On a daily basis, I speak with executives and C-suite leaders who ask me: LinkedIn versus resume? Which one matters the most? Isn’t LinkedIn your online resume? Or is there really a difference?
Several years ago (five to be exact), I wrote in the HuffPost about why your LinkedIn profile is more compelling than your resume. That same theory is even more true today in 2020. Your LinkedIn profile is no longer your online resume. Your LinkedIn profile is more compelling than your resume because it gets you seen where your resume doesn’t: when you aren’t job searching.
LinkedIn Versus Resume
With over 700 million current users on LinkedIn, your profile is forever etched in a digital footprint. It is the first link people see when they type in your name on a Google search. Thus, because of its high visibility, your LinkedIn profile can do more for you than you realize. When you aren’t job searching, recruiters, hiring managers, and company executives will still find you — bringing you more bang for your buck in terms of value proposition.
In stark contrast, your resume is visible to those hand-selected few. The ability for self-plagiarism is constantly on the rise. Widespread panic can erupt should an industry professional “copy” your LinkedIn summary into his/her resume summary. Imagine the fury of applying to the same job only to realize that your creativity has now become someone else’s masterpiece. We can’t trademark our LinkedIn profiles, but we can take measurable precautions such as telling our career story and leaving out the redundant, overused adjectives.
Match Up Your Job Dates/Titles
Ensure that your job dates match and your actual jobs match between your resume and LinkedIn. Mix up the details within the jobs. On LinkedIn, focus on shorter descriptions that are keyword-based. Don’t provide all of your accomplishments – save some for the resume. Avoid listing sales numbers, financial numbers, and other potentially proprietary information on your LinkedIn profile. Remember, if you signed a confidentiality agreement or NDA, you can be on the hook if you release proprietary information or trade secrets.
Create a Robust Headline
Your LinkedIn headline is the gateway to your profile similar to the title of a novel. Besides including your current job title and company, be sure to list career focus (ex: manager, leader, executive) and selected three areas of expertise.
Here’s an easy formula I like to use for LinkedIn headlines: Job Title/Target Role | Industry | Areas of Expertise or Value Add-Skills
This formula ensures that you are using powerful keywords for better search capabilities. Think to yourself: what would a potential recruiter or hiring manager look for when hiring someone at my level or in my industry? The LinkedIn search bar are similar to Google’s SEO. Do not waste valuable real estate on fluffy words.
Personalize Your LinkedIn Summary
Craft a first-person summary on your LinkedIn profile to show a humanistic tone. The idea is that you are conversing person-to-person on LinkedIn and it should not read like a bio on a website because you are creating a network. Your LinkedIn profile is definitely more relaxed and informal, whereas your resume is formal and minimizes the use of articles (a, an, the, etc.) as well as precludes the use of pronouns (I, me, my, they, etc.)
Use a LinkedIn Cover Photo
Add flair to your LinkedIn profile with a background photo that encompasses your personality. It can consist of a city skyline, a nature photo, a hobby, a travel destination, or a personalized banner (hint: use Canva) to showcase your personal brand.
Use Bullet Points Effectively
Add bullet points to your LinkedIn profile to jazz it up. Bullet points are great as they can break up the monotony of long pieces of text, but also create sections within your profile for easy readability and digestibility.
Here are some of my favorites: ♦. ➜ ►◘ ✔ ✰ ✉ ☎ ✧ ★ ➣ ➤ ➩●✍ ✉ ✒
These are just some ways to get you thinking differently about your LinkedIn profile instead of it as an online resume. Also, consider building an effective network that will help draw in more visibility for you and expand your reach. Remember, your LinkedIn profile can increase your professional reputation among millions of yours.
Have a question about hiring me for LinkedIn profile writing or resume writing services?