The LinkedIn Versus Resume Quarrel: Is There a Clear Winner?

LinkedIn versus ResumeAt a recent social event, I was sharing “So what do you do?” pleasantries with a new friend. After hearing  about my line of work (crafting quality resumes), he went on to tell me how unfamiliar he was with the concept of updating a resume. So far in his career, he had never really had to utilize a resume…

Recruiters had always found him on LinkedIn, where an initial inquiry led to a conversation, that led to an interview, that led to a job offer. All the while, the resume was merely a formality in the qualifying process.

So is this common? Even possible? Not it is not that common… but it is certainly possible, In fact, in some industries it seems to happen more and more.

With that said, I don’t subscribe to the idea that LinkedIn has, or ever really will, obliterate the resume completely. They are two very different tools with distinctly different marketing purposes.  Here is the difference:

Your Resume

  • More formal in tone and language, always written in 3rd person
  • Typically includes more detailed and granular information about accomplishments and key responsibilities
  • Is an outbound marketing tool targeted toward specific audiences
  • Should be regularly reworked and refined to fit the job opportunity and company at hand
  • Can be created into multiple versions serving different audiences or focuses

Your LinkedIn Profile

  • Less formal and more flexible, able to accommodate a more narrative or casual first-person voice
  • Presents information in a more high-level structure, as it’s reaching a much broader audience
  • With hardly any formatting options, it lends itself best to more concise, single paragraph style layout
  • Is an inbound marketing tool and platform to which people searching for specific skill sets can find you, versus you soliciting them
  • Should also be regularly tweaked (but less often) in accordance with employment changes, new skill sets, titles, or areas of focus
  • Represents your digital presence within a much bigger platform that offers exclusive job opportunities, networking potential, and niche group conversations
  • Will be one of the first entries to appear in search results when someone Googles your name, thanks to LinkedIn’s high SEO and site credibility

Having a carefully curated LinkedIn presence will significantly increase your visibility, and your chances of standing out to employers.  It’s not just an extra tool to supplement your resume – it’s the core foundation of your digital presence, and quite possibly the primary avenue through which hiring managers are likely to find you.

Look at LinkedIn as a compliment to your resume, and vice versa. One may find you a job, while the other may help you get found. Which means that using one without the other, in many circles, would make for a very long, frustrating job search.





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brooklyn Resume Studio!




Dana LeavyAbout the Author: Dana Leavy founded Aspyre Solutions, focusing on small business development and career consulting. Her mission is to support creative and socially-conscious small businesses, through career transition coaching and business consulting for creative professionals and entrepreneurs.

Dana has helped hundreds of professionals in advertising, marketing, design and other industries execute effective career plans to find and DO the work they are passionate about. She has presented seminars on navigating careers, transition and work-life balance to several colleges and universities, and her advice has been featured on MSN Careers, Fox Business News, NewsDay,, GlassDoor and Follow Dana on Twitter!



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