Resumes & Cover Letters

How to Differentiate Your LinkedIn Profile and Resume

Written by Peter Jones

You might think when setting up your LinkedIn profile that all you have to do is copy and paste things from your resume. But that would be a mistake. First of all, a resume is a private document sent directly to potential employers. A LinkedIn profile is public. Here are a few other key differences that will help you differentiate and make these two media work for you.

1. Keeping It Concise vs. Room for Detail

Your resume has more space constraints than your online profiles, as it should ideally fit on one page. There, you need to use pithy language that describes your accomplishments as concisely and descriptively as possible.

In LinkedIn, you have more room. Instead of a one-line description, try making it two or three lines that really sing the story of the big picture.

2. Tailoring to the Job vs. Casting a Wide Net

Your resume should be reformatted and written for each individual job you apply for, tailored exactly to meet those requirements and needs.

Your LinkedIn profile is there to establish your wider appeal and brand. Keep your net broad, and show how your unique skills and interests are versatile enough to apply to a wide range of industries and positions. Show yourself to be the flexible superstar you know you are.

3. Showing vs. Telling

If a fact is on your resume, people have to take your word for it. But in LinkedIn, you actually have room to add proof. Show, don’t tell your, accomplishments for your profile. Put your money where your mouth is. For example, if you claim to be a good writer, include links to a few of your articles.

4. Informal vs. Formal

In LinkedIn, avoid the robotic third person language of your resume. Make it a bit more personal. Use a conversational tone; don’t sacrifice propriety or effective communication, but let your personality shine through. Also remember that a LinkedIn profile can be much more broad and general when compared to the focused information you include on your resume.

5. Getting a Job vs. Building a Network

A resume is geared specifically to getting the interview and getting hired. Your LinkedIn profile is much more about building awareness and adding to your network. Stay in the loop. Get connected with others in your industry. Be part of the conversation. You can also have a LinkedIn profile that helps you keep an eye on new opportunities without tipping your boss off that you are “looking.”

6. No Photo vs. Photo

It’s no longer standard to include a photo on your resume, as that can be linked to discrimination. Your LinkedIn profile, however, can and should include a profile picture.

About the author

Peter Jones