The Difference Between a Resume and a LinkedIn Profile

Having both a resume & LinkedIn profile is essential when job searching - but there are key differences between them! Learn how they complement each other & how they should be used.

The Difference Between a Resume and a LinkedIn Profile

When it comes to job searching, having both a resume and a LinkedIn profile is essential. While they may seem similar, there are some key differences between the two. Your resume is typically updated and shared when you're actively looking for a job, while LinkedIn's main purpose is to create a professional network. An important distinction between a resume and a LinkedIn profile is the depth of information.

Your online profile is an opportunity to tell a more complete and colorful story, one that reveals your passion for your line of work and details the various roles you've played. You can even add additional information about your volunteer experience, published work, and your involvement in organizations.Having a resume implies that you're looking for work, while having a LinkedIn profile does not. Therefore, it's best to avoid indicating that you're searching for employment in your profile. That's why your LinkedIn profile has some unique features that are designed to complement your resume.

Knowing and implementing these three differences will make your profile stand out among the competition for the jobs you want.A good LinkedIn profile is more comprehensive and more human than a resume. It should feel more human because it can do more than show your accomplishments for the job it's designed for; it can give an entire picture of you as an individual in ways that your resume cannot. Your summary section should include just a few short, vital phrases in your resume. But on your LinkedIn profile, your summary (now known as the “About Us” section) is much different.With up to 2,600 characters, your About You section is the centerpiece of your profile.

Think of it almost like an expanded, super-powerful cover letter. You should also write this section in the first person, unlike what appears on your resume. That's part of the “most human piece”.So, just like with your cover letter, the About You section is the ideal place to show off your unique personality and voice. Similarly, you shouldn't simply copy and paste the bullet points of your resume for every professional experience you post on your LinkedIn profile.

It's very tempting, but this approach doesn't get the most out of your profile. Instead, make your descriptions of your professional experiences broader than in your resume.Your resume must be carefully designed and tailored to each job. It also has to be brief. This means that you can remove, reorder, or rephrase some vignettes of your professional experiences from one version of your resume to another, depending on the skills that each job emphasizes.However, you only have one LinkedIn profile and all recruiters from different companies for various jobs that interest you will see it.

So while you can leave certain details off of your resume depending on the specific job you're applying to, your profile can include them all. But while they may be on the chopping block for your resume, there's plenty of room for them on your LinkedIn profile.Testimonials from other people on your resume are optional and are generally only recommended for higher-level management positions. On LinkedIn, they are essential for every profile. If you didn't know that yet, you shouldn't include a photo in your resume.

Not only is it a waste of space with the potential to disrupt candidate tracking systems, but it can also lead to discrimination in the initial review of your resume.You have very little space on your resume so you should use it to focus on your achievements. However, just as emphatically as we tell you not to have one on your resume, we'll also tell you that you need to have a photo on your LinkedIn profile - two of them in fact.Think of LinkedIn as a combination of incoming customers (employers come to you) and outgoing (you contact employers). In most cases, a resume usually focuses on exit opportunities (you apply to employers). Because of these similarities, copying the content of your resume directly to your LinkedIn profile is usually a good idea.Your chances of landing your next executive job will be affected if both your executive resume and LinkedIn profile are identical.

While both are important tools for job search, they serve slightly different purposes and are read by slightly different audiences under different conditions.While you'll only have one LinkedIn profile that does the overall job of presenting your professional personality to the online world, ideally you should have a different resume for each position you apply for - each carefully designed to fit the requirements of a position.One of LinkedIn's challenges is that the user has one unique profile for all audiences while a resume can be easily customized for job applications in different sectors. Most professional executive resume writers will tell you to put enough information in your executive resume summary for a recruiter or potential employer to want more information about you.LinkedIn will require some adaptations since you'll want to tell a specific story but not to the same extent as with your resume. You only need one LinkedIn account and profile to avoid confusing your network and diminish LinkedIn's ability to help you.In short, both an executive resume and LinkedIn profile must be combined to give employers an accurate idea of who you are both professionally and personally. Generally speaking, an executive resume should talk about details related to the company while LinkedIn should be more conversational about how certain things were achieved.

Vanessa Shelly
Vanessa Shelly

My name is Vanessa and I am a college student. I am majoring in communications and I love to write. I love to play the trumpet. Infuriatingly humble coffee guru.

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