Should your resume content appear in your LinkedIn Profile? You may have wondered if “copying” your carefully crafted document is a good idea, or if your social media identity should look substantially different from your resume. The answer? It depends. Some resume information is perfect for your LinkedIn Profile, while other content should be altered significantly before you publish it online.
When deciding which parts of your resume are useful in your Profile, it’s best to determine how each section will be read – and whether it should appeal to a human reader or automated system. To start, here are 3 areas in which your LinkedIn Profile should differ markedly from your resume (look for 3 ways your Profile should match your resume in Part 2):
1 – Write your LinkedIn Summary for social engagement, NOT to match your resume.
Face it, there’s no way your Summary section should look like your resume. Even when viewed electronically, resumes often use sentence structure that is far too formal for social media. In addition, your document may use phrases that are not specific enough to impress online readers.
Instead, think of your LinkedIn Summary as a personal introduction to your career story… pulling in the reader by telling him or her some facet of your background that illustrates the reasons behind your success. As an example, the following introductory lines of a LinkedIn Summary for a Technology Officer were written to show his interest in cutting-edge solutions:
I’ve long been fascinated by software development, unstringing patterns in computer algorithms even as a teen and early graduate of MIT, and later moving up through web development and engineering team leader positions at ABC Technology Company.
My work is now used throughout the government contracting industry and within military operating systems to handle complex security schemes, while I’ve continued to spearhead our largest initiatives affecting more than 3,400 installations worldwide.
The key to a compelling Summary? Adopt a conversational tone, even looking at your cover letter for inspiration. Pull out several main areas of strength and interest, and tell LinkedIn readers why you were drawn to this field, as well as the reasons you’ve been effective throughout your career. Wrap it up by mentioning some of your top achievements, as well as their impact on the company.
2 – Add fresh information to the LinkedIn Interests section, emphasizing your professional goals.
Ever realized how powerful LinkedIn’s Interests section can be in your Profile? Plenty of people believe this area should be reserved for a note on your golf game or running habits. However, it is designed to have a strong pull within the site’s search algorithm. Therefore, you’ll fare better in recruiter and employer searches if you can incorporate skill or job title-specific keywords (which may be used across your resume, particularly from multiple jobs shown in your professional experience) into your Interests section, followed by a brief note on your personal interests. Consider this example:
As a VP of Marketing interested in data-driven techniques, I regularly attend conferences on analytics, new marketing tools, social media, team leadership, and campaign development, ensuring current knowledge of new innovations and digital strategies. I’m also a regular runner, gardener, cyclist, and fan of science fiction movies.
As you can see from this example, keywords can be blended into your Interests section to show your career goals and reiterate your focus on professional skills, while still noting your leisure activities and hobbies.
3 – Develop a LinkedIn Headline separately from your resume, but insert powerful keywords.
Your resume, while a potent tool in your job-search arsenal, may never have the draw associated with your LinkedIn Headline. Representing the strongest 120 characters you can put into the social media arena, your Headline is second only to your name in the site’s search algorithm, and what you write in it can make or break your findability for top jobs.
Your resume, however, lacks the same punch in any one area, except for the opening “title” of the document and the taglines you can put beneath it. Even if you use similar wording, the keyword density of your LinkedIn Headline must be carefully tuned for effectiveness. You can also write your Headline to state your career goals. Consider these resume title and tagline combinations, compared to their related LinkedIn Headlines:
Chief Marketing Officer Resume
Senior Executive – Advertising Agency. President, Managing Director.
Spearheading Transformation into Digitally Integrated, Multichannel Industry Pioneer
Related LinkedIn Headline:
CMO, Ad Agency Director. Digital & Multichannel Strategy Behind Increased Profit, Revenue, Wins, & Healthcare Ad Awards
IT Director Resume
Information Technology Director
Spearheading Business-Centric IT Roadmaps & Global Enterprise Growth Strategies
Related LinkedIn Headline:
IT Director. Enterprise Infrastructure, InfoSec, Risk Management, Operations Planning. Cost Savings, Web, Growth Support
As you can see, these LinkedIn Headlines borrow keywords from each resume, but also blend target industry, results, and the scope of an applicant’s work into short, powerful descriptions. By adding skills tied to your career goal and experience (such as cost savings, which are central to an IT executive role, and advertising agency experience, which is often important for a marketing executive), your Headline can reinforce your ROI as a prospective employee.
In summary, your resume content can be useful for your LinkedIn Profile, but it needn’t be copied word-for-word. Try these strategies for pulling in the keywords and overall message of your resume, while retaining a unique and personality-infused tone in your Profile.