Traditional resume, LinkedIn profile, or both?

It may not be age-old, but, as of late, many professionals have found themselves asking the same question: Has LinkedIn replaced the traditional black and white paper resume?

There are some, Brand Love Hate blogger Jason Whitman for example, who say LinkedIn is all a job seeker needs. Other professionals like Talaentia’s Octavio Ballesta say a LinkedIn profile merely compliments the traditional resume. We agree with the latter- there may come a day when LinkedIn is the only necessary resume, but, for now, both are preferred.

That being said, a stellar LinkedIn profile allows today’s job seeker to stand head and shoulders above other potential hires. Maintaining a LinkedIn profile shows a potential employer that you’re tech-savvy and eager to network.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, we suggest you jump on the bandwagon and sign up today. Sign up right now, in fact! And once you’re a member, utilize the following few tips to make your profile shine:

1. Upload a current, professional picture. For the older audience, we agree that you look foxy in your senior portrait from 1980, but we want to know how you look now. Select a picture from the past few years, please. For the younger audience, ensure that your picture is a straight-on, fully-clothed snapshot. Remember, LinkedIn is your online resume. Be professional at all times.

2. Keep your experience as relevant as possible. If you’ve worked as a waitress at nine restaurants, either include the most current position or the one you’ve held the longest, but don’t list all nine and try to convince me that they’ve all molded you into a well-rounded human being.

3. Be as descriptive as possible with your experience. Just like on your resume, use strong active verbs at the beginning of each sentence. Also be sure to include ROI wherever possible.

4. Make your profile SEO friendly. Under websites, instead of choosing “Personal website,” “Company website,” “Blog,” etc., always select “Other.” This allows you to write keywords in the box to the right. It’s also possible to change your given public profile URL. Just click “Edit” and replace your given jumble of letters and numbers with your name.

5. Ask for recommendations from your higher-ups. Did your last boss absolutely adore you? Let him or her tell the world how wonderful you are. This allows potential employers to get a sense of who you are and how you work. (And if the recommendation turns out too flowery, you can always choose not to publish it on your profile.)

Business Insider has more great LinkedIn tips in its article “10 Things You Never Knew You Could Do On LinkedIn.”

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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

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