When setting up your LinkedIn profile, you will note that the prompts will guide you to fill the same information as you are required to do in your resume. Info like educational background, companies you have worked for and the positions that you held previously in your career are some of the details that you are supposed to include in the profile. Although both are important to your job, there are ways that a resume and LinkedIn should differ.
For starters, you should understand that the main difference between your resume and LinkedIn profile is that a resume may be a hardcopy in your folder or a file on your laptop, while the LinkedIn profile is a website application whose features keeps on improving on a regular basis.
You may think that because the resume and the profile conveys the same information about you, you can then make the job of creating your LinkedIn profile by simply cutting the info from the resume and pasting it on your profile. You can be very wrong because both media speak the same about you, but they do it in various different ways as explained below.
- The length – a resume is usually limited to about two pages, while on LinkedIn you are able to use up to 2,000 characters to design your personal branding statement. However, you are not constrained on how much information you should include on your profile.
- Presentation etiquette – being a formal document, one should not expect to see the “I” pronoun in a perfectly written resume. LinkedIn on the other hand is a social medium that is focused on helping jobseekers to mingle virtually with potential employers, business people and people with same ideas. LinkedIn is more social and you can communicate with the other party in a bilateral manner. There are no restrictions on how you should represent yourself provided it is within the legitimate limits. You can therefore speak about yourself in first person without the fear of disqualification.
- Tight wording – a perfect resume will always appear tight in wording, where complex words that can shorten the size of a paragraph and still maintain its meaning are used. People will usually use bullet points on a resume. Even though you may direct the reader to check your profile online on a website or blog, the resume will always be a text document. On LinkedIn, the language you use should be less formal. You are free to show your achievements in different ways, such as presented in a PowerPoint Presentation, artwork you may have done, photos of the products you have worked on, embedded videos, eBooks or any material that will tell enough about you.
- Submitting your information – when using a resume, you are supposed to send it directly to a particular person, company or recruiter, where you want to be considered as a candidate for a specific position. On the other hand, your LinkedIn profile can be searched by anybody who is interested in your skills, qualification and achievements. A company that is looking to develop a specific target of people with similar qualifications like you will simply access the LinkedIn site and include you in the list of the other candidates with similar profiles. You may even learn of some positions that you didn’t know existed, through in-mails from recruiters. A document that is restricted in conveying your abilities will not work well for you, but in this case, the free world of the internet will do the trick.
- Tweaking – the initial resume that you design will not fit all the upcoming job opportunities, as you design it according to the specifics of the particular job at that time. You will therefore have to change the details on the document each time you apply for another job, as jobs are different and the recruiters will ask for different requirements. Your LinkedIn profile will never let you down because you will include every new skill that you acquire, and therefore it will continue growing and improving with time, capturing all your abilities, qualifications, achievements and all that is required to be hired for a job.
- Pictures – a resume is not supposed to have your picture on it, while the LinkedIn profile should. You build relationships via the LinkedIn platform, which is about meeting real people and real people have faces. Your resume will always outline your past, while the LinkedIn profile should be up to date with your latest information, and what you are planning for the future. A recruiter may have your complete resume to check your details, but your LinkedIn profile will tell him or her more about who you are, what you can do and your future goals. Furthermore, you can communicate one-on-one on LinkedIn, a thing that can never happen on a resume.