I spoke with a job seeker this week who is seven months into his search. After receiving his inquiry and before calling him, I did what many professionals and all recruiters do these days…. I reviewed his LinkedIn profile. What I saw was that he had eight jobs in the last 11 years. Yikes!
When we got on the phone, I told him that I had reviewed his LinkedIn profile. He shared his background, which I had already seen (and was frightened by) on his LinkedIn profile. I asked what he wanted to do next and he told me he wanted to be in sales or business development with a technology company.
After a few more minutes of conversation, I decided to “hit him” with a question that I hoped would get his attention and be helpful to him. (I do this frequently when I see people shooting themselves in both feet.) I asked him “Do you realize your LinkedIn profile is scary?” He said he recognized that his frequent job changes were not good, so he had just updated his resume to lump some of the work together under a title like “consulting” or something similar.
Your LinkedIn Profile and Your Resume
So, my next question was “Why didn’t you do the same thing on your LinkedIn profile?” He said he hadn’t gotten around to it yet, but planned to do it soon. Remember… this is seven months into his job search!
I tell you this story because I want you to avoid making the same mistake this job seeker made… using a scary resume and LinkedIn profile, plus not synchronizing them.
In addition to synchronizing your documentation, you also need to increase your profile’s visibility to recruiters, hiring managers, and networking contacts. Check out my previous blog post for tips on doing this. By increasing your visibility, you will improve your long-term career opportunities as noted in Chapter 13 of my career book:
Having recruiters calling you and offering you jobs, even if you decide not to take them, will improve your career attitude and allow you to be a resource by referring them to good people you know.
Once you have become more visible, then your profile will be seen by 20 times more people than will your resume. It then becomes far more important than your resume and will attract job opportunities. Then, with a synchronized resume, you will be in good shape!
When you engage in a future conversation that requires your resume be provided to a recruiter or hiring manager (or if you have it posted online and they can find it there), it is critical that your profile be synchronized. They will check it. This doesn’t mean they should be identical. I recommend your profile use excerpts from your resume rather than duplicate it.
A final note: Many of my clients have more than one resume. If you have more than one resume, then it’s important that your LinkedIn profile be a coherent blend of all the resumes you are providing to others.
I want you to be successful and gain the career opportunities you deserve. Synchronize now and maximize your future!