Should your Resume and LinkedIn Profile look the same?
No and Yes, but let me explain. The resume is usually updated and shared when pursuing a job, while the purpose of LinkedIn is to create a professional network. There are a few things that should ALWAYS be consistent, but there are also key areas where they should differ. First, let’s look at how the LinkedIn Profile should differ from a resume…
Tell your Story! LinkedIn is a social network. It is probably the best platform you have to do some personal branding. Use it to tell your story in a more engaging, less formal way than the resume. The resume is usually a condensed version of your work experience, but LinkedIn allows you to add those extra details on projects, and it doesn’t have to be shortened to bullet points! Oh, and do include an appropriate picture because it helps others see you as a real person they can visualize when reading what you have to say.
Don’t tailor your LinkedIn Profile. You might have several versions of your resume to highlight specific skill-sets when applying for jobs. That’s fine, but your LinkedIn Profile should target a wider audience with more of a ‘big picture’ view of your experience and skills rather than a more narrow one. Think of your LinkedIn Profile as a living document that evolves. The resume is a snapshot in time and remains static, once you’ve provided it to a potential employer.
Keep it less formal than a resume. Write your LinkedIn profile the way you speak with details that allow you to connect with the reader…like you would in a social, non-formal setting. Put in details about why certain projects were interesting to you, tell a story, or describe what you are passionate about. Basically, the Resume has a formal tone, the LinkedIn profile has a social tone.
Add those skills. A long list of technologies and skills can sometimes be too much for the resume, but you have the ability to list those on LinkedIn very easily. The advantage to including those skills is that Recruiters use keywords to narrow their searches, and if you have some experience in a particular area, you’ll show up in their search!
Now, what should be the same in both? Experience. Your Employers and dates of employment should absolutely match up so take the time to check this carefully. It is a red flag to someone reviewing your profile and resume if you leave off an employer, or show you worked longer for an employer on one and not the other.
In closing, even if you aren’t one to read through your LinkedIn newsfeed, or log in daily, it does happen to be a platform used extensively by recruiting professionals. You might as well use that to your advantage and ensure your profile is widely viewed and balances out what isn’t always included in the resume.