Should my resume and LinkedIn Profile be the same?
They should be complimentary but not the same. The section of LinkedIn that is most like a resume is the EXPERIENCE section where you detail specific roles and dates. However, your resume should be written for a specific job description vs. LinkedIn will live beyond your applying for a specific role.
A few things that LinkedIn offers that resumes don’t:
Endorsements and Recommendations from your network
Activity! Someone viewing your profile can see what actions you take on LinkedIn and therefore learn more about you.
Humanity - resumes offer very little space to be human. LinkedIn can be used to link your jobs you’ve had to your greater purpose.
DO I NEED PREMIUM?
LinkedIn offers many functions for free. If you haven’t scratched the surface on everything a basic (free) LinkedIn account offers, then you probably don’t need a Premium account.
There are some advantages to LinkedIn Premium including:
Ability to send InMail to people you aren’t connected with
Additional visibility on who is viewing your profile
Access to LinkedIn Learning
Applicant insights for job seekers
You get 1 month free every year of Premium, so you can always give it a try and see if you like the features! Learn how to get a free month of Premium here.
Are you currently working in Sales or Recruiting? If so, there are additional advantages of a LinkedIn Premium account specific to your job function. You can learn more here.
HOW CAN I “HIDE” from my employer that I’m looking for a job?
Anything that you put on your profile is public. The parts of LinkedIn which are private include the messaging function.
Do you only work on your reputation when you need something? The short story is, be active on LinkedIn all the time! Building your brand is part of your professional persona, not just when you are job seeking.
There are some settings that you may want to turn on when job seeking - click “me”, select “settings and privacy” and scroll down to “Job Seeking Preferences”.
What’s the appropriate way to reach out to people on LinkedIn?
When adding a connection request, always personalize it. It immediately sets you apart and shows your potential connection that you took the extra time. If you are connecting with someone you don’t know, I try to ask for a mutual connection to introduce me, otherwise I will write something to send with my connection request (e.g. what are you looking for from the connection? Be specific!).
I was viewing your profile and I see that you have a sales role at ABC company, a company I have been following and am interested in learning more about. I’d love to connect with you here on LinkedIn and learn more about your experience. How open are you to a 15 minute phone call?
I HAVE MULTIPLE PROFILES, HOW CAN I MERGE THEM?
LinkedIn can help you merge your accounts (which includes bringing connections from one account to the other). The directions on how to do this are here.
I don’t suggest having multiple accounts. I do however suggest that all businesses have a company page (see next FAQ).
HOW IMPORTANT ARE SKILL ENDORSEMENTS?
Skill endorsements add credibility to what you are talking about. If someone tells me they have strong leadership skills and only 5 people endorsed them for leadership as a skill these are the thoughts a reader could have:
Do they believe they have a skill that their network doesn’t agree with? (i.e. do they have a blindspot)
Have they cultivated a network of people who are willing to support them in their professional ventures? (think: do they play nice with others?)
Make sure you are adding the skills you feel to be your strengths. You can also reorder or delete skills to make sure your top skills are visible (see help article here).
You’ll get in what you put out of the platform, so if you want skill endorsements, make sure you are giving endorsements too.
HOW MANY WRITTEN recommendations SHOULD I HAVE?
Short answer: at least 3. Simply put, anyone that you would use as a reference should write you an recommendation on LinkedIn.
If you want written recommendations, strike while the iron is hot. That project you just got recognized for? Talk with the peer you worked with on it and write each other recommendations. That amazing boss who just got promoted? Ask if they’d be willing to write you one. That colleague who just got a new job? Write them for each other.
The best way to do this is to first have a conversation with the person. Ask the what skills they want you to talk about that will help them achieve their career goals. Be prepared with what you want them to talk about too! Don’t forget soft skills - things like listening, partnership, and leadership are hard to talk about for yourself but easy for someone else to say about you. Plus, knowing what the other person wants you to say makes the recommendation a lot faster to write!
See how to get a recommendation started on LinkedIn here.
I Know LinkeDIn Activity is important. What does Good Activity Look like?
Being active on LinkedIn means creating a network of people engaged in helping one another achieve our professional goals. This means being active consistently…meaning that you need to nurture your network even when you don’t need anything!
Good: Adding connections, endorsing skills, liking articles.
Better: All of the above plus writing & requesting recommendations, sharing articles, joining groups.
Best: All of the above plus participating in group discussions, creating a content share strategy that reflects your life’s purpose and professional passions.
Quality is better than quantity - remember to share professionally-relevant content that you’d be thrilled to talk about (because people are going to remember you for it!).