As a job seeker, you need to have an online presence. Employers will look you up on social media, especially LinkedIn, to learn more about you. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet or haven’t updated yours in a while, it can be tempting to simply copy and paste your resume into LinkedIn and call it a day.
But should your LinkedIn profile be the same as your resume? What are the differences between a resume vs. LinkedIn?
While the information on your resume and LinkedIn profile certainly shouldn’t conflict, there are key differences between these two essential job search tools and how to use them in your career.
We asked Lori Cole, Certified Career Coach and Advisor at iHire, to share her thoughts on this topic.
While it may be tempting to save time when creating your LinkedIn profile, don’t simply copy/paste your resume summary paragraph or work history information.
“There is an option to add your resume to your LinkedIn profile, which you should do, but if the content is exactly the same between your resume and LinkedIn page, you’re missing out on the opportunity to provide additional information that may not fit or be appropriate for your resume,” advised Cole.
Your resume and LinkedIn profile should work together, and when you research keywords to include in your resume, make sure to work those into your LinkedIn page as well.
One of the best things about LinkedIn is it lets you give prospective employers a chance to get to know you better and go beyond your resume to see who you are as a person.
“Show your personality through your photos,” recommended Cole. “Use a professional headshot for your profile photo and be creative with the background photo. It could be a sampling of your work if you’re a graphic designer, a beautiful photo of your favorite vacation spot, your favorite inspirational quote, or a picture of you volunteering with your friends. Your picture never belongs on a resume but is perfectly acceptable on LinkedIn.”
LinkedIn also has Volunteering, Interests, and Causes sections where you can highlight your passions. You may have a little space on your resume to mention these unique aspects about yourself, but LinkedIn allows you to really expand on them.
What about your LinkedIn summary vs. resume summary?
“Your LinkedIn summary section is another great opportunity to showcase your personality,” added Cole. “Unlike the resume, which should be written as concisely as possible with pronouns and filler words removed, you can write more freely on LinkedIn with a professional and friendly tone.”
Resumes are best kept to one or two pages, meaning you have to think hard about what should be included and continually walk the line of not overwhelming the reader while providing enough information to get an interview. Fortunately, that’s not the case on LinkedIn.
“Because of the way LinkedIn profiles are designed, it isn’t overwhelming to look at a fully complete and robust page,” said Cole. “Sections are expandable, so you can – within reason – include as much as you want.”
You may choose to include more of your career history on LinkedIn than you do on your resume. The same goes for education, certifications, licenses, and skills. Additionally, the Featured area of your LinkedIn profile allows you to upload articles, posts, documents, photos, websites, videos, etc.
“Think of the Featured section as your professional portfolio,” said Cole. “While you could add links to these things on your resume, visitors to your LinkedIn profile can see a collection of your best work all on one page. This is also where you upload your resume.”
Additionally, you can give and receive recommendations within your network, which could include kudos from current and former coworkers as well as clients.
“One final difference between resumes and LinkedIn profiles that you must keep in mind is your resume, if it’s going to be effective, needs to be tailored to the job you’re applying for,” added Cole. “You need the right keywords to make it past applicant tracking systems, and you need to show employers you’ve done your homework.”
Your LinkedIn profile, on the other hand, can paint a broader picture of who you are as a professional. However, at the end of the day it’s still a job search tool – make sure that anything you include will help you in your career.
Want more career advice? Check out our library of resources on social media, or schedule a call with our team of certified writers to learn more about how we can help with developing your resume and LinkedIn profile.