Making Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Matches Your Resume

By Heidi Meierdierks, Senior Talent Director

The pandemic has turned what was a years-long robust candidate market into one that greatly favors employers. Businesses now can be very picky about which candidates they wish to interview because so many people have lost their jobs in recent months.

In fact, I’ve had two instances of the following happen to my candidates in just the last two weeks, and I wanted to let you know about it so that this doesn’t happen to you:

My candidates lost out on interviews because their resumes and LinkedIn profiles didn’t match!

That is, the candidates’ resumes had them showcasing how their experience, skills and education would be valuable to my client employers while their LinkedIn profiles highlighted experiences that had little to do with the jobs to which they applied.

Bottom line? I’m finding that our clients look at a candidate’s resume and then quickly head over to LinkedIn to see what the candidate says about themselves in their profile.

And who can blame them!?  After all, LinkedIn is far more interesting to read than a resume. It benefits job candidates it’s where you can really highlight your expertise and your particular accomplishments quite easily. It’s far less formal than a resume.

In fact, LinkedIn allows you to customize your professional highlights in your headline and profile summary about what makes you valuable and exciting to an employer.  You also can add a professional headshot, punch up your profile headline, and really expand upon your accomplishments and your aspirations.

In short, LinkedIn “feels” livelier. It is – if you will – fun.

But it MUST mesh with your resume

Here’s why:

A resume is a formal document: it must tell the truth about your job history, job titles, your responsibilities, and the names of the companies at which you’ve worked.

You also can highlight your accomplishments and you should. Employers hire people to solve problems and so your resume needs to showcase how you can solve reach it goals and overcome its particular challenges. You do this by mentioning some of your accomplishments at each of your jobs (past and present).

The problem with my candidates’ resumes and LinkedIn profiles

Basically, their resumes said they were looking for work in – and had the skills for – one area while their LinkedIn profiles highlighted skills and aspirations in another area.

Because they were applying for jobs that meshed with their resumes, the fact that their LinkedIn profiles highlighted and focused on other aspects of their careers jarred my clients. In a nutshell, seeing one focus on a resume and a different one on LinkedIn had them wondering if the candidates truly would be committed to the open position: would they leave quickly if a job that matched their LinkedIn profile opened up?

And they rejected them. Pretty much immediately.

This might not have happened in the months and years prior to March

Prior to March and the nationwide stay-at-home edicts, candidates were very hard to come by and employers knew it. They were more willing to “forgive” candidates’ inconsistences such as these because they pretty much had no choice: with a 3.5 percent unemployment rate in February, employers often looked at candidates who met the barest of requirements.

Now that the nation’s unemployment rate is at 7.9 percent (as of September, down from a high of 14.7 percent in April) and with millions of people in the U.S. still looking for work, employers will reject candidates with inconsistencies – whether on their resumes, on their LinkedIn profiles, their Facebook or Instagram profiles, and so on.

You can – and should – do a LOT more with your LinkedIn profile

You definitely can make your LinkedIn profile much more of a sales piece. Your profile’s “tone” can be less formal than that of your resume. Also, feel free to add video, hyperlinks to work examples and/or presentations (if applicable). And don’t forget recommendations and skill endorsements from previous managers and colleagues.

Take a leap and write a long-ish article (at least 600-700 words) on a topic of importance in your industry and post it as an “article” on LinkedIn (rather than the usual profile “update”). Add value with the article, either in the form of advice or your take on some controversy in your industry, for example. Once you’ve published the article, copy and paste its link as an update on your profile so that your connections will see it, click on the link and then read the article. Articles such as these can help elevate you far above your competition.

Just make sure it shares the same career focus as your resume, especially in your profile’s headline and in the About section (the section right below your profile’s headline).

If your current/most recent job is far different from the type of work you seek, you’ll need to say so on your profile – that you’re looking for a change. You also should mention this in the About section, as well as at when you discuss your current/most recent job (in the Experience section).

If you take a look at current opportunities here at The Intersect Group and find one or more positions that interest you, send us your resume/apply! If we submit your profile to our client(s) you can bet that we’ll also take a look at your LinkedIn profile and will help ensure it matches your resume.

We look forward to hearing from you!