As the process of job-searching becomes more digital in nature, it’s important for you to understand the key differences between your LinkedIn profile and your resume. From there, you can use your online profile to reach a broader audience.
Your resume vs. LinkedIn
Many question the need for a formal resume when they have a LinkedIn profile, since hiring managers and recruiters often use LinkedIn to look for qualified talent.
Although both list your professional career accomplishments and summarise your work history, they actually serve different purposes.
Simply put, your resume is designed to get you an interview so you can get hired, while your LinkedIn profile is designed to help you find new career opportunities.
What should your resume include?
Here are 5 tips for writing a strong resume:
1. Short, targeted and properly formatted
Your resume should be short and straightforward. Think of it as your greatest hits and highlight the most relevant skills and experience for the job.
Unlike LinkedIn which already sections your professional work profile for you, you’ll need to format your own resume.
To beat the 6-second evaluation that recruiters usually spend on each resume, your resume format should look neat. Use bullet points to list your credentials and experience clearly, and keep each bullet point to one line for ease of reading. This will create a higher chance of them reviewing your resume for a longer time.
Check if your resume fulfils these standards:
- Brief and concise sentences
- Consistent alignment of bullet points
- Include only relevant information such as your skills and achievements
- Bold relevant headers and underline important keywords to draw attention
2. Multiple versions of your resume
Your resume is a dynamic document that constantly changes depending on the role and company you’re applying for. A tailored resume impresses the hiring manager and recruiter, a big advantage LinkedIn doesn’t have.
Customise your resume based on every job you apply for and highlight experiences and skills that are applicable to the position. You should have different versions of your resumes, such as one that highlights your technical skills and another that showcases your management abilities.
3. Keyword optimisation
Many companies use resume-screening software to choose job applicants with the right skills and experience. As you tailor your resume, make sure to use relevant keywords to get selected by the screening software.
You can find relevant keywords in the job responsibilities, skills and educational qualification sections, as well as on the company’s career site.
4. Formal job application document
Resumes are more formal than LinkedIn profiles, because they serve as official job applications for your potential employer. You will use a much more professional tone when preparing your resume. A resume’s main objective is to impress hiring managers and recruiters with your expertise and skills to secure a job interview.
On the other hand, your LinkedIn profile is a public online profile, just like your Facebook or Instagram account, and does not serve as a formal request for a job interview.
5. Not required to include your photo in your resume
While it used to be popular for you to include your headshot in your resume, that is no longer the case today. To prevent any discriminatory practices, companies would rather job candidates not include photos in resumes.
How you should create a LinkedIn profile
Unlike your resume, LinkedIn is a professional online networking tool that can be described as a career autobiography that captures your entire career, accomplishments, and skill sets. In that sense, your LinkedIn profile is not created with a specific job position in mind. You can use your LinkedIn profile to highlight your most relevant work experience, educational qualifications and skills, as well as professional and social activities.
Your LinkedIn profile serves two main functions:
- It provides a summary of your career history
- It allows you to connect with other professionals who share common interests
On LinkedIn, you build a professional online presence to connect with other professionals in your field, expand your network and gain valuable insight into your career speciality or the job market. It is also sometimes regarded as an online resume where hiring managers and recruiters can get a summary of your work experience before they connect with you to ask for more details.
Having a LinkedIn profile will also be of great help in creating a personal brand and promoting yourself on a professional level.
Here are pro tips to create an engaging and informative LinkedIn profile that complements your resume.
1. Long-form and visual content
Even though it is a professional networking site, LinkedIn is less formal than traditional resumes. Because your LinkedIn profile can be longer and more detailed than a resume, you will have the opportunity to create new content.
You can go into greater detail about your previous job experience, education, and skills. You can express yourself more, and be creative with your headline, profile summary, and your professional positioning within your industry. Here’s what you can do on LinkedIn:
- Videos and photos of projects you have worked on
- Highlight the skills and career opportunities that are meaningful to you in the LinkedIn summary field
- Get skills endorsements
- Write articles and share your perspective on industry trends or events
New content will allow you to showcase your professional brand and personality, as well as engage with other like-minded individuals. Remember that LinkedIn is a social networking platform, so it’s all about creating opportunities for yourself to learn from others.
2. Only one profile
While you may have multiple resumes to highlight different skills and expertise, on LinkedIn, you only need one profile.
You don’t have to change your LinkedIn profile each time you submit a job application. Therefore, it’s important to keep it up to date as you gain new professional experiences, skills certifications, get promoted or switch employers.
3. Keyword optimisation
Your LinkedIn profile and content should be keyword-optimised as well, but for a different reason.
When you optimise the keywords on your LinkedIn profile and content, you’re making it easier for recruiters to find you. Because of the algorithms that LinkedIn uses, having relevant keywords increases the likelihood of your LinkedIn profile appearing in searches.
4. You’ll get to grow your network
A tip to grow your network is to practise expressing your interest in other individuals’ projects and experiences. You can reach out to experts in your industry or people who inspire you. Here are tips that can help you present yourself as a thoughtful and authentic individual to connect with.
- Have a clear purpose or question in mind – are you seeking information about a job role or company that this individual may know about, or looking for a lifeline to a mentor or employer?
- Instead of the default “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message in your connection request, be more specific by introducing yourself briefly and pointing out a common point of interest. This can help you strike up an interesting conversation, especially if you don’t know each other personally.
- Acknowledge and express your appreciation for the individual taking time to engage in a conversation with you.
5. You’ll need to upload your photo on LinkedIn
To verify that your account belongs to a real person, it is necessary for you to upload a photo of yourself on your LinkedIn profile. Use a professional headshot for your profile. If you do not have one yet, you can ask your friend to take a photo for you.
The ability to add photos, aside from videos and other interactive media, is one of the key features of LinkedIn that is different from your resume.
Is your resume and LinkedIn profile updated for your job search?
You need a strong LinkedIn profile and resume to support your career advancement goals. Keep them updated for greater success in connecting with recruiters and applying for jobs.
This article is contributed by Randstad Singapore.