Job Search Answers – Posting Dual Career Goals On Linkedin

Apr 11 2012 in Featured, Networking/Social Networking, reCareered Blog, social branding by Phil Rosenberg

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At the end of my Resume Revolution complimentary webinars (enroll at, I open up the floor to job search questions … from you.

This was an interesting job search question asked by M.M. after one of my webinars:

“My question is how to post dual career goals on Linkedin. I know that I should write separate resumes/cover letters when applying for these type of jobs but I am not skilled to present dual careers on Linkedin.”

M.M., This is a great question, because it discusses something that many job seekers face – how to present multiple goals on Linkedin and social media profiles.

Ever since affordable PCs and laser printers made printing customized resumes feasible, smart candidates have been presenting resumes customized to the job they were applying for. This is possible because the candidate can control what is presented to an individual reader by email (or before that, snail mail).

However, candidates can’t control who reads a specific version of Social Media profiles, including Linkedin. No major social media platform allow for multiple profiles for an individual account. Also, it’s considered violating terms of service of Linkedin and Facebook to develop multiple accounts for a single person. They’re both serious about it too – multiple accounts could get you banned.

So you’re stuck with one profile for major social media platforms. This creates problems for multiple goal job seekers.

It becomes even more of a challenge when you look at how recruiters/HR reps use social media. I quoted a study last year that 91% of employers use social media to help them decide who to hire and 47% use social media to decide whether to schedule an interview. See for my article analyzing this study.

Why does this matter? Because recruiters/HR reps look for more than bad behavior and negative comments about employers – they look for inconsistencies and outright resume lies. Since somewhere around 40% of resumes contain lies, one reason for HR screening is to identify non-truthful resumes.

Here’s the dilemma: If you can develop infinite versions of your resume, but only one version of your social profile … how can you avoid inconsistencies that might raise a red flag?

By the way, this article isn’t about helping you get past lies on your resumes – I don’t advocate resume lying. However, if you have multiple resume versions, each that highlight different aspects of your career, how can you reconcile this with just a single social profile, to avoid employers concerns over legitimate inconsistencies?

Until social media platforms allow a single user to post multiple profiles, you have just 3 ways to deal with this conflict:

  1. Use a single profile and a single resume: While this can assure that your profile will match your resume, it forces you to focus on a single career path, when your background might lend itself to more than one type of position. While your profile will match your resume, your resume won’t match job descriptions that vary from your resume.
  2. Focus on a single career path: This isn’t a bad idea, as I suggest in numerous articles to focus on a single career path – based on the employer problem that you solve better than anyone else. If you’re focused on what you do best (rather than on all the things you ‘could’ do), you’re more likely to have a consistent resume and profile. This doesn’t require you to use the same resume for each job, because the jobs you are applying for are similar, customized resumes should be similar to your Linkedin or other social media profile.
  3. Make social media an “umbrella” covering your resumes: Construct a social media profile that covers all the resume possibilities you might write, so that your customized resume won’t conflict with social media. Be careful – while your social media profile should be broader than your resume, make it so broad that it covers many career paths and you’re less likely to show up on social media searches. That’s right, if you want to be found on social media, you’ll want to make your profile as specific as possible, but the broader your career goals, the broader your profile needs to be to avoid inconsistencies. So you’ve got a tradeoff …

That’s why I generally recommend chasing no more than 2 career paths at the same time. Going after more than 2 waters down your experience in each, makes you look like a jack-of-all trades, and risks social media profile inconsistency.

Recognize that most employers will discount career paths that are more than 5 years old and ignore paths more than 10 years old – because there isn’t a shortage of candidates with current experience in these careers (why should an employer go with someone who isn’t current in their field, when they can find plenty of candidates who are current?).

So make your best choices – when you try to be all things to all people, you end up being attractive to none.


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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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