In part three of this series, we looked at the differences between the Summaries of the résumé and LinkedIn profile. In this part of the series we’ll look at the differences and similarities between the Experience sections of the résumé and LinkedIn profile.
Similarities between the two documents.
Although there are differences between the Employment sections of the résumé and LinkedIn profile, there are some obvious similarities, namely accomplishments and keywords.
Excellent résumés and LinkedIn profiles will include quantified accomplishments in their Experience section–#’s, $’s, and %’s are what speak loud and clear to recruiters/employers. People who are determined to show only the duties they performed at their previous organizations, rather than prove their potential value through showing their accomplishments, lose out in the battle for interviews.
Another serious consideration are the keywords and phrases that match a particular job description. The proper and frequency of keywords propels your résumé to the top of the pile that an applicant tracking system (ATS) deems worth reading. Similarly, keywords are essential to being found by recruiters/employers culling for talent on LinkedIn.
The format of both documents is chronological. How you are required to list your title, company location, and dates of employment on your LinkedIn profile, may be different than how you chose to treat this information on your résumé. LinkedIn wisely chose the chronological format as the structure for the Experience section; but if you want to use a functional profile, the skills area will be placed in the Summary.
Three differences between the Employment sections of the résumé and LinkedIn profile.
1. While some LinkedIn pundits believe you should copy and paste the contents of your résumé Experience section to the profile; others, including myself, feel that the LinkedIn Experience section should focus solely on a handful of accomplishments. The purpose of doing this is to show recruiters/employers what is most important, your accomplishments. Another sentiment is to provide them a different look than what they see on your résumé. Why be redundant?
2. The second strategy, treating the Experience section of the LinkedIn profile like the résumé, serves to provide recruiters/employers a full sense of the important duties you’ve performed and accomplishments you’ve achieved. In other words, copy the contents of your résumé to your profile.
If recruiters/employers are searching through LinkedIn for talent and not calling for résumés yet, they will get a good sense of what you’re capable of doing. This being the case, you will rely on them to sift through the content and glean what is most important.
Note: Another important point to make for this approach is the potential for more keywords in this section–thus, the potential of being found.
3. The third way to treat your LinkedIn Experience section is by doing nothing with it, as is the case with many executives I’ve seen on LinkedIn. I think this is a mistake. CEOs and Directors should at the very least describe what their company/organization does, giving visitors an idea of the breadth of scope of their responsibilities.
Executive résumé writers will tell you that every section of the résumé should be maximized with accomplishments and keywords. Why then should the LinkedIn profile Experience section not do the same?
Executive Resume Writer, Laura Smith-Proulx believes the more relevant information, the better; particularly when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from other executives. She writes:
“The key to a strategic message in your CFO résumé is to do MORE with the details – taking the hard facts of budgets managed, teams directed, or cost savings achieved to fold in personal brand messages.”
The differences between the Employment sections of the résumé and LinkedIn profile are not as noticeable as the differences between the Summary, but it is important to take this section seriously, if not for citing your accomplishments and keywords. To create effective inbound marketing, you must help potential employers find you.
Finally we’ll look at the most obvious differences between the resume and LinkedIn profile.