3 Tips to Align Your Resume with Your LinkedIn Profile
The job search used to be so simple: See a job posting, get a copy of your resume and write a cover letter, e-mail them, and then wait for a response.
Now, Web 2.0 has made things a bit more complicated: You need an online presence for your job search, especially on LinkedIn, because more employers will do a web search on you to be sure you are who you say you are in your resume. They’ll also be looking for unsavory things about you floating around the ether, such as criticisms of former bosses and employers, or a booze-filled night on the town that landed you in a jail cell.
But LinkedIn and other online networking sites are there to enhance your image, and you need to take advantage of them to boost your chances at landing that job that you’re perfect for. That’s why it’s important to align your resume with your LinkedIn profile, so employers see a consistent picture of you — on paper and online.
Here are three guidelines to follow:
- Be sure your “message” is consistent. Your resume is, first and foremost, a marketing document that helps you land an interview. Make sure the value proposition you’re giving an employer is the same in both spots. For example, if you’re marketing yourself as “an experienced, money-saving procurement professional” on your resume, your LinkedIn profile must communicate the same message.
- Go deeper on your resume. It’s more important to promote your professional accomplishments on your resume than on your LinkedIn profile. Why? Glad you asked! Since you must tailor your resume to each particular job description you’re responding to, there are some accomplishments that will be important to the would-be employer, and others that won’t. It’s better to be more general in your LinkedIn profile, and more specific with your resume, as long as the hiring manager has a consistent picture of you and how you might fit in with the company.
- Get recommendations for your LinkedIn profile! Some of us are sheepish about this, but you might as well take advantage of what the technology offers. If they want to offer you the job, but want to talk with others about you, having a few recommendations from former colleagues on your LinkedIn profile can help make the hiring manager’s decision easier. If you need some, go to your LinkedIn profile page, and click the “Ask for recommendations” link on the upper-right side of the page. Then, follow the three steps before you send the request to your network contact. (This brief video tutorial explains how to get – and give – a recommendation.) Secure a few, then put the URL to your public profile on your resume. Then, use a snippet of one of your recommendations in your cover letter to help you make your case for the job. For example: My former manager, Jack Smith, says this on my LinkedIn profile about how my procurement skills helped XYZ International save $3 million in 2003: “Sharon’s exhaustive analysis of each supplier’s strengths and weaknesses, plus the costs involved in working with each of them, helped make our buying decisions much easier at a critical time for us.”
Success in today’s job search depends in part on how well you market yourself and connect your background to the job and employer. That’s why it’s important to integrate the traditional ways of looking for work with the more contemporary – and to make them consistent.
What other tips do you have for aligning your resume with your LinkedIn profile? Please share them in a comment below.