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Creating a LinkedIn Profile

The Hiring Process Social Media in Job Search

Question:

Everybody says I should have LinkedIn for my job search. Can I just upload my résumé to the LinkedIn Profile and be done with it?

Answer:

You can, but it isn’t a good idea.

Your résumé should be targeted to a particular job (not, for instance, “administrative assistant,” but rather “Administrative Assistant III at Company X.”) You should be using the words you find in the job lead, and even putting those words in the same order that the job lead does. When you send in the résumé for another job, you’ll want to change it again to match that job. You don’t have to start over from nothing, but you should move the bullet points around to reflect what’s important to each new employer.

That’s virtually impossible with LinkedIn. You don’t always know when someone is looking at your profile, or what job they may want to fill (if any.) Your LinkedIn Profile is much more of an all-purpose document.

The Profile can (probably should) show you to be a well-rounded human being, not just a job machine. It’s okay to include your hobbies and interests, even if (gasp!) they don’t apply to what you do for a living. While you’re job searching, you’ll probably want to steer clear of listing any hobbies and interests that could be used to discriminate against you (e.g. religious affiliation, race, marital status, etc.)

The style of the Profile is also different from a résumé. In the Profile, you can use “I” and “my,” and a much more conversational style of writing. You can talk about your passions, and even a little bit about how you got where you are.

Besides, your future employer will most likely check your Profile after he’s read your résumé and decided he likes what he sees. He’ll be looking for new information, not the same stuff he’s just read. He’s likely to conclude you don’t know how to use LinkedIn properly. He might even decide that you are lazy.

If you want to know more about LinkedIn, or how to improve your Profile, consider attending “Social Networking for Your Job Search.” Check the FCWS Calendar of Events to see when the next class is.

Yes, there are ways to upload your résumé to LinkedIn, but the Profile is so much more than that. It would be a shame to duplicate what the employer already has.