How Job Seekers Can Leverage Resumes and LinkedIn for Success

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In today’s candidate-driven job market, a polished resume and LinkedIn profile are the ultimate dynamic duo! When used effectively, these tools are your chance to make a strong first impression with a hiring manager and show them exactly why you’re the perfect candidate for the role.

But how can you use both to your advantage?

While your resume offers specific details and insights about your working experience, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for expanding your network, establishing your professional presence, and sharing your career highlights. With six people hired every minute on LinkedIn, it’s important to take advantage of this platform by telling your unique story, celebrating your career milestones, and filling in any gaps your resume may have missed.

10 tips for developing your LinkedIn profile and resume

Both your resume and LinkedIn showcase your accomplishments in different yet equally important ways. Resumes are best suited for targeted job postings while LinkedIn is a robust social network that is ideal for connecting with a broader audience across your industry. When crafting your resume, never underestimate the power of a sleek and clean format! A nicely designed PDF with various columns highlighting your achievements is still possible even if your resume is sent through an ATS (Applicant Tracking System).

Your resume should typically include the following:

  1. An eye-catching headline that is tailored to the job you are applying for
  2. A strong summary section that connects your prior experiences to your career goals
  3. Concise and factual accomplishments that use numerical values to showcase your achievements rather than simply listing your job responsibilities
  4. Bullet point styling that  allows hiring managers to digest the information presented easily
  5. A professional writing style (avoid slang, abbreviations, etc.)

LinkedIn offers plenty of space to provide supplemental information that isn’t usually included in a resume. Here are a few tips to ensure that your profile makes the best possible impact on recruiters and hiring managers:

  1. Write an industry-focused headline that focuses on your value proposition
  2. Make sure that you’re using a well-lit, clutter-free profile image that shows you smiling
  3. Be sure to fill out all relevant profile sections, including skills, volunteer experience, professional certifications, courses, and languages
  4. Request recommendations from both current and former colleagues; encourage them to be as specific as possible when speaking about your achievements
  5. Grow your network on an ongoing basis by connecting with colleagues, mentors, etc.

The importance of staying up-to-date

While some people believe that a resume is a static document only to be updated when you change roles, job seekers with the most success regularly update and tailor their resumes for each application. Ensuring that you are speaking to the key requirements of the role while featuring your most relevant accomplishments is key to leaving a lasting impression during the application process. We’ve broken down a few suggestions to help you craft a highly targeted resume:

  • Analyze the job description and identify 3-5 competencies the employer is looking for — by breaking down the main points, you can draw out significant parts of your career that line up with the desired experience
  • Highlight any transferable skills from past jobs
  • Only include relevant details; this may mean that you need to remove a few points from your resume in order to keep your message focused

Your LinkedIn is a dynamic tool that should be updated continuously, even if you’re currently employed. In addition to regularly adding any new volunteer or advisory positions and skills learned, you can stay engaged on the platform by:

  • Sharing updates, such as quotes that resonate with you, polls to learn more about your network or interesting industry articles
  • Leveraging the ‘featured’ section on your profile to spotlight career highlights
  • Interacting with your network (providing recommendations to your colleagues and professional partners, engaging with content your contacts have shared, endorsing other people’s skills)

How formal should your resume be in comparison to your LinkedIn presence?

It’s a good idea to write resumes in a formal, third-person voice, but keep the language concise since it will eventually be sent to the hiring manager’s inbox. Resumes are limited in space, so every word should be carefully chosen and crafted to make an impact.

Comparatively, since LinkedIn is a social networking site first, you have some space for creativity and can show off your personality. Try to use conversational language instead of being very formal. Write catchy captions and make bold statements that demonstrate your experience.

With the right approach, your resume and LinkedIn profile should work in tandem to help you land your next role. By understanding the differences between the two and taking the time to flesh them both out, you’ll soon be on your way to landing the job of your dreams.

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