Overwhelmed by the prospect of having to write a resume to impress prospective employers? Then you better take a deep breath. Many recruiters and outplacement consultants say it's become important for job hunters not only to create impressive resumes but effective LinkedIn profiles as well.
According to Wendy Enelow, Executive Director of the Resume Writing Academy and the co-author of numerous books including Expert Resumes for Career Changers, Expert Resumes for Managers and Executives, and Expert Resumes for Engineers, "As recently as a year ago, we only did LinkedIn profiles for a small percentage of clients who came to us to write their resumes. Today, we do LinkedIn profiles for 85% of our resume clients. It's essential today, whether someone is employed or not, to have a professional profile on LinkedIn. In fact, I've been told by several recruiters if a candidate isn't on LinkedIn, he or she doesn't exist."
Sounds harsh but Enelow isn't alone in saying this. Steve Harvey, also believes LinkedIn profiles have become essential for job hunters. Harvey said, "I, too, have had recruiters tell me, 'If a candidate isn't on LinkedIn, a recruiter won't find that person."
Here are some questions that might be going through your mind followed by answers that might help in settling any issues you might have with this particular approach to recruitment.
Do you need to invest a lot of time creating a LinkedIn profile if you've already completed your resume? Can't you simply copy and paste the information from your resume into your LinkedIn profile?
"When you write a resume, your goal is to write as lean and mean as you possibly can. I've been writing resumes for over 30 years and increasingly, brevity and conciseness are among the top priorities. These days, whenever I'm writing a resume, I say to myself: "Write tight, write lean, and write clear". What might have been a six-line paragraph before is now a three-line paragraph."
"On the other hand, a LinkedIn profile enables you to elaborate and tell more of your career story. For starters, you have room for a 2000 character summary in your LinkedIn profile. And although you don't have to use all those characters, you certainly have enough room for relevant accomplishment summaries and educational credentials in that summary section."
"A resume that highlights someone's key strengths and selected accomplishments transfers well to a LinkedIn profile. In fact, since people often have only skeletal LinkedIn profiles when they first come to us for outplacement, we encourage them to add information from the summary on the first half of the first page of their resumes to their LinkedIn profiles."
There is an opportunity to write more in your LinkedIn profile than your resume, but do not get carried away. "If you're going to elaborate on anything in your LinkedIn profile, spend more time on what's relevant to the jobs you're applying for and on recent accomplishments."
By the way, in case you're wondering, although most recruiters believe LinkedIn profiles have become essential for job hunters, the same is not true of Facebook. "In fact, when doing outplacement with people, we encourage them to check their Facebook pages and make sure there's nothing on them that would turn off prospective employers or undermine their candidacy for jobs they might consider pursuing."
What if you're currently employed? Is having a LinkedIn profile a good or bad idea? What if your current employer comes across your LinkedIn profile while checking LinkedIn for a specific job applicant's profile? Would your employer worry that you're looking for another job?
"It's a natural thing to have a LinkedIn profile these days so coming across yours shouldn't make your employer worry that you're looking for another job. Some employers might actually be concerned if they don't see someone's profile on LinkedIn."
"It wouldn't necessarily raise any suspicion by your employer to find your profile on Linked In." "In fact, if you joined a group of professionals on LinkedIn related to your profession or industry, your employer might benefit from the information you learn by networking with those colleagues."
How To Create A LinkedIn Profile