Did you know you can use LinkedIn to build a resume?
Just view your Profile, click under More, select Save to PDF, and your resume will magically appear!
As part of Microsoft’s AI initiatives, this is a clever way to create a resume with little effort.
Or is it?
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using LinkedIn to build your resume:
Your LinkedIn Profile probably lacks the data needed for a truly outstanding resume.
Most LinkedIn Profiles do NOT contain interesting success stories, Skills, or other details that would otherwise attract recruiters.
On top of that, some LinkedIn users are wary of putting confidential data about their employers online, because revenue, client names, or losses, or stories about problems at the company should be disclosed with care.
However, you’ll see in 7 Tips to Take Your Executive Resume From Old-School to Outstanding that metrics and achievements are the STRONGEST elements needed in a powerful resume or LinkedIn Profile.
This means you must spend the time to gather the right achievements for a powerful personal brand message on your resume… and adjust confidential details as needed for public reading on LinkedIn.
Your LinkedIn-generated Resume will use fairly attractive formatting… but in the end, your resume will look just like everyone else’s document.
If you’re a novice in using Microsoft Word or other tools, you’ll be grateful to see your resume information populated very quickly by LinkedIn.
The PDF tool shows a dark-shaded column to the left, which contains your contact details, links to your websites, 3 top skills, certifications, honors, and publications. Your Experience section will show the details of your work history, with indents under each employer and job entry.
However, your resume is a business presentation and the format of your resume DOES matter. Why use a format that fails to distinguish you from other candidates?
As you can see in this Chief Revenue Officer resume, important elements such as achievements, skills, metrics, and a personal quote are set off with headings, color, and precise placement.
STILL unconvinced that layout matters? This resume eye-tracking study shows why a clean, clear format is essential.
Your LinkedIn Resume Builder-generated resume will “hide” your education.
Most employers want to see your education details to gauge your qualifications. Unfortunately, your LinkedIn Resume buries this data all the way at the bottom of your document.
Yes, hiring authorities can scroll down to see it, but remember the 6-7 second rule? Most will just glance at your resume and assume something is missing.
To add to the cons of this method, your Education entries (especially if they’re like mine, with some post-graduate certifications) are buried under any professional training you’ve completed since college.
When LinkedIn Resume Builder produces your resume, it will only grab your top 3 Skills.
If you believe an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is only seeking 3 keywords, you’re MISTAKEN.
To be effective, both your LinkedIn Profile and resume will need a multitude of keywords suited for the exact career level you’re pursuing (see point #5 in What Your Resume Should Look Like).
These terms must be scattered throughout your document to be most effective. You can also create a short grouping to show both ATS and human readers a strong snapshot of skills gained throughout your career. LinkedIn’s Resume Builder will unfortunately NOT allow you to do this.
Your LinkedIn Profile probably doesn’t address your career gaps or other problems.
A well-written resume isn’t a recitation of past jobs: it’s a MARKETING document intended to put your best foot forward.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is designed to present your career history in a straightforward manner.
If your career has significant gaps, you’ll need a plan for how to present (and explain) these period in your work history. Take a look at 5 Strategies for Handling a Gap on Your Resume – and apply these ideas to your LinkedIn Profile, too.
In summary, using LinkedIn to build your resume has serious limitations.
It may be a relief to generate a resume with little-to-no effort, especially if you’re new to resume writing.
But if you haven’t fully populated your LinkedIn Profile, you’re in for a big challenge. Even if you HAVE updated LinkedIn, you may not be able to feature top achievements (due to corporate confidentiality).
So you’ll still need to put in the work and document your biggest successes, personal brand, quantifiable career wins, and promise of value… whether you choose to work with a skilled resume writer or dedicate hours to writing a resume for yourself.
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