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Should Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile Be Carbon Copies?

online social networking, social information processing, world wide web, linkedin open networker, resume writing, job hunting, web 2.0, community websites, career expert, career consultant, melissa cooley, job search, carbon copy, carbon, resume, linkedin, resume, employment, profile, profiles, recruitment, business, melissa The following is a guest post by Melissa Cooley. Melissa is a career consultant specializing in resume writing, interview coaching and job search strategy.  She is also an approved career expert here at Tim’s Strategy™.

Should your resume and LinkedIn profile be carbon copies?

In a word – no.

Now, I know a job search or the daily activities of work can take up a lot of time. But just cutting and pasting your résumé into LinkedIn won’t help you. It’s worth putting in the time and effort to have a profile that differs from your résumé.

Why, you ask? Here’s why:

1.     They are seen by different audiences. A résumé is something that you forward to HR or a recruiter when you are going to be considered for a particular position (posted or unposted). They usually get about a 15-30 second look. If you go on to the next round, your résumé will also be seen by those who are involved with the interviewing process. More or less, they will be used to shape questions that will delve into the accomplishments and experiences you have cited on them.

A LinkedIn profile will potentially be seen by a variety of folks. Yes, those who make hiring decisions will undoubtedly see them, but so will current colleagues, contacts you meet through networking, folks who are in the same LinkedIn groups as you, and perhaps people you’ve not yet met (e.g. recruiters who may take an interest in you as a passive candidate). And then, if a person is considering connecting with you, you can be sure that your profile will get more than a 15-second once-over. Give them something they can sink their teeth into.

2.     Paper vs. electronic. A résumé is a somewhat static representation of your career. Even those who are diligent about managing their careers only update it every six months or when there is a significant change, such as a promotion or accepting employment with another company.

LinkedIn profiles, on the other hand, are designed to be more dynamic. While you may add and modify information in your summary and experience sections at the same frequency you would a résumé, you should update the activities section at least a couple times a week with something related to your profession (which is easy to do since it’s the first thing you see after you log in to your LinkedIn profile or you can update it through your Twitter account). As well, there are applications for linking your WordPress or TypePad blogs to your profile, for uploading PowerPoint or SlideShare presentations you have created, for sharing your reading list, for displaying your portfolio, and so on. These all serve to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in your field in real time.

3.     You’re blowing a chance to tell folks even more about the fabulous things you have done. Particularly in the summary section of your LinkedIn profile, you don’t want to make the mistake of treating it like the summary of qualifications you have on your résumé. Jason Alba, the author of I’m on LinkedIn: Now What? and creator of the LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD, strongly advocates maxing out the 2,000-character limit on a LinkedIn summary.

It makes sense to do that (as long as you aren’t babbling). In the summary section, you have the opportunity to do more than provide sound bites. You can paint a picture that backs up what you are saying about being a “results-oriented leader” or having “a keen focus on customer satisfaction.” Don’t just say you are this or that – show it with a concrete example.

4.     You don’t want to appear lazy! Say, for example, you’ve gone to a job fair and handed out your résumé to recruiters and company reps. If you pique their interest, they’re going to want to know more about you, so what will they do? Look you up on LinkedIn. If your profile gives them exactly the same information that they received from your résumé, you’ve just wasted their time. They already know what your résumé says.

Bottom line: Don’t underutilize LinkedIn by simply copying and pasting in your résumé. Bring more of what you know and what you can do to life by fleshing out your profile summary and using appropriate applications.

Melissa Cooley, The Job Quest, Career Coach, Resume Writer, Job SearchMelissa Cooley is a career consultant with a passion for helping people develop strategies to reach their goals and maximize their potential. As founder of The Job Quest, she assists individuals who are seeking employment or facing the confusion of navigating a career path.

Melissa also provides a fresh perspective and other resources on Twitter and Facebook. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Cover Letters And Resumes

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