Some job seekers are still questioning whether they should create a LinkedIn profile or if a resume is enough. The answer is they should. LinkedIn is the new Facebook of the professional world, so you can’t possibly expect to thrive career-wise without using it. If you’re still in doubt, check these key differences between a resume and a LinkedIn profile.
#1 Your LinkedIn Profile Shouldn’t be Identical to Your Resume
The number one mistake many job seekers make is thinking that LinkedIn is just an alternative to a traditional resume. They believe that if they have a resume, there’s no need to bother creating a LinkedIn profile as well (or vice versa). That’s not true, though. Do hire a LinkedIn resume service or regular resume service to have both. Here’s how they are different:
- Your resume is supposed to be tailored to every position you want to apply for, but your LinkedIn profile isn’t. Whenever you submit a job application on platforms akin to Indeed or Glassdoor, you should do thorough company research and adjust your resume to the job description. So your LinkedIn profile, which tells more about you as a professional and a person, can potentially open more doors for you.
- All relevant proof of your work experience, education, and accomplishments belong on your LinkedIn profile. It is a sure way to catch the hiring manager or recruiter’s attention. But all the certificates and diplomas don’t always fit into a regular job application. So your LinkedIn profile is an awesome way to shine.
- The tone you use on LinkedIn vs. in your resume should be different. The tone a person applying for a job uses in their resume should always be professional and neutral. In contrast, your LinkedIn profile allows you to show your personality a bit and write in a more sociable manner.
- LinkedIn isn’t just about your profile. It’s also convenient for keeping in touch with your professional contacts, shopping for potential employers, and asking recruiters (or even your prospective boss) questions about their organization and whatnot. That’s so much more than what you can do on traditional job searching engines.
#2 Having a LinkedIn Profile is no Longer Optional
LinkedIn used to be a platform that some job seekers and recruiting firms used. But that’s no longer the case. Now, having a LinkedIn profile is basically a requirement. Whenever you meet someone at a professional conference or another work event, chances are, you’ll be asked for your LinkedIn (as opposed to, say, Facebook or business card). You want to be prepared.
The thing is, any recruiter, hiring manager, or even employer lurking on LinkedIn wants to know more about the candidates they’re interested in. And since there’s so much more information on an average LinkedIn profile compared to a resume, it’s the first place they check. So if you want to land an interview, it’s a good idea to get professional help with your profile.
#3 It Depends on the Industry
A job seeker’s LinkedIn profile matters more in some industries than others. But don’t rush to cancel LinkedIn Premium you’ve just paid for. Even if you work in more “old-school” industries akin to shipping, construction, or public service, LinkedIn is still an asset that can help you get hired. It’s just that it’s more important in industries akin to IT, business, or marketing.
Still, that’s a matter of time. While no career advice expert will tell you that resumes are obsolete, they’ll likely warn you that LinkedIn will be getting more and more common by the day. So if you’ve yet to create a profile, do it immediately, regardless of what your industry is. A LinkedIn profile is near-guaranteed to help you get more interviews.
#4 LinkedIn is a Must for Networking
Also, like it or not, LinkedIn has become a social media platform. People no longer use it just to find a job or a potential employee. It’s also where you can keep in touch with your past colleagues, save a valuable job contact, or even find a specific person you’d like to headhunt. Basically, LinkedIn is like professional Facebook or Instagram. It’s a massive business communication tool.
So don’t make the mistake of merely creating a LinkedIn profile and forgetting about it until your next job search. Use it to benefit your career by adding everyone who could potentially be useful to you professionally. And don’t be afraid to write to potential employers first. Everyone appreciates a proactive applicant. After all, making an inquiry doesn’t cost you anything.
#5 LinkedIn is Your Chance to Tell Your Story
Finally, ensure that your LinkedIn profile tells your entire professional story and allows a hiring manager or prospective employer to see who you are. Your resume is supposed to be only one page long, but your LinkedIn profile isn’t. So make the most out of the space you have. And ask someone who knows you to read and critique your profile.
By the way, make sure to use keywords (such as the names of the software and roles relevant to your field). They help your profile rank high in search results and make the applicant tracking system most recruiters use work in your favor.
To put it shortly, you need both a resume and a LinkedIn profile. Even more so if you know that LinkedIn is a big thing in your industry. Tailor the resumes you send out to each specific position. And let your LinkedIn profile tell your complete career story in a less formal tone. Ideally, get professional help from a decent resume and LinkedIn profile writing business.