The Difference Between Your Resume and Your LinkedIn Profile

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Some people think their resume and LinkedIn profile are one and the same. They’re not – but both are important. They work together to position you for success, and both play a key role in your ongoing career management.

Which Is Which – and Why?

You use your resume for some purposes and your LinkedIn profile for others. In some cases, there will be an overlap. Here’s a summary of the differences between the two and the optimal uses for each:

  • Your resume should contain only information pertinent to a specific position, in addition to basic data. It should be limited to one page if you started your career within the last five years, or two pages if it’s been longer. Quality is more important than quantity. The goal is to highlight your best skills and accomplishments in a concise fashion. Your resume generally does not include a photo.
  • Your LinkedIn profile allows you more space to communicate and is not constrained by space considerations. Here, prospective employers expect and want to see more about your experience, abilities and personality. LinkedIn offers many opportunities to expand on your resume. A professional photo is highly recommended. The generic grey stock default image can be off-putting to employers.

You Need Both

To ensure you’re using both your resume and your LinkedIn profile optimally, be sure your information is consistent across both mediums. Double-check spellings, dates and factual statements. Mismatching could signal to a hiring manager you’re either hiding something or fail to pay close attention to details.

Here are a few more tips:

  • Your resume should not contain lengthy summaries, references or recommendations. By contrast, a standout headline and strong summary are critical to your LinkedIn profile. On LinkedIn, write a personal bio and show some personality. Use your summary section to highlight your best traits. You have a generous 2,000 characters available for this purpose. Also, use the LinkedIn recommendations function. This way, an employer gets a positive reference before even meeting you.
  • Use all the LinkedIn functions that apply to you. For instance, hobbies and interests provide an extra glimpse into your personality. The publisher option allows you to expand on your expertise and opinions related to your field. You can blog or write articles on noteworthy developments in your industry or projects you’ve worked on. This adds depth to your profile and positions you as a subject -matter expert. Finally, a well-constructed profile demonstrates you are internet savvy and connected to other professionals.
  • You need a resume to submit along with your cover letter when you apply for a targeted position. You should also bring copies of your resume to networking events. Of course, you don’t just hand them out indiscriminately, but they serve as reinforcements when used appropriately. Any time you want to provide someone with brief, effective information on your professional background, your resume is your go-to tool. Often, it is given out along with your business card.

The best resume and LinkedIn profiles – and the best strategy for using both – are integral components of your job search. Make 2017 the year when it all comes together for you by partnering with a specialized agency that takes a personal interest in your success. Read our related posts or contact PrideStaff Modesto today to learn more.