LinkedIn is a great tool for professionals. It offers the opportunity to network with others in your field, and it can be a great tool for finding job leads—and even getting hired. All too often, I see people who simply copy their resume information directly into their LinkedIn profile. This is absolutely the wrong approach for a few reasons, and if this is something that you are doing, it is definitely something you should fix as soon as possible.
Hiring Managers Have Already Seen Your Resume
If you manage to get shortlisted for a great position, you can bet that your prospective employer is going to do his or her homework to learn more about you. The hiring manager already has your resume in hand, so when he or she visits your LinkedIn profile, there should be new and expanded information and content available. Don't just rehash what they already know. Your resume limited you to succinct phrases and listings of your accomplishments—your LinkedIn profile gives you an opportunity to establish your personal brand and explain how those accomplishments were achieved.
You Have More Space—Use It
With a LinkedIn profile, you get 2,000 characters to summarize yourself. In a resume, you get a few brief sentences. Take advantage of that extra space and establish your brand while working in keywords that are relevant to the position or positions you would like to be hired for. Your profile also offers you more sections than a traditional resume, giving you the opportunity to really showcase more about yourself. Your LinkedIn profile should be as complete as possible, and you should work to expand on the information in your resume as well as to add as much new and relevant information as possible.
In short, hiring managers looking to learn more about you have already seen your resume, while prospective managers looking for great job candidates are looking for the total package. No matter which situation applies to you, simply copying your resume information into your profile isn't going to cut it. Your LinkedIn profile is your brand statement—and where you can really let your business personality and experience shine. A resume limits you in many ways that a social network doesn't, so make sure that you are taking full advantage of all of the space and opportunities LinkedIn provides.