Job Search Answers: How Does My Customized Resume Compare To Linkedin?

Sep 6 2012 in Featured, Networking/Social Networking, reCareered Blog 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.

Occasionally, I’ll also answer especially interesting questions posted on my Linkedin group, Career Central ( or reCareered’s Facebook page (

This was an interesting job search question asked by J.C. during a recent webinar:

“How does customizing a resume work, when often the next step a review takes is to go to Linkedin where the information might be different?”

That’s a great question J.C. …

You can customize your resume, to make it specifically geared to an individual company, opportunity and hiring manager. You can change the focus of your accomplishments, to show that you’re a superior candidate who has already solved problems similar to the hiring manager’s priorities.

Resume customization to each individual opportunity is possible because you can control which version of your resume goes to a specific employer.

On the flip side, you don’t have this level of control over your Linkedin profile.

Sure, you can change your Linkedin profile whenever you want. But you can’t control who sees your profile. So it’s impossible to customize your Linkedin profile for the individual reader.

That’s the basic dilemma – you vastly improve the odds you’ll get an interview by customizing your resume. But at the same time, because you can’t customize your Linkedin profile for an individual reader, you run the risk of a conflict between your customized resume and your Linkedin profile.

It becomes an even greater potential conflict if you are applying for more than one type of job or looking in more than one industry. Again, you can customize your resume to look for multiple types of jobs in different industries, but you can only have one Linkedin profile.

Here’s how to best coordinate a customized resume with your Linkedin profile:

Your Linkedin profile is not the same thing as your resume. Don’t confuse them, because they each have different purposes. Many candidates miss this, using a Linkedin profile when a resume is the right answer. Others send a resume when a Linkedin profile would be more effective.

Treat your Linkedin profile as an umbrella that covers all your resume versions. Since you can’t individualize your Linkedin profile for each user, like you can with your resume, create a profile that won’t conflict with the full breadth of resumes you’ll create. This takes some focus on your part, because you won’t have a very interesting profile if you’re trying to cover every possible job on the planet, from secretary through brain surgeon.

To create an effective umbrella profile, you’ll need to limit your resume versions to one or two job functions, in one or two industries. Focus your resumes, job applications, and readers on a narrow field, so you can create a Linkedin umbrella that’s smaller than the great state of Texas.

If your job search consists of throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall to see what sticks, your Linkedin umbrella will be so broad to avoid conflicts, that recruiters will ignore it in searches. This is no different than creating overly broad resumes that recruiters, HR reps and hiring mangers avoid like the plague. When you list everything you could do, you brand yourself as a generalist – Hiring managers don’t hire generalists today, even for generalist jobs.

Creating customized resumes and a Linkedin profile that supports many customized resumes requires balance and focus.

Rather than describe everything you could do, instead focus your job search and resume on the one or two things you do better than anyone else. With this type of focus, you can have your cake and eat it too … you can customize your resume for individual jobs and still have a Linkedin profile that supports the resumes you send out.

So choose your focus, make it reasonably narrow, and support it with an umbrella Linkedin profile to solve the conflict between customized resumes and a static Linkedin profile.


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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.

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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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