Your resume and your LinkedIn profile play a huge role in your job search. You use your resume to submit your candidacy to job openings. Your LinkedIn profile is used to establish your professional online presence, connect with colleagues, companies, recruiters, and other professionals.

While your resume and LinkedIn profile may seem very similar, and they are, there are also some stark differences between the two. Below we compare the top differences between your resume and your LinkedIn profile.


your resume vs. linkedin

Many question the need for a formal resume and cover letter when they have a LinkedIn profile. Most job searches and job applications are conducted online today, so why have both? Your resume and LinkedIn have difference purposes. Yes, both outline your career accomplishments and provide an overview of your professional experience, but the purpose of each is slightly different.

You use a resume when you are actively seeking out new career opportunities. You use your LinkedIn profile to connect and engage with others and create a strong professional network. Most importantly, recruiters and hiring managers look at both. Therefore, you need to make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are up to date and serve the right purposes.

resume writing tips

The main purpose of your resume is to get an interview. Here are tips to write a strong resume:

  • Multiple versions: Your resume is a dynamic document. Tailor your resume based on every job you apply for. This allows you to customize your resume based on specific job requirements and highlight key experience and skills applicable to the position. Use your resume to highlight why you are a qualified candidate for the job.
  • Short and targeted: Your resume should be short and to the point. Think of it as your greatest hits. Highlight the most relevant skills and experience applicable to the job.
  • Keyword optimized: Many companies and recruiters use resume screening software to assess your resume. Make sure you include relevant keywords to pass resume screening software. You can find these keywords in the job ads, qualification sections, and on the career section of the company website.
  • Formal: Resumes are more formal than LinkedIn profiles. They are typically written in third person and have a professional tone.
  • No photo: While photos on resumes were popular for a short period of time, this is no longer the case. Don’t include a photo on your resume.

linkedin profile tips

LinkedIn is more of a general overview of your career and accomplishments. Here are tips to create an informative and engaging LinkedIn profile:

  • One profile: With LinkedIn, you only need one profile. Update it as you gain new experiences, skills, professional development and make career moves. There is no need to change your LinkedIn profile when applying for jobs. However, you can highlight certain parts of your profile if you are looking for a specific type of job.
  • Long-form: Your LinkedIn profile can be lengthy and more detailed than a resume. Go more in depth about previous job experience, education, and skills. LinkedIn can contain your entire work history. Build out your profile with links to your work, recommendations from colleagues and former bosses, and list skills and accomplishments. You can even write articles and share content to put your knowledge and insights on display.
  • Keyword optimized: Your LinkedIn profile should also be keyword optimized, but for a difference purpose. Include keywords related to your skills, experience, and desired roles to make it easier to be found by recruiters online. Recruiters use LinkedIn to find potential candidates. Using the right keywords increases the odds of your LinkedIn profile appearing in LinkedIn searches.
  • Less formal: Even though LinkedIn is a professional networking site, it is less formal than traditional resumes. You can write in the first person, show more personality, and be creative with your headlines, summary statements and how you position yourself professionally within your industry.
  • Include your photo: This is a must. If you don’t include a photo on your LinkedIn profile, some may question its legitimacy. Use a headshot and make sure it reflects your professional self. Use a high quality image, and if possible, use a professional headshot.

You need a strong LinkedIn profile and resume to support your career advancement goals. Keep them updated and on point to connect with recruiters and apply for jobs.

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