Should My LinkedIn and Resume be Different?

Should My LinkedIn and Resume be Different?

I hear this question often from job seekers: “Should my LinkedIn profile be the same or different as my resume?”  To put it simply, the answer is “no” for most people.  Let’s dig in to see why.

Who is reading it?

  • Resume – Recruiters, hiring managers, contacts who can connect you to a job lead, and ATS (applicant tracking systems), if you count that as “reading”
  • LinkedIn profile – People who heard about you, people who you want to connect to, people who want to connect to you, recruiters searching for potential candidates

Why are they reading it?

  • Resume – To make assessment about your qualifications for a specific job
  • LinkedIn profile – To learn about you on a high level, including where you worked, what you’ve done, people you know, skills you have, school you went to, talks you gave, etc.

What do you want the readers to get out of it?

  • Resume – To clearly see how you match the job requirements and to find something unique to make you different from all other candidates.  You want the readers to take the next step, which is to contact you
  • LinkedIn profile – To establish reasons from them to connect or reach out, moving the relationship to the next level

Now you understand that

  1. Your resumes are for a very targeted and controlled audience; while you don’t necessarily know and can’t control who looks at your LinkedIn profile
  2. Resumes serves a very focused purpose and it’s more powerful when it’s very relevant; while LinkedIn profile is general purpose because there are many different reasons why people look you up on LinkedIn
  3. Both should move the readers to take action to reach out


What should you put on it?

  • Resume – Only accomplishments, experience, skills that are relevant to that specific job
  • LinkedIn profile – A place where you can tell your “whole” story and showcase a clear and cohesive picture of your “brand”

For more detail and practical tips on how to build a strong LinkedIn profile to enhance your job search results, read the following blogs:

Optimizing LinkedIn To Help With Your Job Search

The Importance of LinkedIn During Job Search

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2 thoughts on “Should My LinkedIn and Resume be Different?

  1. I am a professional resume, cover letter writer and I create quite a few LinkedIn profiles. I also am a recruiter/hiring manager and when I advise my clients about their LinkedIn profile I tell them to have it match your resume.

    When I am recruiting off of LinkedIn – I am looking for that person who has the right skills and if it doesn’t match their resume, they may miss out on an opportunity. Many times I have talked with a candidate off of LinkedIn and some relevant information was missed that could have been easily put on their profile.

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