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Should my LinkedIn Profile Look Exactly Like my Resume?

This graphic features the LinkedIn Thumbnail image in a circular pattern design.

Should my LinkedIn Profile Look Exactly Like my Resume?

By Theresa Neal

While LinkedIn is a powerful tool for recruiters and those seeking employment, profiles are not resumes. If you maximize the unique characteristics of LinkedIn to emphasize your strengths, you will be more likely to land your dream job than if you simply copy and paste your resume into your profile.

Use the Summary to Share your Unique Voice

One of the most common mistakes that LinkedIn novices make is copying and pasting everything from their career documents into their profiles. This usually means the summary is treated either as a cover letter or as an objective on a resume. Unfortunately, this strategy robs the LinkedIn summary of its unique power. Unlike your cover letter, resume’s objective, or even executive profile, your LinkedIn summary offers you a unique opportunity to engage users and invite conversation.

  • Cover letters tend to have a structure that just doesn’t work for LinkedIn. Cover letters are characterized by a short statement about the position you found, examples of why you are a good candidate, and an invitation to contact you about the position.
  • Resume objectives require a formal tone that’s perfect for a resume. But it typically can’t (and shouldn’t) demonstrate your personality.
  • LinkedIn summaries, on the other hand, focus on making a strong introduction and getting the reader to say “yes.” This is why many professional summaries start with a question or a positive statement. For example, “Every business needs strong employees. As a bodybuilder, I understand the importance of being strong in a professional and physical sense…”

If you would like to learn more about how to write an effective LinkedIn summary, you can always contact us for a free consultation. We will be happy to assess your LinkedIn profile and help you with a strategy for a better summary.

Weigh the Benefits & Drawbacks of More Content

While the career history and skills sections seem like they could easily be a cut and paste job, context makes all the difference.

  • Resume Length:  Your resume is typically far more constrained by space than your LinkedIn profile. You typically have a maximum of two pages to relay your career history and accomplishments.
  • LinkedIn Length: Your LinkedIn profile isn’t as constrained by physical space, but readers typically don’t like to read long blocks of text online, preferring short, sweet sentences, bulleted lists, and multimedia.

For this reason, it’s important to weigh the ability to present more information with the need to do so in a way that will be well received. When it comes to your skills, you may list a maximum of 50, and it’s best to do so. This will allow your resume to be more searchable and can earn you increased endorsements. On a resume, however, a long list of skills typically isn’t recommended unless you have a technical position. Employers are more interested in how you’ve used your skills than simply the fact that you have them.

Fill Out Everything

Many LinkedIn sections don’t belong on a traditional resume. Publications and projects, for example, aren’t always listed on a resume. However, including them in your LinkedIn profile makes the profile a strong complement to your resume.

Your best bet for LinkedIn success is to fill out everything that’s relevant. You can always use your resume to check your work to ensure consistency. If you need help, we’re here to assist! We’ve written thousands of LinkedIn profiles that stand out and encourage recruiters and employers to do more than scroll. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation, should you have questions about how you can use LinkedIn to enhance your job search.