If you’re solely relying on your resume to sell yourself to prospective employers, you’re missing out, big-time. According to a study by the Society for Human Resources Management, nearly 80 percent of organizations are using social media to recruit potential job candidates — with 94 percent of them choosing LinkedIn for the task.
“LinkedIn is the central hub for today’s job marketplace and lacking a presence there virtually makes you an unknown commodity,” says UMUC Career Advising Specialist Cathy Francois. “While recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn to source candidates, you can proactively use the platform to showcase your personal brand and actively engage with those in your existing network.”
Your resume – freed!
With a traditional resume, you’re typically limited to a couple of pages in length – three at most if you’re a senior-level leader with decades under your belt. When you leverage LinkedIn to get your expertise out there, you are no longer under these constraints.
“You aren’t just limited to ink on paper with LinkedIn, either. You can take full advantage of the ability to post images, videos, and links to bring your resume to life online.
How to translate your resume to LinkedIn
Your resume will serve as a great guide for your LinkedIn profile, but you don’t just want to copy it word for word. Instead, use it as a jumping-off point for a rich, interactive LinkedIn presence.
First, be sure to include a professional headshot with your profile. This reminds the viewer that you are a real human being, and it helps build and reinforce your personal brand. Plus, shows people are more likely to open your profile if you use one.
You also have a great opportunity to make an attention-grabbing first impression when you customize your LinkedIn headline and summary statement. Get creative, and try to capture the essence of why employers would want to hire you.
“Keep in mind that LinkedIn is also a search engine, so be sure to optimize your headline and summary by incorporating key words that are relevant to your desired industry or career,” says Francois. “Your summary should be written in the first person and unlike your resume, feel free to use personal pronouns to highlight your unique attributes, experience, and interest.”
You’ll want to include your work experience and education on your LinkedIn profile page, but don’t just stop there. Whenever possible, show—don’t just tell—the impact you have had on the organizations where you’ve worked. This means linking to a paper you’ve written, linking to an article about an award you won, or posting images or videos of major projects you’ve completed.
Your LinkedIn page, unlike your traditional resume, is a living, breathing thing. Be sure to update it regularly with new skills, accomplishments, and work samples.
Beyond that, stay relevant by joining and participating in groups, posting interesting articles that are relevant to your industry or field, and commenting on others’ posts.
“A great way to stay in front of your LinkedIn connections is to post images from industry events you’ve attended, share your thoughts on professional development classes you’ve attended, pass along career opportunities you know about, or upload video of a speech you gave at a conference,” notes Francois. “The opportunities are endless.”
Don’t forget to regularly reach out to connect with other professionals you’ve met along the way so you can continue to build your network.
When you leverage LinkedIn to amplify the impact of your resume, your visibility to prospective employers increases exponentially — and so do your potential career opportunities.
For more assistance, contact your UMUC Career Services Office at 240-684-2720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.