Resume vs Profile: Which should job seekers send?

Jun 17 2010 in Featured, reCareered Blog, Resumes by Phil Rosenberg

I see many candidates who send a link to their Linkedin profile, instead of their resume. Do you realize each one has a different and separate purpose?

A profile and resume are not equal. There are times when sending a link to your profile is more effective, and others when sending your resume will work better.

Often candidates send a Linkedin profile, when a resume would be more effective to meet their goals – or send a resume, when their Linkedin profile would help them more. How can job seekers tell whether to send their resume, or their profile?

Here’s a guide:

Each One Is Used For A Different Purpose:

The question of weather to send a resume or a profile depends on its purpose … why are you sending? What are you trying to accomplish?

Your Linkedin Profile:

  1. Detail: A profile only provides highlights about your background. Including the same amount of detail as your resume is a big mistake Your profile is a teaser, intended to encourage your reader to want to learn more through additional communication. Few people include their full work history on a Linkedin profile – do your profile readers care what you did 20 years ago?
  2. Impression: Your Linkedin profile is your Social Brand, giving your reader the first impression of who you are in business.
  3. Static: Your Linkedin profile is also static. While you can change it anytime, your profile presents a single communication to all readers. It’s impractical to customize your profile to meet an individual reader’s needs.
  4. Time: If you are shocked at how little time a reader spends on your resume, expect that your readers spend about 1/2 as much time on your profile. That means it’s got to be to the point, and even more effective at grabbing a reader’s attention so they will read further.
  5. Public: Your Linkedin profile is public. If you are a passive job seeker, attempting to change jobs while currently working, you probably don’t want to be upfront that you’re looking for a job. However, job seekers who are in transition can use their Linkedin profile’s public attributes to actively promote their job search.
  6. Searchable: Your Linkedin profile is easily searchable for keywords by recruiters, HR reps, and hiring managers.

In comparison, your resume has very different features. These may seem like minor details, but they are critical to branding, to making your resume more findable, or to closely controlling distribution …

Your Resume:

  1. Detail: Your resume should present much more detail than a profile, giving a more in depth view of your professional accomplishments, experience, and skills. While you may not want to list detail of your early career work experience, you certainly want to list job titles and time line – just to give your reader a comfort level that you didn’t spend time in the slammer.
  2. Impression: Your resume gives the first impression that you’re asking the reader for a job, even if the reader isn’t in the hiring process and even if your intention isn’t to directly ask them for a job ( see ).
  3. Non-Static: Your resume doesn’t have to be static – you change easily change it to meet the specific needs of each reader.
  4. Time: Readers spend an average 15 seconds on your resume – effective use of resume real estate help you direct the reader’s eyes to the information you most want them to see ( ). You have far more control over this than a Linkedin profile allows.
  5. Private: Your resume is private – if you want it to be. Your resume is typically sent as an attachment via email, person to person. While helpful to passive candidate, job seekers in transition may prefer to make their resume more public – fortunately, there are many options (including attachment to Linkedin profile, posting on your personal website, posting on your online profile, Google Docs, posting on a job board).
  6. Searchable: Your resume can be searchable, but you’ll need to put in a little more work, depending on just how much control you want. You can attach to your Linkedin profile, but that doesn’t make the content of your resume searchable until someone actually opens your resume. On the other hand, you can post it to your personal website or Google Docs and allow it to be fully public and searchable by Google.

When To Use A Profile:

Use your Linkedin profile when you:

  • Want to make a first impression – Social Branding
  • Network – In person or online
  • Seek an introduction
  • Research a company
  • Search for additional contacts within a company or industry
  • Seek informational interviews
  • Seek a phone conversation
  • Seek to expand your industry influence
  • Attempt to learn more about a company’s problems and issues
  • Have not yet built a relationship and are still premature to ask for a job
  • Passively job searching
  • Encourage others to find you

When To Use Your Resume:

Use your resume when you:

  • Directly ask a hiring manager, HR, or recruiter for an interview
  • Seek to customize your accomplishments, skills, and experience to fit a company’s needs
  • Seek to expand your “findability” on Google searches
  • Send your resume blindly without prior contact (don’t expect good results from this tactic)
  • Formally apply for a job
  • Seek to get into a recruiter’s database

You should be able to see that Linkedin profiles and resumes are each effective for different purposes.

Knowing when to use each one, and the different power that each can provide your search is one key to getting what you want in your job search.

How do you decide whether to send your Linkedin profile or your resume?


Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?

To attend our next complimentary live webinar featuring action items to double your resume response rate and number of interviews, plus live career Q&A with Phil Rosenberg of reCareered, register at .

Available Now On Amazon: Job Search Secrets - Rethink Your Job Search Now, By Phil Rosenberg

Phil shows you why your current job search strategies work against you and how to replace them with strategies that improve your odds. Phil provides you with research - cold, hard statistics provided by job boards and hiring managers themselves, to show you what works for you and against you in the worst job market in our lifetimes.

Download Job Search Secrets on Amazon

Join our mailing list for newsletters, announcements of complimentary upcoming webinars and other job search resources. Sign up at

For access to more information:
Connect to Phil Rosenberg on Linkedin:
Follow reCareered on Linkedin:
Like reCareered on Facebook:
Follow Phil Rosenberg on Google+:
Follow reCareered on Twitter:
Join Career Change Central on Linkedin:

Author: Phil Rosenberg

You might also like

Build a Linkedin Profile That You Can Be Proud Of! If you are looking for a job, you should count on employers looking for your Linkedin profile. Are you...
Resume vs Profile: Which should job seekers send? – Page 3 When To Use A Profile:Use your Linkedin profile when you:Want to make a first impression - Social BrandingNetwork...
Encourage Employers (And Recruiters) To Find You How can you encourage a hiring manager or recruiter to find you, when you're looking for a job? It's...
Ten Things To Do After You’ve Told All Your Friends You’re between jobs, you’ve told all your friends, and you sent them all resumes – now what? 1....