LinkedIn, GitHub, Monster, Dice – the digital revolution means anyone can find or post a job online in seconds. Years ago the old CV drop and classifieds was the only way to land your next role.
Finding jobs is easier than ever before thanks to the rise of digital platforms, but which ones should you invest time in?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of LinkedIn versus GitHub versus the traditional CV.
Professional social networking allows you to keep in touch with people within your industry. If you meet someone at a conference, LinkedIn is a much more powerful platform to maintain a fledgling relationship compared to regular emails. Developing your network is vital to career progression because you never know who could be your next employer or client. Every organisation looks favourably on the well connected.
Sharing interesting and relevant content on LinkedIn is also a great way to build professional credibility, which creates trust between you and your connections. Other credibility-building activities include, writing an insightful blog to demonstrate your industry knowledge or participating in group conversations to express your views.
Keeping your profile up-to-date and active increases the chances of a recruiter noticing your skills and calling you up for an interview that could end in your next big career move.
People on LinkedIn don’t always look favourably on a profile without content, and a poorly curated profile can make people question your professionalism. Some graduates, for example, are trapped in a catch 22 – unable to secure work because their LinkedIn profile is weak, and their LinkedIn profile is weak because they struggle to get experience.
LinkedIn profiles, much like CVs, are also unverified. Accordingly, hiring managers have no way to tell if what’s published on them is truth, or whether someone is inflating the truth well beyond reason.
Never heard of GitHub? Maybe it's time that you did. This web-based open-source repository is a fantastic tool for career-minded developers and programmers. The platform’s biggest benefit is that it tracks your activity on the site, meaning the more quality code changes you make, the more evidence of your abilities you have to show potential employers. Think you can streamline a piece of code? Go ahead and fix it, submit a pull request and, if it’s any good, the project manager will merge your changes, which goes on your permanent record. The project manager can rate your work, giving you a tangible metric to show other users.
The site also acts as a social network for developers where they can discuss various patches and merges. These discussions can further enhance an IT professional's reputation as an expert if they contribute effectively.
GitHub is entirely set up around how others perceive you – unlike a resume, it doesn’t let you value your own work. For example, if you completely overhaul and improve a small project and receive next to nothing in terms of recognition, chances are it will get buried deep in your profile and no employer will ever see it. However, someone who can influence people on the site might get a lot of recommendations for tidying up one simple line of code. Employers may view the influencer more favourably than you because the community views them more favourably, even if your small project was much more impressive, technically speaking.
3. The CV
The CV might be the oldest tool on this list, but it’s still extremely effective and employers will still want to see a copy when you apply for a job. CVs and cover letters allow you to control what you share with the hiring manager, letting you present the best version of yourself. It also provides you the opportunity to highlight where your skills and experience fit with the specific role and company you are applying for.
Hiring managers can use the CV as an excellent reference point for narrowing down applications and finding those worth interviewing.
Your IT CV needs to be tailored and free from common CV mistakes so that you stand out from other applicants. This means your resume needs to be bulletproof at a glance. At the same time, more and more hiring managers are using CVs and LinkedIn profiles to cross-reference each other.
There isn't one specific platform that is going to dramatically increase your job prospects. Instead, you should use all relevant platforms and tools at your disposal to increase the chances of landing your dream job. You never know who might be looking!
But the traditional CV and cover letter is far from dead, so make sure you have a decent one ready to be sent out at all times.