Q. Everything on my resume is on my LinkedIn profile. I don’t understand why I even need a resume. I think companies should just ask for an email expressing interest with a link to your LinkedIn profile or online portfolio—why bother with a separate resume? It is so old-school.
A. Maybe in the future job applications will be handled the way you suggest: everyone will simply look online. But right now there are three major reasons why companies have not discarded resumes.
- One is the simple fact that all of us still print out important information. The “paperless society” never took root, and that is unlikely to change in the immediate future.
- The second reason is that resumes create a “standard template” that ensures every applicant supplies the same essential facts, from contact information to previous positions to education.
- The third, related reason is that most companies now rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS), in which all resumes are loaded for comparative analysis. There is no equivalent automated method for gathering up individual online resumes from LinkedIn, Pinterest, Indeed, or private sites and then comparing them.
Think of your LinkedIn (or other online) profile and your resume as separate but equal documents. Instead of making them completely identical, use your LinkedIn profile to expand on information that might not fit in your resume; for example, use “Projects” under the Accomplishments tab to give more detail about specific projects or accomplishments. You can list up to 50 skills on LinkedIn—excellent for keyword searches although far too many for a resume. More important, LinkedIn encourages your peers and clients to give you endorsements for those skills. Finally, LinkedIn allows for multiple recommendations at length, something that would weigh down your resume.
You can also use your LinkedIn profile to show more of your own professional personality. For example, in my own LinkedIn profile, I go into the history of Robin’s Resumes®, something I would not do on a formal resume or job application.
Precisely because your resume and LinkedIn profile are different in some ways, you should make sure they are equally professional, clear, concise, and focused on the job you want. If your resume gives one impression and your LinkedIn profile gives another, hiring managers and recruiters will be confused and less likely to trust either version.
How do you achieve that different-but-equal balance? Contact Robin’s Resumes® and I will be delighted to help you.