So you’ve taken our free resume writing course and now you have a perfect document ready to share with the world. You want to make the best use of it, so shouldn’t you put it out on LinkedIn for everyone to see?
No. Well not exactly anyway. You can use parts of it but cutting and pasting the whole thing would be a big mistake for three reasons:
- The web is a completely different medium to print – we expect more personality and an informal tone from web communication. Think about websites you’ve visited that grabbed your attention and then contrast them with the ones that bored you. Almost always, the attention-grabbing sites use a relaxed, chatty tone while the boring ones use stilted corporate language more suited to an annual report. Note that informal does not mean unprofessional. In the case of LinkedIn, it simply means a profile that is written in the first person (“I” instead of “He” or ‘She”) and which gives some insight into your personality and work style.
- Some of the people who visit your LinkedIn profile will already have seen your resume and will be looking to learn more about you (this goes back to point #1 about showing personality).
- Your resume is too long for LinkedIn. If you post all those details about your accomplishments in every position, the profile will be much too long. We don’t have long attention spans at the best of times and they get shorter when we’re reading a web page.
So how can your resume help you on LinkedIn?
- If you have done a good job in developing a clear value proposition, you should carry that value proposition over into your online presence and that includes LinkedIn. Make sure your summary communicates exactly how you will add value to future employers and create a strong headline that sticks to the same themes and grabs attention.
- When you write about each position on LinkedIn, use a shortened version of what is already on your resume. I generally stick to between 6-10 lines for each position, so choose the highlights carefully and keep those job descriptions action-oriented.
Crafting a strong LinkedIn profile is crucial if you are to make the most of this incredible job search resource. If you get it right, recruiters and HR managers will contact you about vacancies – guaranteed!
For more on writing a powerful LinkedIn profile, check out my post The 7 Mistakes You\’re Probably Making on LinkedIn or read my eBook, The Blue Sky Guide to LinkedIn.