Why not listening to good music while reading? My inspiration for this article is Around the World – Daft Punk. Play it now!
What would you do if you had to look for a job right now? You would probably work on your CV, subscribe to specific job-searching websites to create an online version and make the most of social networks, especially LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a professional social network created in 2003 which has over 546 million members in more than 200 countries. It plays such a key role in people’s professional life that some people do not bother with creating a classic CV anymore. Taking this into account, one can easily wonder: has LinkedIn become the CV of the world?
The power of LinkedIn
Evolution of LinkedIn
One of the main reasons we can consider LinkedIn as “the CV of the world” is its evolution. Five years after its creation, it launched a global strategy by introducing Spanish and French versions of the website. In 2010, it counted 90 million members. In 2013, 2 new members subscribed per second and more than 225 million people were active on the network. Today, with its 546 million members and availability in 24 languages, it is the biggest professional network in the world. People around the world can exchange and look for professional opportunities worldwide – even in China where other social media such as Facebook are prohibited.
From a static CV to a dynamic one
Compared to classic CVs, a “LinkedIn profile is different, it’s an active document that can be regularly revised” and from which people can interact with other members, which is amazing both for recruiters and job seekers. Most importantly, they can provide and receive recommendations. As comments come from someone else, there is a much higher level of trust, making profiles much more valuable.
With LinkedIn, people are not only judged on their competencies anymore. With LinkedIn, social abilities are now integrated into the CV and become crucial to show who you really are. With LinkedIn, you are not limited by one page, the tone used can be informal, you can present your information as you wish and you can add content, links and media (photos and videos). It is the perfect professional tool for someone who needs to demonstrate her/his creativity and for those who want to present an authentic persona.
Social and economic graphs
According to Techopedia, the social graph is a representation of “all the members, organizations, groups and other user-end components of a social network and the relation/connection between them”. It portrays who people know, how they know them and the group of influence they have. Following this logic, LinkedIn is built on our own professional graph. Add this to the data-driven culture of the social network, and the notion of the classic CV is totally redesigned in such a way that the world can easily be connected.
The economic graph, as defined by LinkedIn, is “a digital representation of the global economy based on over 546 million members, 50,000 skills, 30 million companies, 20 million open jobs and 84,000 schools”.The company has based its entire vision and strategy on it, aiming at gathering all workers, companies, institutions, jobs and skills of the world on its platform. A great example of its application is the partnership with Les Hauts-de-France, set up to understand and highlight the needs and offers that are specific to this region to revitalize its economic activity. This is just one region in France, so imagine what the results could be if it was applied on a worldwide scale!
In 2016, Microsoft bought out LinkedIn. Together, they launched Resume Assistant, a new tool in Word that helps people conceive better CVs thanks to similar LinkedIn profiles. It can either suggest work experience descriptions or skills and competencies to match a particular job offer.
Why is it a strength for LinkedIn? To use Resume Assistant, people do not need a LinkedIn profile but simply a Microsoft 365 subscription. In other words, the social network found a way to reach the few who decided not to use its platform. It found a way to collect their data and connect it to others’. So far it is only available in a few select countries but if the concept works, the entire world may be concerned very soon.
Learn more about the partnership by watching this video:
Still a long way to go
LinkedIn might be powerful but it seems to be evolving without taking into consideration some important facts.
Do not forget the discrimination debate
To be successful on LinkedIn, it is mandatory to put a picture of yourself and give your real name; the exact opposite of what is recommended to avoid discrimination. Other criteria to remove are nationality and birth date. A study conducted by O. Aslund and O. Skans in 2017 named Do anonymous job application procedures level the playing field?, reached the following conclusion: “women and ethnic minorities, who are disadvantaged elsewhere in the economy, do not experience a penalty in the interview selection stage when applying to jobs using AAP (Anonymous Application Procedure)”. Knowing this, it makes perfect sense that some people may choose to not be part of the LinkedIn mania. The social network will have to consider the discrimination debate if it does not want it to become an obstacle to its growth.
Access to the Internet is still a dilemma
As explained before, LinkedIn wishes to gather all universities, workers, companies of the world on its platform thanks to the economic graph. But how does the company expect to achieve this when many countries are still very far from having a complete access to the Internet? The last digital report by We Are Social and Hootsuite reveals that 57% of the world population are Internet users and 45% are social media users. Reading the numbers the other way round: 43% of the world population do not have access to the Internet and 55% are not on social networks. It is clearly not enough for LinkedIn to reach its economic graph objective.
LinkedIn is a powerful professional network. Spread worldwide, it is definitely becoming the first tool used by people around the globe to find their next professional network. Nevertheless, it has to be aware of the world’s reality and take it into consideration to be sure to meet its expectations.
So, has LinkedIn become the CV of the world? Hard to say yes for now even though it seems quite right to say that LinkedIn is becoming the CV of the world.
If you are interested in the subject, here is another article (in French!) you might like, published by Visionary Marketing: https://bit.ly/2XuNprH
Read this article by Nathalie Espenel about How to keep people engaged: https://bit.ly/2C2XNOd
Check my previous articles:
Ethics and Digital: Friend or Foe? https://bit.ly/2R87UG1
Social Media and Digital: Changing the World Online https://bit.ly/2ErTXi8