It used to be totally standard to make your LinkedIn profile more or less a verbatim copy of your resume. Those days are over, given the incredible amount of recruiting traffic on LinkedIn and how most recruiters are looking at attractive candidates before even requesting resumes.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ll have to have some unique content on your LinkedIn profile. Here are three key ways to make your LinkedIn profile pop—and differentiate it from your resume itself.
1. Beef Up Your LinkedIn Headline
Rather than making your default headline your current job title, put up something more general that is chock full of the kinds of keywords hiring managers would be most likely to search for. Remember to tailor your resume headline to whichever job you’re applying for (and try not to be too industry specific—you’ll be more immediately appealing to a broader range of recruiters).
2. Change up Your Tone for Each Format
Your resume should have a fairly formal tone, with clean language and clear, brief, to-the-point information. Avoid using “I” when possible. By contrast, your LinkedIn profile should be a bit more conversational—as though you were having a chat with your readers. Try and mimic the way you speak as you write your profile.
3. Pare Down Your Resume Summary
Your resume summary should be as brief as possible—as efficiently worded as a newspaper lead: no more than three or four sentences and packing a sweet punch. Your LinkedIn profile summary, on the other hand, gives you a whopping 2,000 characters to work with. Max that space out to really converse with your reader. You could even consider adding a list of skimmable skills, a few career highlights, or your contact information.
Remember, the different and broader space in LinkedIn gives you a great opportunity to help you to stand out—and to help you look like a fuller, better package—even when your resume gets around. Maximize what you are given and beat the competition!