One of the biggest mistakes many make when filling in job experiences on Linkedin is to translate their resumes wholesale. While both offer the same categories, your LinkedIn profile is a full-bodied personal branding vehicle. It is your chance to tell your career story excitingly, and here are three key differences to understand before you get started.
First off, a resume is more concise.
Your professional experiences section, on the other hand, can contain all the details and context that you cut from your resume to get it to fit in one page. It would help if you took this chance to give backstories that cannot usually be incorporated in your resume. It is the place to share. The caveat here, of course, is to think twice about the details you’re sharing and make sure it is not overly personal.
Second, the Professional Experience section is less tailored.
Your resume is a tool to sell yourself to your prospective employer and should speak directly to the job requirements of the role you are applying for. On Linkedin, however, being too finely-tuned might mean you’ll miss out on opportunities. Leveraging your profile with only specific people or topics in mind will limit you, and your network will start to stagnate, as you run the risk of not being seen for anything else.
Thirdly, the tone for a resume is more formal.
The purpose of a resume is to grab your prospective employer’s eyes with as few words as possible, as your end game is to get an interview, where you share more. Being a social media platform primarily, the LinkedIn profile takes a more conversational tone, as it invites your network to look at you as a professional, instead of condensing you into a series of achievements. A personable, passionate profile is much more attractive than one that is expanded from your point-form resume.
The Experience section on your profile is meant to increase your professional visibility, and presenting too narrow a view of yourself limits the number of people that you can relate to. Follow the three tips below to expand your resume into an attractive experience section on your profile.
Tip 1, Change the tone.
Look at the point forms that you have listed the past experiences in on your resume. Imagine how you would relate these points in a conversation. Don’t just talk about what you do, pepper it with details that humanize you. Share why you love doing it. Stop harping on the years of experiences you have, and talk about how you got started, and how you got to today. Bring in personal philosophies, your inspirations and motivations, and the type of teams you enjoy working with. The most important thing is to convey your passion for your work, and not to list what you have worked as.
Tip 2, Make it Quantifiable.
On your resume, information is taken at face value until it’s time for your interview. On LinkedIn, however, you get to skip ahead and back up your claims. A simple way to approach this is to utilize the PAR approach, which stands for (Problem — Action — Result). For example, in this situation (P), I took this action (A), which led to this result (R). Write facts and achievements about yourself that are verifiable, with skills endorsement and recommendations. Make sure what you put down is coherent with the persona you have created for yourself. If you say you love to write, make sure your profile’s publication section is updated with new articles. Show, don’t tell!
Tip 3, Include more Experiences.
Besides expanding on your listed job experiences, you should also include more job history that you might have trimmed out of your resume. While you do not need to spend too much time writing full stories for all of them, you can pick relevant aspects to build a timeline of your professional journey. Make sure each experience you list down reinforces your next role and state the new roles and responsibilities you have undertaken as you advance. What this does is to show your prospective employers how you have matured, and it offers a chance to lay down your foundational skills which would have certainly been cut in your resume for more eye-catching ones.
While resumes are tailored to specific jobs, your experience section expands upon it to cater to a general job search. It is complementary to your resume and provides a more comprehensive look at your qualifications. More importantly, it is deeply personal and helps your potential employers see you as a person, and not just another nameless profile.