I often get this question during a Résumé Advanced workshop, “Should I include my LinkedIn URL on my résumé?” My answer to this is, “Sure, as long as your profile will serve you well.” This is to say, your LinkedIn profile must impress prospective employers, not turn them away.
Here are 6 rules to adhere to if you’re going to list your LinkedIn URL on your résumé, personal business cards, or cover letter.
- Customize your URL. LinkedIn provides a default address that includes additional numbers and letters behind your name. In Edit Profile, click on Edit next to your default URL and remove all the additional numbers and letters by simply typing your whole name in the field provided. A public profile URL that is clean tells employers you’re LinkedIn savvy, not a babe in the woods.
- Your profile must be complete. You’ve probably read many articles about the importance of a complete profile. The bottom line is that a barren profile shows a lack of effort, At the very least your profile must have the following: 1) professional photo; 2) branding headline; 3) creative, story-telling Summary; 4) full Employment section, which includes quantified results; and 5) LinkedIn’s added marketing tools.
- Think about your profile as a complement to your résumé. In other words, your profile is not your résumé; it is more dynamic. To make your profile more exciting, you can add additional sections to it, such as Skills and Endorsements, Certificates, Projects, Languages, Media, and more. LinkedIn aficionados can spot when someone simply copy and pastes their résumé to the profile–not impressive.
- Make it easy for people to find you. If you’re in the job search and prefer not to list your phone number on your profile, I might accept that as an employer. However, if you also don’t list your e-mail address, I’d be on to the next profile. Don’t play hard to get and make it hard for potential employers to find you.
- Participate. Participate in what? you may wonder. Show employers that you update on a regular basis and that your updates are related to the work you’re pursuing, not about how Big Kitty is doing well after his surgery.
- Show off. I’m not saying go overboard, but make use of the media section as your online portfolio. You can post PowerPoint presentations, videos, audio clips, your résumé, photos of your architectural work (one of my customers did this), and more. Make your profile truly dynamic by doing this.
If you haven’t followed the above suggestions, sending employers to your profile (via your résumé, business cards, and other written communication) will cause more harm than good. One more thing, certain elements of your public profile will be absent from your full URL, such as Media, Recommendations, view of Endorsements, and list of connections. This is why you must provide access to your full profile.
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