I was reading an article about LinkedIn about general advice for all users relative to their profile. All was fine and quiet until I read one tiny statement saying that if you are looking for a job it is okay for your profile and resume to be the same.

“NO it is NOT!” is what I yelled out. At which point the little one I think growled at me, the middle one looked at the biggest one like, “he did it” and the biggest one just sat there with a big goofy grin on his face.

It is not okay, in no way is it okay for your profile and resume to be the same.

Different Conversations

Your resume is an arm’s length, removed conversation; a professional sales pitch for a general audience.

Your LinkedIn profile is a one-on-one conversation with the person reading it; a business casual, professional conversation.

In a resume you used the assumed I: “Manage nine districts”

In your profile you use I and me: “I managed nine districts”

Your resume opens with a sales statement, telling the reader what you bring to the table and answers the question “What can you do for me?” Say that statement out loud, you sound silly. No one talks like that in conversation. In LinkedIn, speak from and as yourself as you were answering that question to a person sitting across from you.

Different Parameters

A resume is normally one to two pages yet there is flexibility as to font type, size, spacing etc. LinkedIn has limits, including:

First Name: 20 characters, Last Name: 40 characters
Professional Headline: 120 characters
Summary: 2,000 characters
Recommendation: 3,000 characters
Position Title: 100 characters
Position Description: 200 minimum and 2000 maximum characters

Different Pieces to the Puzzle

In job searching you are a brand and it is imperative that your branding is consistent. Your brand extends to your resume, LinkedIn profile, networking and interviewing. Each of these are individual pieces that carry the same brand. They should have a similar feel but be fit to the situation and expectations of each one.

Although you use words in your resume and LinkedIn profile that resonate with you in describing your value; the difference is that in LinkedIn you are letting your personality show through a bit more.

If your LinkedIn and resume are the same you sound like a one-trick pony. People read your LinkedIn profile to find out more information, get a deeper feel for you as a professional and person.

The primary purpose of your resume is to sell yourself. The primary purpose of your LinkedIn is to engage your target audience; to begin a conversation that opens the door for you to sell yourself.


I hope you enjoyed this article and it provided value for you. If so, please click on the follow button so I may continue to share valuable content with you or the share buttons to share with your network.

I help people identify and set a path to achieve their career goals by using the V Formula:

Your Value + Your Voice = Visibility

Visibility is the leverage to move in, move up or move on in your career; expand your book of business or territory, grow your company and strengthen your team.


Lisa K. McDonald, Owner and Principal of Career Polish, Inc. is a favorite speaker and seminar facilitator at colleges, professional organizations and companies around the US speaking to leadership, sales and athletic teams; transitioning/downsized employees and networking groups about personal branding, networking, creating executive presence and achieving career movement success. To find out more, visit Career Polish, Inc.