If you are simply copying your resume into your LinkedIn profile you are doing yourself a major disservice. This is especially true if you are actively searching for a job. Your LinkedIn profile is not an online resume; it is a marketing tool designed to showcase your professional value. LinkedIn is free advertising and what you’re selling is you; maximize your marketability by taking advantage of this prime marketing real estate.
Ask yourself this, if a hiring manager has your resume in hand and wants to research you on LinkedIn what benefit is an exact replica of the resume they already have going to do? Of course your LinkedIn profile will have much of the same information but on LinkedIn you have the opportunity to tell it in a brand new way. While resumes are expected to conform to certain business standards your LinkedIn profile doesn’t follow those same rules.
One of the main differences between your resume and your LinkedIn profile is how they are written. While resumes are written in the formal third person, your LinkedIn profile can be written in the first person. This gives it more individuality and you can really play up your personal brand. I don’t want to say that LinkedIn is more casual than a resume but you certainly have more liberties to express yourself and be creative on your LinkedIn profile.
Another thing that your LinkedIn profile can do that your resume can’t is provide more information and details. You can do this by linking your blog, website or twitter account giving anyone viewing your LinkedIn profile a more in depth view of professional qualifications than your resume ever could. You can also post regular status updates to your LinkedIn profile (keep it professional, it’s not Facebook!) which gives it an up-to-date and personal feel.
Your resume and LinkedIn profile should work in tandem and complement one another. They will share most of the same information but the presentation, tone and overall feel should be completely different. Let your personality show through on your LinkedIn profile and be an extension of your resume. Don’t repeat your resume; let your LinkedIn profile tell your professional history in an entirely new way.
by Megan Koehler
Editor’s note: For more tips on how to write or improve your LinkedIn profile, see:
- Writing a WOW LinkedIn Summary: How to Promote Your Brand and Market Yourself
- Writing a WOW LinkedIn Summary — Part 2: More Tips & Tricks
- How to Write a LinkedIn Profile That Shines
- The Importance of Your LinkedIn Profile Picture: How to Enhance Your Professional Image
- Your LinkedIn Profile Is More Important Than Your Resume
- Building Your Online Billboard with LinkedIn
- Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile if You Want to Stand Out