. 

No context for your background

Rather obviously, when professionals rely on their company’s “About Us” section to describe their past roles, it doesn’t inform people much about you. All your profile readers can see is your title and the company you worked for, which means they’re missing key information.

With no specific numbers, they have to guess at whether you’re any good at your job.

And when hiring managers are guessing, that means you’re losing: losing their attention and  losing the job.

Being effective in applications 

The most relevant data for recruiters, and the best way to communicate your value to future bosses, is to show them what you’ve actually accomplished. Toward that end, using a success verb and a number in each bullet point of your resume is the most effective tactic.

Concrete examples of your past performance make it easy for a potential boss to envision the type of work you do. It makes it easy for them to understand your past accomplishments, your current skills, and your future trajectory. It’s better at persuading the hiring manager to add you to the interview pile. 

So much of your professional success shines through when you share the results from your past experiences. What you did, what you overcame, what you saw – these are the background details that entice your future employer to offer you an interview.

Professionals using full resumes in their job applications have an unfair advantage when applying for jobs; they tell the story of their success much more effectively.

Using just your profile to apply for jobs is no more effective than using just your house’s address to sell your house. Ads for houses show pictures, details, floor plans, neighborhood, and the history of the house. Similarly, your resume gives a more complete picture to a future boss. More detail helps them determine whether or not you (or the house) match their criteria, and they can follow up if they’re interested.

So instead of applying for a job with just your profile – whether it’s LinkedIn or even your Ladders profile – put your best foot forward in the application process.  Use your full resume instead.

Action items

  1. Update your resume: we have help at every price point from $0 to $6 to $179.
  2. Upload your resume to Ladders to put it to work for you in front of the nation’s leading recruiters.
  3. Apply with your resume not your profile.
  4. Or better yet, let us do the applying for you with Apply4Me.