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Back to Basics: Your Résumé and LinkedIn…

No matter where you are in your working life, chances are you have created more than one résumé or curriculum vitae (CV). It’s a document that most of us have done at least once. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve received calls from friends asking me to help them update their résumés or create cover letters for them. I don’t mind helping people out with this activity, it feels good to help someone get a new position or prepare for a job interview.

And, let’s face it, no one likes updating their résumé. It’s time-consuming and, unless you’re actively seeking a new position, it feels like a waste of time. But with a minimal amount of effort on an ongoing basis, keeping this document up-to-date and ready to go at a moment’s notice is quite easy. I tell everyone who comes to me that they should start using LinkedIn on a regular basis.

LinkedIn is a business- and employment-oriented social networking service that operates via websites and mobile apps. It is used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their résumés or CVs. It’s free to use and easy to get started.

But wait, you cry out, I’m not interested in another social network. I have no interest in connecting with people online. That’s okay, you don’t have to, but you should still be using LinkedIn to create and maintain your résumé. Why? Because in one place (and one place only!) you can:

  • Document your work history, educational background, and any other information you would want to put on your résumé. No more trying to remember when you started at a company or what your role was; it’s all here in one place.
  • Keep this information up-to-date so that you are not scrambling when someone says “send me your résumé.” You can send them a .PDF of your LinkedIn résumé or you can simply send them a link to your LinkedIn profile. No muss, no fuss and it shows that person that you are on the ball and hip with the times.
  • See your professional and personal achievements in a tidy format. Nothing makes you feel better than occasionally reviewing your achievements and progress in life.

I recommend to everyone that – even if you are not interested in the social networking aspects of LinkedIn – you should be creating and maintaining your résumé here. It’s easy. It’s free. And, it saves you time and aggravation in the long run.

Give it a shot.