The one thing I see job hunters get wrong when it comes to their LinkedIn profiles and resumes: the length. Resumes go on for pages and pages with way too many details, while LinkedIn profiles are too short and lacking in details. Switch those around and you have the right combination of job-seeking, career-highlighting tools at your disposal.

Your LinkedIn is your portfolio, your professional encyclopedia. Your resume is your one-sheet highlights reel. Don't confuse the two. Rather, put yourself in the place of a recruiter, hiring manager or would-be boss -- the readers of these materials. A seven-page resume is overwhelming. That same information on LinkedIn reads much faster, because you can scroll, and there might be more visual images like company logos that register quickly.

Making the most of your resume and LinkedIn profile.

A one-page resume -- with your LinkedIn URL at the top near your name -- that cherry-picks the best of your experiences, milestones and career wins is the goal. You want to show recruiters and managers that you know how to succinctly explain what you do, the strengths you bring and the successes you've had. Less is more.

With your resume, you want to compel the reader to want to know more. To learn more a recruiter check out your LinkedIn profile and then call you in for an interview. 

On LinkedIn, you can and should be a more detailed, because space isn't limited. On your resume, you might be limited to one or two bullet points per job, but on LinkedIn you could add a third or fourth. On your resume, you might have room to list your five most recent or your most pertinent accreditations or certifications, but on your online profile there's room for all of them.

You can and should do things on LinkedIn that you can't on a resume -- like include links that support your work. These could be videos, websites, news stories press releases and more.

Finally, on LinkedIn you have the opportunity to complete an "About" section, which is a story that you can't fit on any resume. It's the story of how you got where you are. This story ties together your experience and common themes. It explains your point of view and how you approach your work. It's your why.

Both are comprehensive in their own way.

Both your resume and your LinkedIn should absolutely list every job you've had, unless you are leaving out a job for certain strategic reasons. So I will say it another way. Both should list the same jobs and show the full breadth of your experience. I recently spoke with someone who has a multiple-page resume for her 30-year career, but her LinkedIn profile starts in the year 2000.

If you are worried you can't whittle down your resume, don't worry; start editing. My resume dates to the early '90s, and I'm able to list every single job. Some roles won't merit more than a line after 20 years, and that's OK.

Trust me, you can fit your entire work history -- the highlights -- on a one-page resume. And trust me, you will feel better about having a more high-level resume when you have a detailed, always up-to-date LinkedIn profile to back it up.

Published on: Sep 3, 2019
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