3/1/15 - The Do’s and Don’ts of Adding Your Resume to LinkedIn
When developing your LinkedIn profile, a simple copy and paste of your resume just won’t cut it. Yes, a LinkedIn profile is an online version of your resume – the keyword is online. That means that you are targeting this profile for an online audience, and that is very different from targeting an offline audience.
The attention span of an online reader is shorter than that of an offline reader. When it comes to LinkedIn, you are hoping to catch the attention of a recruiter and maybe even a hiring manager – these are individuals who spend their days reviewing resumes.
When they receive hard copy resumes for a position, they already know that the individual is interested in the role and may be qualified for it. However, LinkedIn is completely different. If they are searching through the hundreds of millions of profiles on LinkedIn to find a candidate that they think is qualified for the role, the process becomes far more daunting. Suddenly a stack of a few hundred resumes doesn’t seem so bad.
That is why your LinkedIn profile needs to catch their attention with the right information – right away. We’ve compiled a list of a few ways that you need to differentiate your LinkedIn profile from your resume in order to get better results in the online space.
DO include your LinkedIn profile URL on your resume
To increase the reach of your LinkedIn profile, you should include the link to your profile on your resume. This is also an important reason as to why your LinkedIn profile should offer a slightly different side of you than what is already on the resume.
DO include a professional picture of yourself
Your profile should include a professional picture of yourself, because this is a more personalized document than the resume is. A picture on the resume would be viewed as unprofessional; however on the LinkedIn profile, it is a great way to personify yourself as more than text on a screen.
DON’T include your current title as your headline
LinkedIn provides you the option to include the title of your current role as your headline. Do not use this option. Remember, this is an online space. In the online world, you want to be searchable. Therefore, the headline should be common keywords and terms that recruiters would use to find individuals in your role (or the role that you are targeting).
DON’T copy and paste your value statement into your summary section
Remember, your LinkedIn profile is a space where you can personify yourself to the recruiter or hiring manager. Therefore, take the information from your value statement and turn it into first person. Phrase the summary as though you are talking directly to the reader, tell them what they need to know about you, and why your skills and experience will match their requirements.
DON’T phrase your professional experience in the first person
After phrasing your summary in the first person, you should not do the same for the professional experience section. Under each role, the information should remain the same as it appears on your resume. However, this is where it gets tricky.
LinkedIn maintains character limits for each role; therefore you may not be able to include all of the information that is present on your resume. It is important to focus on your achievements and contributions and cut down the information that focuses on daily tasks.
Also, keep in mind any confidentiality or bad practices. If you have disclosed certain numbers regarding annual revenues or targets in your resume that your previous/current employer would not want published online – remove them from your profile. This also goes for any information regarding failures in certain processes with previous/current employers – do not include this information.
You most likely have connections that are still employed with the company, and if senior management were to see information on your profile that they are unhappy with, you may lose a good reference and ruin a relationship.
DO include information that is not mentioned on your resume
Another great way to personalize your LinkedIn profile is to include details about your community involvement, professional development courses and professional organization memberships that may not have fit within your two-page resume.
Just don’t overdo it. There is no limit on how long your LinkedIn profile should be, but you will only keep the hiring manager or recruiter’s attention for so long. So make that time count by showing them the right information that will catch their interest enough so they will contact you.
Nikki Gill is the content editor at Resume Target and blogs at ResumeTarget.com. Nikki is a graduate of the Ryerson School of Journalism and has written resumes for job seekers at all career levels from students to C-level executives.