Advance Yourself

Your LinkedIn Profile is Not Your Resume

Some people think that LinkedIn Profiles and resumes are interchangeable. They are not. Many people copy the contents of their resumes into the various sections of their LinkedIn Profiles. They should not. Your LinkedIn Profile and your resume serve different purposes and have different functions. LinkedIn Profiles should also written be in a different tone and voice and contain different levels of detail than your resume.

Your LinkedIn Profile is the cornerstone of your inbound marketing strategy. Your LinkedIn Profile is designed to attract the attention and stimulate the interest of recruitment consultants and employers who use LinkedIn as a tool to identify potential candidates.


The headline of your LinkedIn Profile (the words directly under your name) should reflect the terms recruiters will use when using LinkedIn to search for candidates. It’s like a website: if you use the search terms people use to find a product or service, your website will be found. If your LinkedIn

Because your LinkedIn headline appears everywhere on the platform and is the first thing people see, it plays a huge role in your chances of appearing in LinkedIn search results. When your headline is optimised with relevant and targeted keywords, you increase your chances of getting to the top of the search results list, getting noticed by recruiters, and getting connected with hiring managers.

Use nouns that describe your expertise. Avoid vague adjectives such as ‘creative’, ‘successful’, ‘ambitious’, ‘expert’, ‘top performing’, ‘capable’, ‘proactive’, ‘dedicated’, ‘superior’. Adjectives serve no purpose in LinkedIn Profile headlines because recruiters and hiring managers don’t use these terms to find people, they are meaningless and they are just your opinion.

Examples of Ineffective LinkedIn Headlines:
  • Creative Disrupter
  • Currently Seeking Employment
  • Multi-Skilled Business Professional
  • Savvy, Seasoned, Strategic Leader
  • Multi-skilled Executive
  • Marketing/PR/Writing/Editing
  • Top Tier University Educated Finance Professional
Examples of Effective LinkedIn Headlines:
  • Digital Marketer | Facebook Ad Specialist | Managed $10M in Revenue
  • Director of Client Success | Salesforce Certified | HubSpot Certified
  • Content Marketer | SEO Writer | Video Producer
  • Senior Digital Marketing Manager | SaaS Product Marketing | Digital Transformation | CRM B2B & B2C Customer Experience
  • Senior HR Executive | Strategic Business Partner | Human Capital Manager | Transformational Change Leader | People & Culture Leader | Talent Manager
  • HR Operations Leader | Global Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Chief Financial Officer | Board Director | Drive Profits | Build Billion Dollar Businesses | IT Sector
  • Chief Information Officer | Global IT Strategist | Mining | Aerospace | Government
  • Chief Executive Officer – Medical Devices | Veterinary & Animal Health | Laboratory Diagnostics | Life Sciences
  • Program Manager | Delivery Manager | Senior Certified Scrum Master | $100M+ Projects – 12 years’ experience in the Financial Services, Infrastructure, Construction & Retail Sectors

When recruitment consultants, in-house recruiters and hiring managers search for candidates they quickly look at the headline of the LinkedIn Profiles they have found to see if they are a potential match and, if so, they read your Profile.


Your LinkedIn Profile is also designed to stimulate interest. This means that once a recruiter or hiring manager has found you on LinkedIn, the About section of your Profile should be written in a way that gets them interested in connecting with you and arranging a time to talk with you. You have up to 2,000 characters to achieve this.

The About section is where you present your unique value proposition. This is where you communicate your ‘business case’. It’s where you demonstrate why you can help the kinds of organisations in which you want to work address the challenges, issues, and problems they are facing or about to face. It’s where you tell people how you can help these organisations achieve their goals. Your About section is the place to define and differentiate yourself.

Tips on Creating an Effective About Section

You might not be able to incorporate all the following tips into the About section of your LinkedIn Profile, but they will give you a sense of what works.

  • Adopt a no-BS attitude and straightforward approach.
  • Avoid jargon-filled phrases such as “Highly motivated results-oriented (job title) with a proven track record” that way too many people use.
  • Include a couple of significant accomplishments relevant to the kinds of roles you are seeking.
  • Highlight the kinds of problems you can solve to communicate your value.
  • Explain the impact, significance, and benefits of what you have done.
  • Include skills and experience that can be transferred to other industries (if you are looking for roles in a different industry).
  • Appeal to the pain points of hiring managers.
  • Describe what you are known for, what you have a reputation for.
  • Write how you speak, but in a professional way, in the first person.

Many people simply list their job titles and the organisations in which they have worked in their LinkedIn profiles. These people usually get overlooked because they have not demonstrated the value they offer and have not engaged the readers of their LinkedIn Profiles.

The Experience Section of your LinkedIn Profile should communicate the intent or purpose of each role, the context of each role, your mandate in each role, the priorities of each role and summaries selected achievements and contributions. People reading your LinkedIn Profile want to understand the challenges you can overcome, the problems you can solve and the difference you can make. Once you incorporate these elements into your LinkedIn Profile, people will want to connect with you and arrange a discussion.

Bottom line, your LinkedIn Profile is not your resume. The tone and style are different, it contains less detail, and it’s written in a more narrative and personal style. Your resume and your LinkedIn Profile should go hand in glove and be aligned with each other. They are two sides of the same coin. But they serve different purposes and are used in different ways.