The difference between a resume and a LinkedIn profile
Why it is a BAD IDEA to copy your resume onto your LinkedIn profile
Contrary to what some jobseekers may believe, resumes and LinkedIn profiles are not at all the same thing. They vary in so many ways such as presentation, tone, length, and purpose. The truth is that both your LinkedIn profile and resume are tools to professionally present your work and career, but they do so in varying ways and for several reasons:
- Your resume is mainly served to present you to employers for job opportunities. Your LinkedIn profile mainly serves to present you as a professional to your peers, other people in your industry, and your circle of connections at large.
- LinkedIn is a social platform; albeit a “professional social platform”. Therefore, your tone on LinkedIn is much more relaxed and personable than it would be on your resume.
- Generally, resumes are not overtly expansive. They may only be up to two pages in length, with concise details. But on LinkedIn, your profile Summary alone allows you to use up to 2000 letters. Reading your Summary may even sound as though someone is hearing you talk to them about your career and professionally share your story. For many other descriptions allowed on your profile, there are not even any constraints on word count.
- Resumes are formal documents with many rules and regulations. This is in sharp contrast to the social media environment of LinkedIn. For instance, pronouns are never implemented in a professionally-written resume. Meanwhile, LinkedIn is a communication platform for professionals to talk and connect about many topics. It is customary and recommended to use first person in writing your LinkedIn profile.
- Another significant difference between a resume and a LinkedIn profile is that of dynamism. A stellar resume would have emphasis on brevity. For the most part, the resume is a word-processing document. Contrary to LinkedIn, which is interactive media and you can include all kinds of attachments such as PDF samples of your work, photos, presentations, slides, videos, etc. The possibilities are endless.
- In contrast to a resume, which is shared on your prerogative, a LinkedIn profile is in public domain. Thus, the audience for it is quite extensive – anyone can do a simple Google search and land on your profile. Therefore, there is a need to adapt the focus of your LinkedIn profile with regards to such an audience.
- The fact that a LinkedIn profile is accessible publicly means that your profile may be included in a recruiter’s database and you may be notified about opportunities you didn’t know existed. So, it is imperative for your LinkedIn profile to depict a more comprehensive view of how you would like to be seen in the public view.
- In contrast with your resume, the social media environment of LinkedIn allows for your profile to be in constant flux. It expands and ages with time, as you include additional content and engage your audience. People may find new data on your profile with every new visit. A resume on the other hand, must always look like a completed document (not a work-in-progress) and undergoes little to no changes during the application process.
- Anyone with experience in HR Management and knowledge of Affirmative Action details will tell you that it is not generally a clever idea to have a picture on a resume. Whereas, your LinkedIn profile requires a good picture of you. It is a platform to facilitate connections and interactions.
- Unlike your resume, which focuses mostly on the past, your LinkedIn platform is a place to showcase your potential and give everyone a much clearer idea of what you are doing here and now, as well as what you are able to deliver on a short- and long-term basis.
- Regardless of what your resume says about you, recruiters and hiring managers will always reach out for your LinkedIn profile to see “what else” they can learn about you, or how you would professionally communicate, with a more relaxed tone. It’s a way of getting to know you better.