You have your shiny new LinkedIn profile. Someone asks for your resume. Can you just direct them to your profile?
To be sure you are giving them what they need, ask them what they need to learn. If they just want an informal idea of who you are and what you do, your LinkedIn profile will be just fine.
If you’re applying for a job, the answer is likely to be no. The HR Department usually needs an electronic document they can feed their Applicant Tracking System. They may even want you to enter your resume information into their online form.
What about using LinkedIn’s Resume Builder?
I tried it to see what it would do with my profile, and I can’t say that I would recommend it. Your LinkedIn profile is supposed to be different from your resume, less formal, more conversational, first person. Mine takes that piece of advice seriously, so when I use the builder to convert it to a resume, what I get is a LinkedIn profile with headings. That means for a resume, the tone is wrong, it has too many words, longer paragraphs of sentences rather than tight, clean rows of bullets. It just doesn’t work. I would not hand it to an employer and expect to be taken seriously, and I wouldn’t want you to, either.
One way you can use your profile is to keep someone happy while they wait for your resume. Occasionally, I have clients who are applying for a job with a deadline not that far away. Sometimes frighteningly not that far away.
Rather than assuming they have lost that opportunity because I won’t drop all of my other clients and work 72 hours straight to finish their project by the deadline, I recommend that they ask if the deadline is firm. Sometimes it is, and they have to make another choice. Fairly often, though, they learn they can submit their resume after the deadline. I even had one client who was told they had two more weeks because the person who would be reviewing the resumes was on vacation. (I love strategic planning.)
The main thing to remember about your LinkedIn profile is that it is a way for people to find you. The thing you have to decide is who you want to have find you and what they will be looking for when they do. In other words, when you write your profile, have your audience in mind. Then, figure out the search terms or words they will be using when they do their search. Use those words in your profile.
If you need a resume or a new LinkedIn profile, give me a call at 218.791.4045. It will take about 15 minutes of our time to figure out if I am the right person to complete your project. Even if I’m not, we will have had a nice chat, and I will likely be able to refer you to a more suitable colleague.