LinkedIn recognizes that resumes are still the primary way to apply for a job – that’s why they offer an option to convert your profile to a resume and an option to attach your resume to your LinkedIn profile. Still, we often hear that having a well-developed LinkedIn profile is important for professionals. This is true. Your resume and LinkedIn profile should not be the same and are viewed differently by employers and recruiters.

How is LinkedIn actually being used by employers and recruiters?

Employers and recruiters use LinkedIn as a tool to search for qualified candidates who haven’t applied for a position, but may be a great fit. These passive job candidates may not necessarily be looking for work, but they may be interested in making a change if the right job comes along.

Human resources departments also use LinkedIn as a source of social proof to help screen out resume lies.

How can you set your resume apart from the rest?

Most employers and recruiters expect those who apply for a position to provide a resume at some point during the process. Even those companies that provide an “Apply through LinkedIn” button will ask applicants for a resume.

Of course there are the basics, like organization and do’s and don’ts, but you should also consider customizing your resume to show that you are the superior candidate for a particular job, manager or company. You can’t individualize your LinkedIn profile in the same way because you can’t control who sees a specific version – everyone sees the same thing.

Knowing what employers and recruiters are looking for when viewing LinkedIn can help you develop your profile. It also pays to customize resumes for different employers and make sure that your LinkedIn reinforces what is on your resume.

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