You already have a resume so why do you need a LinkedIn profile? They’re basically the same thing, right? Wrong. Here are the top 10 differences between a resume and a LinkedIn profile.

  1. In your LinkedIn profile you can include more information and detail about yourself, your experience, and specific projects and accomplishments than you can when you are limited to the 1-2 pages that are typical of civilian resume.
  2. You can show more of your personality in your LinkedIn profile than you can in a resume. From your photograph to your summary and volunteer experience, you have a multitude of opportunities to display your personality. The more information a potential employer can glean from your profile, the better they can determine whether you’d be a good fit for their organization.  Just remember that your LinkedIn profile is a professional representation of you, so some bits of your personality might be inappropriate for this forum.
  3. You can write your LinkedIn summary in the first person. If you consider your LinkedIn summary to be the way you introduce yourself, as you might in your elevator speech, using “I” “me” and “my” is natural, personable, and warm. That being said, choosing to stay in the third person is also an acceptable option.
  4. Your LinkedIn profile not only lists your skills, but also contains endorsements for those skills from people who know you. It lends more credibility as other people have verified that you possess the skills you claim to have.
  5. You can add multimedia such as documents, images, links, videos and presentations to your LinkedIn profile to make it an online portfolio. You can’t do that with your paper resume.
  6. Your LinkedIn profile includes a professional photograph and your resume doesn’t. (If your resume does and you don’t work in an industry where a photograph is standard, such as modeling or acting, then remove it from your resume ASAP.) Including a photograph can be a great idea for your LinkedIn profile, since adding a professional photo to your profile makes you 11 times more likely to be found on LinkedIn. Keep in mind though that it is better to not include a photograph at all than to display an unprofessional image. Your photo should give the impression that you are likable, competent, influential, professional, and forward-thinking.
  7. It’s easy to reuse content from your LinkedIn profile. Once you have a LinkedIn profile that’s ready for prime time, you can auto-fill from LinkedIn to build a public profile on vets.gov so you can effectively search for opportunities from employers committed to hiring Veterans on the Veterans Job Bank.
  8. Your LinkedIn profile is on LinkedIn, which allows you to search for civilian jobs that may not be posted elsewhere.
  9. Your LinkedIn profile allows you to use LinkedIn as a professional social network, to mingle with like-minded people (generally those in your network and in groups, such as the Marine For Life Network), to make it easier to keep in touch with former coworkers, and to follow companies you are interested in.
  10. Bonus! LinkedIn offers a free 1-year Job Seeker subscription to Veterans.

Still searching for more in-depth assistance regarding your transition, education, or job search? Contact your installation’s Transition Readiness and Family Member Employment Assistance staff and ask the Marine For Life Network on LinkedIn.