Is a LinkedIn Profile a Resume?

Yesterday a friend asked me if I have ever used my LinkedIn Profile as a resume.

Of course a LinkedIn Profile is NOT a resume 🙂  And since I haven’t been in a job search for a while (since I seriously set up my LinkedIn strategy), I haven’t really had a reason to give anyone a resume (well, except for potential investors, who for some reason wanted a resume).

And then, as I was about to respond back to my buddy, I remembered that I had in fact used my LinkedIn Profile as a resume.  I was doing some work with my insurance agent, getting some new services, and he said he would need my resume.  HUH?  My resume?  Okay.

My resume is about three years old, and doesn’t reflect what I’ve done in the last three years (which is a lot).  I could have changed it to include a few new job positions and roles, but it wouldn’t have the affect I would want on the overall document (my value prop has changed in the last three years, and just adding that to my existing resume would not accurately reflect or communicate my brand).

Even though it was for an insurance company, I didn’t want to give a wrong impression.

So I printed off my LinkedIn Profile.  It was the closest thing I had to give, and I did it right there while we were doing paperwork.

I still don’t think a LinkedIn Profile is a resume, but sometimes they can be interchangeable.  Benefits of your LinkedIn Profile include:

  • It’s available online, with various privacy controls in place. I don’t believe much in privacy in social environments, but it is cool that you can say “show this to people who are not logged in (public view) and this to people who are.”
  • It shows the strength (or weakness) of my network. If I have a bunch of connections (let’s say “a bunch” means over 100) and a number of recommendations (five or more, depending on the size of your network) that says something about me.  Would you rather hire a business development professional who has 3 contacts, or 500+?  Clearly, this doesn’t necessarily indicate whether the person can do the job or not, but it does show the person is (or isn’t) connected.
  • LinkedIn Recommendations can be powerful. I printed my LinkedIn Profile and it was about 9 pages, because of the recommendations.  Just looking at all of those mini-stories gave me credibility.  I think 9 pages of that is overkill, and there comes a point where it looks like i might have fished for them, but still, having that many recommendations has to mean something.
  • The Summary is cool, while an objective statement is questionable. I’ve heard that objective statements are on their way out (depends on who you ask), but the LinkedIn Summary is definitely not out.  in fact, I encourage you to use up to the 2,000 characters you get to write a well-crafted message to convey who you are and why people should talk to you.  This is your elevator pitch, and if it’s done correctly it can be a very compelling, credible messaging opportunity for you.

Once you use your LinkedIn Profile to get in the door, make a first impression, etc., and you get closer to a job opportunity, make sure you have a real, traditional resume ready… my experiences has been that eventually you’ll need to have it so they can check “submitted resume” off their little checkbox 🙂

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