Some say that LinkedIn is slowly killing resume. If this was true, people would send emails with nothing but a link to their LinkedIn profile to potential employers. But they don’t. Regardless of how social media oriented our world is, resume is not dead.
LinkedIn is currently used by over 414 million professionals around the world. Almost every recruiter will go and check you on LinkedIn right after they read your resume. That’s right, they have to read your resume first.
In some areas of expertise, having a LinkedIn profile is a must. This involves corporate jobs, businesses, tech, startups, etc. so if you’re applying for a position in, say, marketing, programming, sales, or administration, be sure to have a LinkedIn account. On the other hand, artists, medical doctors, social workers or public sector workers can easily live without it. But they surely can’t do without a resume.
LinkedIn vs resume: 7 main differences You Need to Know
1. Resume is more relevant than LinkedIn
Your Linkedin profile usually contains all the info about your professional life – both relevant and not relevant to the one who’s viewing your profile, whereas your resume is specifically tailored to each job position you’re applying to so it sums up only the relevant knowledge and skills.
2. Resume has a different purpose than LinkedIn
The primary goal of LinkedIn is to connect with people from your area of expertise. The goal of a resume is to get you an interview and, ultimately, a new job. Both serve to document your professional life, but you typically don’t use LinkedIn as a means to find a job.
3. Every resume is different, every LinkedIn profile the same
A LinkedIn profile is standard for all users – all sections go in the same order, the design and structure are the same with every profile, the only thing that differs is the info provided. On the contrary, you can design your resume in any way you want to. That’s both a blessing and a curse in some cases. Check out some of the resumes that went terribly wrong.
4. Resume doesn’t contain a photo, LinkedIn does
Including a photo with your resume can lead to discrimination and bias, which is why it’s very unwelcome in many countries. See more in our blog post here. On LinkedIn, there’s a photo section by default. Of course, you don’t have to upload your photo to your profile, but then there’s Facebook, where the recruiter might go looking. It’s a vicious circle. And yeah, a resume without a photo is alright. But a LinkedIn profile without a photo might come across a bit fishy.
5. Resume is concise, LinkedIn is much more complex
A resume is generally a one or two-page document and the reader’s experience is limited to the information you provide, whereas LinkedIn redirects the viewer on all sorts of other pages and profiles. It contains plenty of other info that resume doesn’t, such as who recommends or endorses you, articles you’ve written, videos and links you shared, things you like, people you follow, etc.
6. Resume is private, LinkedIn is public
Your Linkedin profile is public so you have to be careful what you post there. You might not want to disclose all the info about you on Linkedin but you might do so on your resume – if it’s a relevant info for the recruiter to know. Also, the recruiter might take the info you provide on your resume more seriously because let’s face it: there are tons of lies on social media.
7. Several resumes, just one LinkedIn profile
While you have only one LinkedIn profile that you only update with new information from time to time, you can’t just have one resume. You have to adjust your resume for every company or a job position you’re applying to. Hence, your resume tells more to the recruiter than a LinkedIn profile which often contains too general information.
LinkedIn vs Resume: What’s the score?
- On LinkedIn, people can recommend you or endorse you so your skills gain credibility. Also, a person who views your profile can see plenty of other useful info about you on your profile, info that you wouldn’t normally include in your resume. (1-0)
- Resume addresses the company directly and is tailored to a specific job offer. Hence, you can emphasize skills and knowledge that are relevant to the position in question, and scrap the non-relevant stuff. Pure facts, no fluff. (1-1)
- Linkedin is like your permanent online resume that you don’t have to send anywhere. A great advantage is that headhunters or company recruiters can send you private messages without you needing to contact anyone and maybe even get the interview invitation. (2-1)
- You can distinguish yourself from others with the design of your resume, the creativity of writing, etc. whereas on Linkedin every profile looks the same and you can’t really stand out. (2-2)
It looks as though this battle is about to end in a draw. But we’re the judges so the final decision rests upon us. It was a tough one but…
LinkedIn vs resume: The winner is… Resume!
Why? Because while LinkedIn is great for you to stay connected to people and information from your field, a resume is what gets you a job. If you’re looking for a job, to have a LinkedIn profile is important but only as a complement to your resume.
It is true that LinkedIn offers a much richer experience to the viewer. But on the other hand, what recruiter would spend so much time as to browse through your whole Linkedin profile? Like we said in our 10 resume tips that will help you get hired, the recruiter spends 6 seconds on average to read through your resume. So why would they spend 20-30 extra seconds on LinkedIn? They would do so only in case they’re just about to hire you so they’re willing to make an extra effort. But if they’re just in the phase of considering candidates, it is highly unlikely they will dedicate that much attention to it.
Finally, two little pieces of advice from us:
1. Keep the info on your resume and LinkedIn profile consistent.
You should always tell the truth on your resume and the same applies for LinkedIn. Even if nobody can hold you responsible for things you claim online, but an employer who has your resume in front of them will clearly notice discrepancies between what you stated on your resume and on social media. In other words, make sure the info on your resume and LinkedIn match.
2. Keep your LinkedIn profile free from “facebook-like” practices.
While Facebook is the “social you”, LinkedIn is the “professional you”. Avoid uploading fancy profile pictures, adding content that is not relevant to your professional career, liking or sharing pictures, videos, and articles that are irrelevant to the professional you. Remember, LinkedIn is public, so any headhunter can view your profile and you want to make the best impression.