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What should be the difference between your resume and LinkedIn profile?

What should be the difference between your resume and LinkedIn profile?

  • What’s the difference between your profile and resume on LinkedIn?
  • LinkedIn allows more flexibility
  • LinkedIn can be more personable
  • Do I still need a resume if I have a LinkedIn profile?
  • Key takeaways

We all know a resume is an essential part of the job search These days, LinkedIn is also a key component to landing a new career opportunity. BBut what’s the real difference between your resume and LinkedIn profile? We look at how to make the most of both tools.

In today’s job market, there’s no doubt that you need a resume. However as technology has evolved over the years, the need for a LinkedIn presence has grown tremendously. Starting as a simple repository for your resume, LinkedIn has become a vital piece of the job search. But, what is the real difference between your resume and LinkedIn profile?

This article demystifies the differences and outlines: 

  • The key difference between a resume and LinkedIn profile

  • If you need a resume when you already have a LinkedIn profile 

What’s the difference between your profile and resume on LinkedIn?

When LinkedIn first emerged, it was seen as a digital resume—a simple site where you could copy and paste the contents of your resume. Times have changed and LinkedIn has evolved from a simple online resume spot to a full-blown networking site for 1 billion professionals. 

So, what’s the difference? 

The resume has one main purpose—to concisely communicate a person's professional background to a potential employer for a specific position. However, your LinkedIn profile can serve several purposes. In addition to applying for jobs, your profile serves as a 24/7 billboard that showcases your career story as well as a medium for online networking. Think of your LinkedIn as a library of several books with many chapters and your resume as the cliff notes, summarizing the most critical chapters for quick reference in specific situations. 

LinkedIn allows more flexibility

Your LinkedIn profile provides more flexibility in positioning yourself as a well-rounded professional. Your resume positions you as a candidate for a specific role. On LinkedIn, you have more creative freedom to explain your story and add context to your accomplishments. While there are character limits, LinkedIn provides more space than a traditional 2-page document, allowing you to paint the full picture of who you are.

For example, on a resume, you may have an accomplishment bullet read something like, “Saved $500K in marketing expenses by partnering with local businesses to increase referral business 40%. 

Resumes need to be concise since recruiters only spend an average of 7 seconds reviewing your resume. But LinkedIn allows the opportunity to add context. 

That said, the same bullet can be expounded upon. It may read like this, “Although marketing results were strong, I saw an opportunity to maximize profits by shifting the team’s focus to our local referral market. We cut the marketing budget by $500K and new business from referrals increased by 40%.”

The new bullet adds another layer to the story and highlights initiative and change leadership in addition to impacting the company’s bottom line—something you’re not typically able to showcase on a resume.

LinkedIn can be more personable

Because LinkedIn is considered a networking site, you can also use a more personable tone. Where a resume tends to be more robotic and cold, your LinkedIn profile can take a more personal approach to telling your career story. Unlike the resume, you can write in the first person, using personal pronouns to infuse your personality.

LinkedIn also encourages professional headshots in user profiles as a visual element that adds a personal touch which is frowned upon in resumes. LinkedIn profiles leverage visual storytelling, allowing professionals to showcase not only their skills and experiences but also their personality through imagery. While resumes focus on textual information with concise sections focusing on brevity, LinkedIn recognizes the power of visual elements like photos, background banners, and featured links that can bring your professional experience to life. 

Do I still need a resume if I have a LinkedIn profile?

While having a LinkedIn profile is beneficial and increasingly important in today's professional landscape, a resume remains a crucial component of your job search toolkit. Resumes have a structured format that allows for easy and quick scanning by recruiters and the ATS.

Some companies allow you to apply for jobs using your LinkedIn profile, but the vast majority of companies still require a formal resume that is tailored to a specific role.

Although there are some key differences between your resume and LinkedIn, they should complement each other and work hand in hand to create a full picture of your career and build a cohesive story across the board.

 Need help developing your resume or LinkedIn profile? Partner with our professional resume writers to tell your career story.

Key takeaways

  1. LinkedIn allows more flexibility, personalization, and interactive elements that allow for a more personable approach to showcasing your expertise.

  2. Although they have some key differences, you still need both a resume and a LinkedIn profile.

  3. The resume and LinkedIn profile should work together to tell your career story.

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