How to Turn Your LinkedIn Profile into a Killer Online Resume
With over 660 million active members around the world, LinkedIn continues to be the largest professional network in the industry today. According to LinkedIn statistics, there are more than 30 million companies represented in the system, with more than 20 million open jobs available on LinkedIn Jobs. If you’re currently on the hunt for your first or next job, a good idea would be to sign up and turn your LinkedIn into a resume today.
First, let’s clarify that your LinkedIn profile won’t actually be a resume because it’s not the same thing. A resume is straight to the point, tailored to match accordingly to the specific job opportunity. LinkedIn, on the other hand, gives you the chance to lay out all your skills, experiences, and achievements, and basically whatever you want to publicize regarding who you are as a professional.
With that being said, your public LinkedIn profile will serve as an “initial resume” or a starting point for recruitment managers. Your main objective here is to appear in searches by optimizing your profile, as well as to attract the recruiters into clicking and going through it, then eventually reach out to you.
What is a LinkedIn resume?
Your LinkedIn profile and resume are two similar job tools with different purposes. A LinkedIn profile plays a vital role in a job search. It establishes your professional online presence while connecting you with colleagues, employers, and others. Your LinkedIn builds you a professional network whom you can engage with—whether you are on an active job search or not.
On the other hand, a resume is what you submit to employers on your job application. The primary purpose of a resume is to land yourself an interview. After all, it is what employers see first when you show interest in working for the company. If you want to learn how to write a compelling resume, here’s a comprehensive online course for you: Create the Ultimate Resume Package to Stand Out.
On LinkedIn, you are allowed to upload a digital copy of your resume to have it ready when applying. However, LinkedIn enables you to convert your profile into a resume. You’ll find how and why to convert it later in this article. If you want to know how you can succeed in your job search through LinkedIn, here’s an online course designed for it: LinkedIn Blueprint.
Setting up your LinkedIn profile
1. Change your privacy settings.
Most, if not all, social networking sites have privacy and visibility settings. Before anything else, go to the ‘Edit public profile & URL’ page and change the settings of who is able to view your profile. You can control this depending on your preference, but if your goal is to be seen by recruiters, then just make everything public.
On the same page, you’ll also discover that you can customize your URL. We’re not talking about ‘www.LinkedIn.com/MarketingQueen01’’––simply make your URL your first and last name.
2. Add a professional photo.
Your LinkedIn profile is no place for casual selfies. Upload an appropriate, high-quality headshot. Ensure that your photo has good lighting and your face can be seen clearly. It’s best that you are facing forward or turned slightly left, towards your profile.
3. Create a catchy headline.
This is the one-liner that goes under your name so it must be concise, yet catchy. Showcase what makes you valuable and different among competitors. You have 120 characters to make a first impression, so use it wisely.
4. Write a captivating summary.
This is your time to shine. You could tell an engaging story about your career journey or just talk about your passion, values, skills, and experience or both! Highlight what sets you apart from others and what you have to offer. It’s also best to include numbers to show off your track record. Avoid a too formal approach and write in the first person.
One valuable tip from Forbes is to, “Write as if you are having a conversation with someone. Inject your personality.” It wouldn’t hurt to mention your hobbies or interests outside of work. Doing this shows a more personal, authentic side beyond the professional; recruiters/employers appreciate that.
Take note: While writing your summary and editing your profile, remember to use keywords relevant to your career consistently. A keyword-rich LinkedIn will do great in terms of search engine optimization, in addition to showing competence in the field.
5. Maximize the use of additional sections.
Unlike a traditional, limited resume, LinkedIn is highly flexible and customizable. You can add sections, such as certifications, languages, patents, publications, honors and awards, courses, projects, causes, and volunteering to strengthen your profile even more. You can even upload supporting documents or materials, as well as links to relevant websites. The best part is, you have the freedom to arrange these sections in any order you prefer.
6. Include contact information.
Depending on your privacy settings, you may or may not be comfortable in adding your phone number and email address. That’s totally up to you, but if you have a website, page, or portfolio, make sure to include them here.
7. Acquire skill endorsements and recommendations.
This is a very significant part of your LinkedIn profile because it shows the credibility of who you are as a professional.
You can add up to 50 skills on your LinkedIn profile; however, we don’t recommend this many. It’s effective to choose only the most relevant ones so that they can be validated or endorsed by 1st-degree connections. Endorsements take only one click.
Recommendations, on the other hand, are similar to short reference letters. Unlike single-click endorsements, these are written especially for you and you can request those who have worked with you first-hand to write you one. See to it that you know how to ask for recommendations properly and professionally.
Now that you have an overview to get started, give it your all. Don’t be too eager to finish your profile; recruiters are experienced enough to tell when they are. Just put your heart into it, you’ll only be doing the long process once anyway.
Similarities of a LinkedIn profile and a resume
Let’s get a little more in-depth with the similarities of the two. While you can never mistake one for the other, there are several undeniable similarities worth highlighting. As a LinkedIn user, you ought to understand these.
Provides a factual flow of work history
Both LinkedIn profile and resume contain your work history. They both showcase your previous jobs in reverse chronological order, with the latest being on top. Both reflect your past employers and the projects taken in a factual flow.
Has a profile summary to describe you as a professional
A resume may either have a summary statement or career objective that entices employers to read on. You also got this section on LinkedIn. Although it is an optional feature, you must include a summary to establish a strong profile.
