How useful is LinkedIn when almost half of profiles have outdated information?

We know that we have to update more than our resume to stand out amongst other applicants. But are you using LinkedIn properly to get that next role – and is it useful at all?
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

If you are looking for a job, you will know that many recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates for interviews, so your outdated information on the platform could be the difference between securing your next job. or being passed over for a more suitable candidate.

LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft in 2016 for an eye-watering cost of $26.2 billion and has reported steady growth year-on-year. It obviously has a lot of value to those looking for a job in the job market.

But keeping up to date online is often a hassle. Often job seekers must maintain the classic version of their resume as well as managing their LinkedIn presence, consistently updating both.

Resume Lab surveyed 1,001 workers in the US. It wanted to find out how often Americans are updating LinkedIn and their resumes during the pandemic?

The survey uncovered that almost everyone (99.1%) of respondents have a resume, yet only two in three (65.1%) have LinkedIn profiles.

Workers reporting the highest salaries ($80k or more) reported updating their LinkedIn profiles the most often in the past year.

Managers report updating their LinkedIn profiles more often than their traditional resumes (3.6 times per year compared to 3.4 times per year for their traditional resume).

And managers update their resumes more often than non-managers who update their LinkedIn profiles only 2.2 times per year, and traditional resumes 2.5 times per year.

Although 54.3% of people reported that they have updated their resume within the last three months, 45.4% reported having outdated information on their LinkedIn profile, and 33.3% on their resume.

Over 50% said the reason that they updated was specifically motivated by the pandemic.

Resume Labs

If two out of three Americans are actively seeking new employment, why do they have such outdated information on their LinkedIn profiles?

There are several strategies used to improve your resume. You can adjust the resume for each job application which 46.3% of respondents reported doing -- yet the job offers from this method were not as high as other methods.

Alternatively you can optimise formatting for applicant tracking systems, hire a professional resume writer and add charts, graphs, or diagrams to your resume which increases the number of job offers received.

So does LinkedIn actually help you get you a new position? A quick poll across my social feeds showed that hardly anyone had actually been approached for a job through LinkedIn.

Most reported getting requests for connections from agents who then used their networks to hustle their connections. You can turn this setting off in your profile settings so that connections can only see shared connections – and can not mine your profile for new connections.

Others reported being bombarded by requests for connections by people they did not know, but they connected with them 'just in case'. None of my friends had secured any work through LinkedIn – rather people connected with them to sell their services instead.

So it appears that the traditional resume, and good old-fashioned networking will secure you better job success than an out of date LinkedIn profile. And in these insecure days with unemployment rising, you had better grab any job that comes your way.

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