Do You Need a Resume AND a LinkedIn Profile?

Do You Need a Resume AND a LinkedIn Profile

For most professions, the simple answer is,” Yes!”

LinkedIn has transformed networking and how smart professionals of every age find jobs and leverage careers.

LinkedIn has also transformed the way recruiters find talent.

Some “experts” are saying that with a LinkedIn Profile you don’t need a resume.

Is this true? Simply put, no! At least, not yet…

Each has a specific and fully differentiated role to play in a maximally effective job search.

Social Media Profile Versus Resume

The technology advances that gave birth to the social media revolution have given recruiters another great source for finding candidates, and job seekers another great way to make themselves discoverable.

  The Social Media Profile’s Role in Job Search  

A good social media profile increases your visibility with headhunters and corporate recruiters. Simply put, for them social media sites are a different kind of resume database searchable with keywords just like other resume databases.

As my friend and esteemed colleague Joyce Lain Kennedy, author of the Careers Now column and multiple Dummies job search books, says,

“The online profile is not a customized document, but is more like a one-size-fits-all pitch posted on a digital billboard that’s located on a busy information superhighway and seen, hopefully, by hordes of unknown viewers.”

A properly executed social media profile on LinkedIn is an important job-search tool that increases your visibility, but it does not guarantee that you will be seen, or seen by the people who have the authority and the desire to hire a professional like you.

And as you will notice, LinkedIn recognizes the importance of the resume by offering a spot for it on your profile.

  The Resume’s Role in Job Search  

Your resume can be a passive job search tool, uploaded onto resume databases. When in a resume database (think Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster, etc.) it operates much like a social media profile, making you visible to people who are actively looking for professionals like you in that particular database.

However, when you are applying for specific jobs, it should be tailored to the specific companies and hiring managers and recruiters within those companies.

Then, used as an active marketing tool that by-passes the databases, it can get you into conversation with the people who can hire you. That goal is the daily mantra of every successful job search: “Get into conversation as quickly and frequently as possible with the people who can hire me, because nothing happens without conversations being started.”

A resume holds the potential to be an active and infinitely customizable job search tool: You can tailor it to one specific job or even to both the job and the company you approach.

You can have different resumes for different jobs you wish to pursue, and you can send such carefully customized resumes directly to the headhunters, corporate recruiters, and hiring mangers you most want to talk to.

The More Things Change…

Sometimes the more things change; the more they stay the same. Technology has changed every aspect of recruitment. So it has also changed the way job hunting is done, including how a resume is built and the story it tells.

Yet that resume is still the most financially important document you are ever going to own, because it is still the most succinct and user friendly professional biography yet devised.

Don’t believe me? Hire someone to do your social media profile, and you’ll see that the first thing they ask to see is your resume. Miserable as they are to write, or read, resumes are still your most powerful job-hunting tool.

  LinkedIn Brings Networking within Everyone’s Reach  

It’s where you can forge your professional identity and establish professional connections that can help you for many years to come. What you share on your LinkedIn profile needs to reflect exclusively your professional persona, the way you want to see yourself, and in turn be seen by your professional community.

  A Good Resume Is 25% of a Good LinkedIn Profile  

Written the right way, I find that you can begin to build your own social media profile by simply cutting and pasting your resume into the different sections of the LinkedIn template.

Being in the resume writing and social media profile writing business, many times, a client will upload the resume we created for them and change the voice to first person and become visible.

  Additions for an Effective LinkedIn Profile  

Carefully choose the terms you use in your Profile, as in your resume, because those terms are often the keywords searched by recruiters looking for qualified job candidates. Choose the terms used most often for your target job by target employers.

To have the most effective and visible LinkednIn Profile, also meet these “All-Star” Profile requirements:

  • Add the “headshot” image so you are identifiabl to people who already know you. [More: Why You Need a Photo on Your LinkedIn Profile]
  • Carefully edit the “Professional Headline” (the tagline that follows your name and image throughout LinkedIn) so that it is mroe than simply [job title] at [employer name] and presents your value and expertise. [More: Maximize Your LinkedIn Professional Headline]
  • Expand the descriptions of each job beyond employer name, years of employment, and job title to highlight your accomplishments with each. Also connect the experience section to each employer’s LinkedIn Company page so that more information about the employer can be discovered.
  • Connect with at least 50 connections (500 are MUCH better). Begin with people you know — family, friends, classmates and former classmates, colleagues and former colleagues, people you meet at networking events, etc. [More: 3 Ways To Effectively Grow Your LinkedIn Network]
  • Choose the most relevant Skills and get Endorsements for them. These are very easy to ignore (near the bottom of your Profile), but they are a major search criteria for employers. [More: Leverage LinkedIn Skills & Endorsements for a More Powerful Profile]

For more details on how increase your visibility in LinkedIn, read 12 Steps to Outrank Your Competitors in LinkedIn Search in 2020.

The Bottom Line

A successful job search always starts with getting that darn resume properly focused and written. Then you can adapt it for social media profiles and myriad other ways that serve the unique needs of your job search.

More About Successful LinkedIn Profiles

Martin YateAbout the author…

Successful careers don’t happen by accident. Professional resume writing expert Martin Yate CPC is a New York Times best-seller and the author of 17 Knock Em Dead career management books. As Dun & Bradstreet says, “He’s about the best in the business.” For FREE resume-building advice and to view Martin’s resume samples, visit the Knock Em Dead website. Join Martin on Twitter at @KnockEmDead.
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