Resume Versus LinkedIn – There Is A Difference

Image © zakokor

Image © zakokor

By Stephanie Elaine Cavanaugh

Every Thursday, we have our LinkedIn class at JS101. Two questions we hear again and again are “Can I just copy/paste my resume into my LinkedIn profile?” and “Should I add my resume to my LinkedIn summary section as a media attachment?” The answers – NO and NO!

It’s important to understand that LinkedIn and the resume are very different animals. They serve different purposes, speak in different voices, and are targeted to different audiences.

1: In today’s digital world, LinkedIn comes first, the resume second (typically).

2: The days of job search meaning polishing up your resume, sending it out or posting it to a job board, and waiting for the interviews are GONE. Long gone.

3: Now, the resume is usually not seen until the very end of the process, and often as a simple formality. The LinkedIn profile however, is typically the first impression a potential hiring manager will have of you. One of the first things a decision maker will do is search you on LinkedIn.

4: LinkedIn provides a wealth of information about you that your resume can never do. It also allows you to add media – photos of you doing your thing at conferences, giving presentations, teaching a class, etc. It allows you to add projects you’ve done, videos, PowerPoints, and links to portfolios.

5: Your resume speaks in incomplete sentences and without personal pronouns about your accomplishments (TIP: don’t waste resume space writing duties. Instead write bulleted accomplishments. This means Challenge + Action + Result or Situation + Behavior + Outcome). Your LinkedIn profile however, speaks in a forward-facing human voice. This means writing it to get you where you want to go and making it conversational.

[Resume = Past] [LinkedIn = Future]

6: Your resume should be changed for each and every potential position or job. Attaching a resume to your profile would mean making it so generalized it would lose significant value. Additionally, you want people to ask for your resume. Give them a reason to reach out to you!

We’ve only scratched the surface here on the differences between the resume and the LinkedIn profile, but we hope this helps you get a better understanding of why mixing these together is not advised. If you’d like to learn more, we encourage you to attend our free Job Search Action Plan, Resume, and LinkedIn classes at JS101!


Want to know more about job search? JS101 (a program of the Select Center) offers free classes on a variety of job search topics. Check out our calendar at for more information and to view our current schedule of classes. Registration is not required.