Your Resume vs. Your LinkedIn Profile: Which is More Important?
You’ve probably asked yourself this question at some point in your career: “Why do I need a resume? I have a LinkedIn profile, after all. Can’t I just direct people to my LinkedIn profile and forget about my resume?” (Actually, that’s more than one question . . . but you get the idea.)
While it might be tempting to believe that the resume is outdated in this new and modern employment marketplace, it simply is not the case. The resume is as important as ever in terms of helping employers screen candidates during the hiring process.
What has happened, though, is that LinkedIn has “joined the party,” so to speak. This means that as a professional, you must pay ample amounts of attention to both your resume and your LinkedIn profile. That’s probably not the answer for which you were hoping, but it is the one that is the most firmly rooted in reality.
Let’s start with the issue of how often you should keep your resume and LinkedIn profile updated. The answer is as often as you can!
However, it’s unrealistic to think that you’re going to update both every month or so. What’s more likely is updating them once every quarter or once every six months.
There are some obvious times when you should update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Those times include the following:
- When you start a new job
- When you end a new job (these two, of course, often happen at the same time)
- When you complete a big project
- When you receive a promotion, especially if that promotion comes with a new job title
- When you acquire new skills, which can include both hard (technical) skills and soft (people) skills
While those are the obvious times to update your resume and LinkedIn profile, it’s a good idea to update during other times, as well. These updates don’t have to be very big. However, in the interest of making yourself look as good as possible, small tweaks here and there can go a long way.
You should also update your resume and LinkedIn profile when you want to:
- Give yourself a boost of confidence
- Identify areas in which you need to grow
- Develop a narrative for your career that you can share during interviews with potential new employers
- Position yourself as an expert in a certain area
And then we have the reason that nobody really likes to discuss. You should keep your resume and LinkedIn profile consistently up-to-date in the unlikely event that you are laid off. Yes, we’re currently in a candidates’ market and we’re light-years away from the Great Recession. But things happen. In this world of mergers and acquisitions, you never know what the future will bring. And in case it brings unexpected unemployment, you’ll have the twin weapons of your updated resume and LinkedIn profile to help you rejoin the workforce.
And there’s another reason that you should update and use both your resume and your LinkedIn profile. That reason is this: because hiring managers use both.
Specifically, a hiring manager will look at your resume. Then they will go to LinkedIn and find your profile. What’s important to them is that your resume and the profile reflect the same information. If there are discrepancies, then that might signify a “red flag” in their mind. (And of course, they’ll also probably try to find you on other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. But that’s a story for another day.)
So the bottom line is that when it comes to your resume vs. your LinkedIn profile, both are important. So don’t fool yourself into thinking that a resume is an outdated tool. You need it—and your LinkedIn profile—to reach your career goals and potential.