Resume vs. LinkedIn Profile – Success Secrets for Today’s Job Search
Great resumes share some similarities with effective LinkedIn profiles, but there are key distinctions to make each one more effective. The competition in today’s job market is fierce and more people than ever are applying to jobs online. You want to leverage every opportunity to make your story stand out, paying special attention to what recruiters want to see on your resume, what they don’t, and how to balance your resume against your LinkedIn profile.
What Recruiters Want to See on Your Resume
That You’re a Good Fit For The Role
First and foremost, recruiters want to see that you are a close match to the job that they want to recruit you for. Typically, that's going to be based on your current job title, industry, and location. If you have held the same job title in the same industry in the same location as the job you’re applying for, you are going to look like a very close match. If not, you will need to tell your career story - connecting the past with the future - so that they can clearly see you as a potential match.
That You Demonstrate Career Progression
The second thing recruiters look at is career progression. When I received resumes, I would read the top section, assess how applicants framed themselves, and then I would go down the right-hand side of the page to search for dates. I would look through those dates to see if there were any gaps in employment, if the dates were consistent, and how long they were at each job. Next, I would start at the oldest job listed, read back up the resume, and start looking at job titles and employers. I paid special attention to career progression versus career stagnation.
Essentially, advancement in titles indicated to me that applicants were progressing in their careers, while similar trends in titles or industries demonstrated to me that applicants were not progressing. As you organize your resume, I encourage you to analyze what your career progression has looked like over the years.
That You Are Organized
The third thing that recruiters want to see is organized information. I know there's much discussion out there about applicant tracking systems (ATS) and artificial intelligence (AI) and their abilities to knock your resume out of the pile - meaning a live human doesn't really scan or view it. I want you to know, this isn’t as common as you may believe. I do believe many resumes are reviewed by real people. If your information is not organized so that it's easy to scan with the human eye, that could be causing your resume to get overlooked.
Remember, recruiters are looking at hundreds of people who have applied online. They're quickly scanning and then making a judgment call. They're not reading your resume word for word. If you want certain things to pop and grab a recruiter’s attention, it needs to be organized to do that. Organize your information and make it easy for somebody to scan the document.
Three Things to Remove from Your Resume
Now that you know what recruiters want to see on your resume, let’s discuss the main elements that they don’t.
Dates of Education
Recruiters will typically use your education dates to determine how old you are and draw their own conclusions. Whether you are younger or older, those conclusions typically do not work in your favor. Remove the dates completely so that those calculations and conclusions are never drawn.
Experience Beyond 10-15 Years
Most recruiters will not consider experience beyond 10 to 15 years to be super relevant today, so my recommendation is to remove experience older than that range. You can certainly talk about it in conversation during the interview, but your most relevant experience is going to be your more recent work or studies.
Oftentimes, recruiters don't want to see your objective at the top of your resume. They want to see what you're going to do for them. Replace your objective with a summary, and in that summary, you should be drawing a direct connection between what you did in the past and what you bring to the table in this next role.
Your LinkedIn Profile vs. Your Resume
I receive many questions about what information should be included on a professional’s LinkedIn profile versus a resume. Here are a few common questions job seekers ask me and how you should proceed.
Should Your LinkedIn Profile Mirror Your Resume?
Yes and no. There are certain things that should match, but you have a great opportunity on your LinkedIn profile to go way beyond what's on your resume.
Your LinkedIn profile should complement, but not copy, your resume. Write your LinkedIn profile in first person. Let your profile showcase your personality and bring you to life (whereas your resume is often written in the third person and lists your hard skills). Incorporate what it’s like to work with you in your LinkedIn profile by including soft skills and sharing stories. This may be some specific story about your career, your career progression, or maybe a career change.
Make sure your dates of employment, job titles, and employers match across your resume and LinkedIn profile. I've compared a few resumes and LinkedIn profiles where the applicant featured conflicting dates, which caused confusion. When you create confusion, you will raise red flags, and recruiters won't know which information is true. The application will get passed over and they'll move on to the next person. Don’t let this happen to you!
Should You Upload Your Resume on Your LinkedIn Profile?
To put it plainly: no. I highly recommend that you tailor your resume specifically to each different job that you apply to. If you upload your resume to your LinkedIn profile, you will miss opportunities to tailor your story to highlight your fit for the role at hand.
You will also miss the opportunity for someone to reach out to you for your resume. For example, if I’m a job seeker, when somebody lands on my profile I want to give them enough information to pique their interest and motivate them to reach out. I don't want to give them everything up front because in doing so, they don't have to reach out unless they know that they want to talk to me about the job. Instead, I want to capture their attention and start a conversation together. I want the opportunity to tell my story. Use this method to garner interest and start a conversation.
There you have it! I hope you learned some new success secrets to put to use in your next job search. Happy hunting!
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