LinkedIn versus a Resume or Business Bio – The Difference is Voice

I love LinkedIn.  It is a fabulous universe centered on business.  This is where you go to make connections, build relationships, get discovered for a new position, create visibility and engagement with your target market, as well as have access to an incredible amount of rich, meaningful content.

It is a beautiful, happy place in my world.

This is why I give numerous training sessions and workshops about the power of LinkedIn and how to leverage it as a job seeker to get hired by the right company, or a business professional to build your business aligning with your target market.  I want to share the love of LinkedIn.

Today I want to share one of the most important factor of LinkedIn and how it differs from your other promotional written material.

That is, how is LinkedIn different from your resume (for job seekers) or your business biography (for sales/business owners).

It is a matter of voice.  Voice based on a type of conversation.

Arm’s Length Conversation

Your resume or business bio is an arm’s length conversation with the reader.  It is a professional sales presentation.  You do not know who might read it.

For a resume it could be the CEO or the assistant to the hiring manager, each will be looking for specific items and reviewing it in their own way.  Same concept with the bio, you just do not know who is reading it.  Nonetheless, you want to be prepared that no matter who reads it, your value comes across clearly, confidently and they see you as the ideal candidate.

You do not say “I” or “me” in the resume because it is about you and therefore it is an assumed “I”.  The sentence structure may sound odd (and you get more green squiggly lines in Word), however, it is acceptable and expected in this format.

For example: “Responsible for over $2M operating budget”

One-on-One Conversation

LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a one-on-one conversation with the person reading your profile at that moment.

That person can look at your picture (you should have a picture on LinkedIn – we will cover that in another article) and get a sense of who you are.  You are speaking directly to them engaging them in a conversation and therefore you do use the “I” and “me”s.

For example: “I oversee an operating budget of over $2M”

Although I would caution using specific numbers, your company may not be too thrilled about that, the above was just demonstrative purposes of the “I”.

LinkedIn allows you to leverage you.  Your voice, your personality, your passion – all the things that make you awesome and set you apart from anyone else.

On a resume, it might sound hokey to say, “I love xyz”.  I posted an article yesterday about the reader’s frame of mind – (click here to read “What are They Thinking When They Read Your Resume).  The resume is all about “what can you do for me”.  Saying you love something does not answer that question, and quite frankly, they don’t care what you love.

You love customer service, awesome, I love my son and dogs.  Same relevancy in a resume because I am not answering the WCYDFM question and it is not demonstrating or supporting my value.  Another thing, you love customer service – does that mean getting customer service or providing customer service?  This is a big old rabbit hole that I could get lost in, so I will stop now.

However, on your LinkedIn profile, since you are having a one-on-one conversation.  If you are a very gregarious person than it may sound much more genuine to state you love something.  You also have the opportunity to describe this passion in your own words that builds validity.

You could say something like you love customer service, how great you are at it, how long you have been doing it and why you love it – the satisfaction of making sure your clients receive the best experience.  You get the idea.

This is the beginning point of writing your LinkedIn profile.  Some other tricky factors are writing a profile to be discovered for a new job while you are currently employed, how to write a resume for your target sales market and writing a LinkedIn profile as an executive representing your organization.

All of these topics will be covered in separate articles soon.

For today, our lesson is recognizing what type of conversation you are having with your audience and use your appropriate voice, this will lead to you message being received correctly.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist, & Career Coach


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