LinkedIn Profile or Resume? How Hiring Managers Can Use Both to Screen Candidates

The depth and content of a candidate’s resume and LinkedIn profile can help hiring managers understand their skills, experience, and education.

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linkedin or resume for hiring

As job hunting has evolved, so have the tools recruiters use to screen candidates. Finding a new hire who aligns well with your company’s standards and values isn’t easy, so evaluating applicants in the earliest stages of the process is vital. It’s at this juncture that you see where your applicants have professional experience, which companies they’ve worked for, and what kinds of skills they have. Luckily, the commonly accepted ways of writing resumes and LinkedIn profiles make these things clear for hiring managers.

It’s important to have reliable systems and tools. Picking qualified candidates requires a level of judgment and discretion that often only comes with years of HR experience, but a crucial piece is still missing: the interview. Without the interview, you still don’t have a good read on your candidate. At this point, hiring managers have no idea who interviews well and who struggles with that part of the process. Some candidates are impressive on paper but don’t present well in face-to-face interactions. For others, the opposite is true.

Your first impression of the candidate is based on the depth and content of their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, as well as CVs, cover letters, and other application materials.

Looking over resumes and LinkedIn profiles is a standard part of the hiring process. It’s standard for a reason. But which one is better? The short answer: it depends.

Is one better than the other?

LinkedIn gives job seekers the opportunity to dive a bit deeper into their work history and experience.

This depends on how much you want to know before the interview. Do you feel like you have enough to go on from their resume? Can you go into the interview with a set of questions that complement the information provided? You’re going to want to conduct an interview regardless, but you want to make sure their resume doesn’t raise any red flags. For example, if they have 35 years of experience, and a PhD, why is their resume barely a page long?

LinkedIn gives job seekers the opportunity to dive a bit deeper into their work history and experience. It’s in the bio section of a candidate’s LinkedIn profile that you’ll get your best pre-interview glimpse at the potential candidate.

If you rely more heavily on LinkedIn for hiring, understand the dos and donts of using the platform for talent acquisition. It’s a great tool that connects candidates to future employers every day.

How to use LinkedIn to screen candidates

These days, an estimated 95% of recruiters rely on LinkedIn to filter candidates so that the most qualified show up in a search query. That said, the first thing you want to make sure you do is conduct quality searches. Be specific with your queries and know which keywords will get you closest to your dream hire. This may seem insignificant, but it could save you precious time. If you’re a professional of any kind, you know how valuable your time is.

Another tactic hiring managers use is LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn groups are smaller communities on the platform that focus on specific industries or skill sets. It’s in these groups that you can see who’s engaged, who has great insight and smart questions, and who seems most eager to learn and grow within their industry.

This can be immensely valuable for HR managers looking for passionate, engaged candidates who have their fingers on the pulse of what is happening in their industry at any given time.

Do they know what they’re talking about? Are they respectful of their fellow professionals? Are their posts and comments well-written, grammatically correct, and characteristic of someone with critical thinking skills? These are all important questions to ask, and scrolling through LinkedIn groups can help you find the candidates who are the best and most diligent.

And finally, look at the quality of their professional endorsements! Knowing who is recommending your potential hires can help you see how well they are regarded within their industry. This is something that is overlooked more often than you would think, which is somewhat surprising given the value of colleague feedback.

How to use resumes to screen candidates

Resumes function as an overview of a person’s job history and professional qualifications. You can find out a lot about someone based on the quality and depth of their resume. They’ll never replace an interview and should never be viewed as such, but they remain very useful in giving employers a broader look at an individual’s skills, experience, and education.

That’s why nearly every job application you’ll ever fill out requires a resume, even if you know the hiring manager or are acquainted with higher-ups at the company. It is the standard for a reason, and it’ll be for a long time.

For example, a resume that’s full of typos, grammatical errors, or glaring syntax issues is not a great reflection of its writer. Outdated resumes, even ones that initially seem impressive, indicate that the applicant didn’t take the time or dedicate the energy to making their resume presentable.

A resume that’s full of typos, grammatical errors, or glaring syntax issues is not a great reflection of its writer. Outdated resumes, even ones that initially seem impressive, indicate that the applicant didn’t take the time or dedicate the energy to making their resume presentable.

Resume tools for hiring managers

Often, resumes have to be tailored to the specific job to which you’re applying, so using a recycled resume indicates to a potential employer that a candidate isn’t taking the job-specific aspects of the posting seriously. That’s why there’s software out there that helps you find better candidates faster. AI and automation can be incredibly helpful regarding filtering out sloppy resumes or unqualified candidates.

SearchMonster is a useful tool for hiring managers because it actually scores and ranks resumes based on their relevance to your job posting. For example, if you include a Bachelor’s Degree as one of your required qualifications, SearchMonster will filter out resumes that don’t satisfy this requirement. Along similar lines, be wary of resumes that do not make it clear what kind of degree or education the applicant has.

Why looking at LinkedIn and resumes matters for hiring

Knowing how to screen candidates properly using both LinkedIn and a resume is vital. It gives you the best, clearest glimpse at the people you’re thinking of hiring, and it allows you to form better interview questions that will in turn enable you to make better hiring decisions.

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