A LinkedIn profile is a valuable asset for professionals in search of jobs, however, many people don’t understand how to make the most of them. Creating a strong LinkedIn profile is not simply a matter of copy and pasting your resume – in fact, there are several major differences between the two.
To guide you through the process of updating your LinkedIn profile, we’ve put together a list of four ways it should differ from your resume.
1. It Has a Different Purpose
The first key difference between the two platforms is purpose: the main purpose of a resume is job searching, and although LinkedIn can also be used as a job search tool, its primary use is professional networking.
As with other social media platforms, LinkedIn is about keeping connected with others in the industry, as well as staying up to date with industry news, events, trends and need-to-know developments. Focus on using it to build your professional network by obtaining recommendations from peers, and establishing a personal brand by publishing blogs on key industry issues and engaging in discussions with others on the platform.
In addition, whilst photos are typically not appropriate for resumes, the more personal nature of LinkedIn means it’s a good place to include an image of yourself. Remember to ensure your profile picture is well presented and professional – keep the casual selfies for Facebook!
2. It Shouldn’t be Tailored
When comparing a resume vs LinkedIn profile, the content of the two should be markedly different. A well-constructed resume should always be tailored to a specific job, whereas LinkedIn serves as more of a general overview of your qualifications, career history, skills and accomplishments. During your career, you will write multiple tailored and job-specific resumes, but you will only have one LinkedIn profile, so it should contain the absolute best of what you have to offer. Keep in mind that LinkedIn provides the chance to go into more detail than a resume, so make use of the extra space by elaborating on any additional achievements or aspects of your career history that may be of interest.
3. It Can Be a Little More Informal
Your resume should be written in a formal tone, typically using a third person perspective, but your LinkedIn profile offers a little more freedom. Although LinkedIn is often considered to be more “serious” than platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, it is still part of the social media family, so don’t be afraid to relax the tone on your profile and writing in your own voice. Using an informal tone will make you more approachable and will assist with building connections with your peers online.
4. It Should be Constantly Evolving
Whilst it is important to keep your resume up to date, at the end of the day, it tends to be a static document, as the version you submit for a vacancy is the final version for that particular application. LinkedIn, however, should always be evolving and updated regularly with new training, achievements, responsibilities, published blog posts and links to current projects. Consistently updating your LinkedIn profile will allow your network to follow changes in your professional life in almost real time, so that peers, recruiters and potential employers alike will always be up to date on your latest moves.
Remember that you can turn notifications on and off to control who will be alerted when you update your details.
It may be tempting to cut and paste the information from your resume to your LinkedIn profile, but it’s important to see the two job searching tools as separate entities with different functions. By utilising their unique advantages, both your resume and your LinkedIn will work together to help you successfully take the next step in your career.
For more LinkedIn profile tips or advice on finding IT or Accounting & Finance jobs in Sydney, contact the team at SustainAbility.