A resume summary statement should ideally be between three to four sentences. But LinkedIn gives you ample space to accommodate up to 2,000 characters.
Highlights your value
Both resume and LinkedIn profile focus on delivering your value as a professional. Thus, you highlight your most remarkable achievements, milestones, and recognition. This is to show your best assets and potentially capture employers’ interest. They tell readers what’s in it for them.
Keywords are essential in this modern age of technology. Some recruiters use scanning software to browse through submitted resumes and online profiles to find out the best candidates. With this in mind, a resume and your LinkedIn profile should have the relevant keywords in your niche. This will help you amp up your chances of landing an interview or securing an invitation.
The difference between a LinkedIn profile and a resume
Here, we list down the stark differences between the two—which you must understand as well.
LinkedIn profile is broader; a resume is more specific.
LinkedIn covers the broad perspective of your career because it represents your whole persona. You want to build a robust online presence by listing down all related engagements with your career. It defines who you are professionally and your work history, including those projects that do not necessarily connect with your current work.
Writing your LinkedIn resume doesn’t require you to think of a specific role in mind. After all, it’s not there to land you an interview. Instead, it sheds light on what you are and what you were up to in the past years.
A resume is more specific. It only contains the relevant information to the desired position. This implies that you have to remove all skills or work history unrelated to the job. With a resume, you want to be as niche as possible. Thus, you need to tailor a resume for every job you apply for.
LinkedIn profile is longer; a resume is brief.
A LinkedIn profile accommodates more in terms of content. It has several sections and features that a traditional resume doesn’t. It even has a skill assessment to showcase your proficiency in a particular skill. Here, you can add your internships, professional associations, publications, and volunteer experiences.
Contrary to a LinkedIn profile, you cannot add all those aspects to a resume. This is because a resume should ideally be a one-pager or two pages max. You want to maximize every space possible by only writing what’s important. This is because employers scan resumes in an average of six seconds, requiring you to be as more specific as possible.
LinkedIn is public; a resume is private.
Since LinkedIn is a public platform, anyone can access your profile and the information there. Anyone from anywhere can view the information you included. This implies that you need to be careful in sharing any sensitive data like your address and contact number.
On the other hand, you only send out a resume to employers you’re interested in. Thus, you have more privacy here since they treat resumes with confidentiality. Knowing that it is for the recruiters’ eyes only, you should openly express your desire to become a part of the company.
LinkedIn is conversational; a resume is polite.
Since LinkedIn has your network, the environment is not constricted with being all too professional. The tone of voice is usually conversational since it is a social platform. You can get away with using first-person pronouns in LinkedIn since you are encouraging engagement.
On the other hand, a resume requires you to sound professional and respectable. You don’t need to use first-person pronouns here. Crafting your resume also requires you to use more formal words and avoid colloquial terms.
LinkedIn allows image display; a resume doesn’t.
A LinkedIn profile should always have your headshot. After all, it’s still a social networking platform. In comparison, a resume shouldn’t include your photo. Aside from being out of the norm, it prevents recruiters from being biased based on a candidate’s physical attributes.
LinkedIn profile is dynamic; a resume is static.
When you submit your resume to an employer, it’s final. You cannot take back anything you put there.
This is a massive contrast to LinkedIn’s edit feature. LinkedIn encourages you to keep your profile updated for successful networking. You can maximize other features like adding blog posts, linking articles, and more to position yourself as an expert in your niche.
How to turn your LinkedIn into a resume
If you want to leverage your LinkedIn profile as a resume, you can do so by downloading your profile as a PDF file and converting it to your preferred format. Here are the two easy steps on how to turn LinkedIn into a resume:
- On the top section of your LinkedIn profile, click “More…”
- A drop-down menu will appear, choose “Save to PDF.” A download prompt will show up.
How to convert downloaded LinkedIn profile into any format
Now that you’ve downloaded a PDF file of your LinkedIn profile, you may tweak some aspects by converting it into a Google doc or an MS Word document.
You cannot submit the downloaded PDF file straight to the recruiters—you need to tailor it and enhance some aspects. This is why you’ll need to convert it first into an editable format, such as in .doc.
To convert it, you just have to use PDF conversion tools like Adobe PDF to word converter. There are several free conversion tools available online. The conversion only requires you to upload your PDF document and download the converted file. Then, you can proceed to edit the sections you want to tweak.
Best practices for your LinkedIn profile
Here are a few practices you should observe to maintain your LinkedIn profile:
Connect with others and grow your network
Work on building your network of connections. This increases your profile’s exposure, as well as opportunities to get to know others. We’re not saying you should add everyone you see, but if you want to connect with someone because of your common connections or line of work, make sure to properly introduce yourself.
Keep your profile updated
This is especially important because no recruiter wants to open up a profile only to discover that it’s no longer updated. When you gain new work experience or skills or anything related to your career, let your LinkedIn profile and all your connections know.
Continue to gather skill endorsements and recommendations
The more, the merrier; you shouldn’t just settle for a few. Again, having many relevant skill endorsements and recommendations will boost your credibility, especially if you have many ex-colleagues or current colleagues. You can also leave endorsements and recommendations for them, too.
Your LinkedIn is just as valuable as your resume and it still deserves your time and effort. You won’t just magically appear in the search engine and the recruiter won’t just automatically send you a message. To impress them, just follow the steps above and you’ll be amazed at the power of your LinkedIn profile.