How to Use Your LinkedIn Profile as a Resume

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Employers in every industry use LinkedIn to find job candidates.  It's important make sure your LinkedIn profile highlights your skills and experience. This way, interested employers can see, at a glance, what makes you unique.

Think of your LinkedIn profile as an online resume. Like your resume, it should demonstrate your abilities, your work experience, and your education. However, a LinkedIn profile can do even more than a traditional resume.

It can include a photo of you, links to your work, references from colleagues and employers, and more.

Know how to create a LinkedIn profile that acts like a resume, only better. With a strong profile, you increase your chances of impressing an employer.

The Importance of Your LinkedIn Profile

One of the most important parts of LinkedIn is your profile. Your profile is what you use to connect with people in your network. It is also how you get found on LinkedIn by potential employers.

When you apply for a job, the employer might also check out your LinkedIn profile to learn more about you. In addition, your LinkedIn profile can increase your visibility online and help you build your professional brand. For example, my LinkedIn profile is currently #3 on Google when you search for Alison Doyle. That means anyone looking for information about me will find everything they need to know at a glance – my skills, my employment information, my recommendations, etc.

For all these reasons, it is important to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and detailed. In fact, you can consider your LinkedIn profile your online resume. It should have the same information that is on your resume and, if you're looking for a new job, you will want prospective employers to be able to review your credentials for employment, including your qualifications, your experience, and your skills.

How to Use Your LinkedIn Profile as a Job Search Tool

LinkedIn offers users a number of ways to build an impressive profile. Here are some tips on how to make your  profile into a strong online resume that will help you job search on LinkedIn:

  • Get detailed. When creating your profile, include all of the information that you include in your resume, and more. One benefit of a LinkedIn profile is that it can be longer than your resume. If you left any information out of your resume (such as a previous job), you can put it in your profile. However, don’t get carried away. If your profile is pages and pages long, no one is going to read it.
  • Add a photo. Unlike a resume, which often does not include a photo, LinkedIn users expect you to include a photo. Include a professional headshot. You can also change the background image to make it appropriate to your interests.
  • Include a headline. Even if you don’t have a resume headline, include a headline on your LinkedIn profile. You want to make it concise and catchy. For example, instead of “Teacher With 10 Years of Experience,” try “High-Tech, Award-Winning Physics Teacher.” If you don’t currently have a job, here are tips on how to write a headline when you are unemployed.
  • Write a summary. The summary section on LinkedIn is a great place to highlight, in a few sentences or bullet points, what makes you stand out as an employee or job candidate. This should read like a summary statement on a resume.
  • Use appropriate language. A resume is usually quite formal. You can be a bit more casual in your profile. For example, many people write their profiles in first person (“I have ten years of experience in healthcare marketing”). It’s okay to be a bit more casual or personal in your LinkedIn profile – in fact, it can help engage a recruiter.
  • Include keywords and skills. Unlike a resume, you are not tailoring your LinkedIn profile to fit a specific job listing. However, you can still use keywords from your industry in your profile. This will make it easier for employers to find your profile when searching for potential job candidates.
  • Include values. Like a resume, include numbers to demonstrate how you have added value at work. For example, you might state how much money you saved a company through your cost-saving solutions, or explain how you completed a task within a certain period of time.
  • Add links. You can upload documents or include links on your LinkedIn profile. Take advantage of this – include papers, presentations, projects, personal websites, and other materials that demonstrate the quality of your work. This is a great way to show, rather than tell, employers about your strengths.
  • Get recommendations and endorsements. To a potential employer, a LinkedIn recommendation is a reference in advance. Try to boost your profile with LinkedIn recommendations from your connections. Also be sure to endorse people in your network, and hopefully they will endorse you back.
  • Share your profile. You want people to see your profile, so be sure to make it as visible as possible. Make sure your profile is public (check your LinkedIn settings to make sure you are visible to people outside of your network). Also consider customizing your URL so that you have a link that's easy to share. Mine, for example is https://www.linkedin.com/in/alisondoyle. You can include this URL in your email signature so that people can easily access your profile.
  • Grow Your Network. Another way to share your profile is to connect with other members and build your network. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you have. Of course, only connect with people who you know. If you don’t know someone but would like to connect, be sure to send a private message introducing yourself.
  • Update Your Profile. Don't forget to update your profile when you change positions or companies. Also add links to new articles, projects, etc. as you complete them. Your profile should be dynamic and up-to-date.

Download Your Profile as a PDF File

It's easy to save your profile as a PDF file. Once you've saved it, you can print out a copy to review. 

  • Click the ...More icon in the top section of your profile, to the right of the photo and to the left of the Edit icon.
  • Select Save to PDF from the drop-down menu, and your profile will be saved to your computer. You can open it, then print.