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Synchronizing Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

You may think that your resume and LinkedIn profile serve the same purpose because they contain the same information.

While there are similarities between the two, there are also many differences, particularly with respect to what each is meant to accomplish. It’s important to know the differences, but also how they should complement each other. Here are our tips for making sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are in sync.

Make sure your multiple resume versions and LinkedIn profile reflect the same information

You typically want to create multiple resumes, one for each job opportunity you are trying to pursue. Those resume versions will each highlight different skills, projects and accomplishments that are related to the specific position you are applying to. However, you are going to create just one LinkedIn profile. So, how do you coordinate all of your resumes with one online profile? Obviously, it’s critical that the dates and information presented on your job history is consistent across all documents and platforms. You don’t want prospective employers having concerns about any discrepancies. Your LinkedIn profile should also reflect the different details contained in your various resume versions.

Make your resume concise but your LinkedIn profile can be more detailed

Prospective employers expect your resume to be around two pages. They want to get a high-level view of your candidacy, so the resume is principally meant to be a summarized presentation of your qualifications. On the other hand, because your LinkedIn profile is online, it allows you to use more space to provide more details on accomplishments and even examples, portfolios and case studies. For example, the "Summary" section on your resume should be no more than a few sentences and customized for a specific position to which you are applying. In contrast, the "Summary" in your LinkedIn profile can be up to 2,000 characters and should provide more in-depth information on who you are and what you bring to the table. Make sure to create a complete profile with information in every section and include a recent professional photo.

Connect viewers of your resume to your LinkedIn profile

Your resume should include the web address/URL to your LinkedIn profile, ideally at the top near your contact information. Create a custom URL, such as, in your LinkedIn profile by clicking on "Edit public profile and URL" at the top right of your profile page. On the next page, you’ll see the "Edit URL" option at the top right.

Your LinkedIn profile URL should be hyperlinked in your resume so that if a prospective employer is viewing your resume electronically, they can simply click the link to go right to your profile. By having a direct link from your resume to your LinkedIn profile, you will be leading the employer to the more detailed information it contains about you, your qualifications and accomplishments.

Keep your resume language formal but your LinkedIn language can be more informal

Because of its abbreviated length, the tone and use of language in your resume must be powerful and effective. Therefore, by its very nature, the resume is formal. Since LinkedIn is a social network and primarily designed for making connections, it allows you to use more relaxed and conversational (but still professional) language. Like with your cover letters, you want to speak in the first person voice rather than the third person. You also want to be more "personal" than your resume should be by using your LinkedIn profile to convey your career vision, value proposition to employers and your personal brand (the unique characteristics that make you an excellent candidate and differentiate you).

Take advantage of what both your resume and LinkedIn can do for your job search

You can make changes to your resume up to the point that you submit it to a potential employer, but you can make continuous updates and changes to your LinkedIn profile, adding more recent accomplishments and projects, along with recommendations and even a blog or article. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, there’s no better time to create one than when you are job hunting, as the overwhelming majority of today’s recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn when searching for qualified job candidates. It serves as your "online resume" and can provide a bigger picture of who you are to the prospective employers who will go there to research you. LinkedIn is also the best social network for making connections that will lead to job referrals and opportunities.

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