Should I put LinkedIn on my CV?

More and more people are registering with LinkedIn and that’s because it is a great networking tool, but should you put it on your CV?

No, is the simple answer.

This goes back to the most basic (and often forgotten) piece of advice on CVs, which is that you must always remember that a CV is to get you an interview.

The 3 reasons not to put LinkedIn on your CV

Firstly, if you need a potential employer to read your LinkedIn profile to reinforce your CV it simply means that your CV is not doing it’s job properly and you need to look at rewriting your CV.

Secondly, consider what happens when someone clicks on that hyper-link on your CV. They stop reading your CV, and you’ve sent them into hyperspace and we all know what happens then. They get distracted and start looking and reading other things and before you know it they’re on Facebook looking at pictures of kittens! Sound familiar?

Thirdly, consider who you’re connected to. People in a similar job to yourself. The competition. And you just led the recruiter right to them.

LinkedIn is a great networking tool and there are things you can use it for in getting yourself noticed but putting it on your CV is not one of them.

Writing a Profile

All good CVs need a profile but they need to be written in a certain way that imparts 2 key pieces of information to the reader.

Firstly, it should be a précis of your experience. This does not mean a repeat of the employment section of your CV but a simple statement about what you are i.e. a Sales Manager; a Programmer; a Primary School Teacher; a Finance Director etc.

Secondly, it needs to say what you want to do. This should be as simple as “I am looking for a new position managing a sales team in the engineering sector”; “I am relocating to Manchester and seeking a post as a Teacher in a 6th form”; “I am looking to make my next career step into a management role” etc.

All too frequently I see profiles that are a simple cut & paste from the internet which are just bland regurgitations from other CVs saying “I am seeking a role to make best use of my existing skills”. If I’m seeing this as a CV writer then you can bet that recruiters and employers are as well, and you need to ask yourself what will they think when they see I have the same thing in my profile as the previous 20 CVs that they’re read?

So, keep your Profile simple and to the point and you won’t go too far wrong.

Recruiter’s Gripe

Chatting to a recruiter yesterday I found the single biggest gripe that recruitment consultants have with candidates that are already registered with them – as opposed to new applicants.

In order to be registered on an agencies books you will have a skill set that applies to their client base, whether it be in media, sales, admin, advertising, motor trade, retail etc. So your CV has worked in getting them interested enough in you to be registered.

When a good recruiter gets a new assignment they will work their agency’s database to find candidates. When they see your skill set looks promising they then want to talk to you, but guess what? You changed your mobile and didn’t retain your number. They can’t call you so they send you an email. But guess what? You changed email address. Net result? You might miss out on the best career opportunity that you’ll ever come across.

2 things you must do:

1. Make sure you have a web email account that you will always keep such as Hotmail or Gmail.

2. When you change your mobile make sure that you port the number. All you need is a PAC code that your existing mobile provider gives you.

Help the recruiter, and you ultimately help yourself.

What Font to use in a CV?

This is a commonly asked question and it makes a big difference to your CV.

Basically, you should use a modern looking font that is easy to read and not too dense.

Some fonts have a smaller gap between letters and these are useful if your CV has run into an extra page by just a line or two as changing font can significantly shorten a CV. Try switching between Calibri and Arial and you’ll see what I mean.

Avoid using Times New Roman or similar fonts like Georgia as they make your CV (and you by inference!) look dated. Equally you should avoid Comic Sans like the plague!

The best thing to do is experiment with different fonts and see how they can make your CV appear until you find one you’re happy with.

Contact Details

Such a “comedy basic” – but make sure you have all your contact details on your CV.

We see so many that are missing either a mobile number or an email address. You must have both on a CV or you are just making the recruiters job harder, and if you do that – guess what? That’s right, they contact someone else.

Make sure you have the following on the top of your CV:

  • Full postal address
  • Mobile phone number – see this post for more!
  • E-mail address