I read an interesting question on LinkedIn today…
“Would you put a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume?”
There have been a lot of good answers posted by LinkedIn users – some advocating and some discouraging this. I think it really depends on your resume and your LinkedIn Profile.
LinkedIn is essentially a social network – except that it focuses on careers. A profile on LinkedIn is similar to a resume, but the content is slightly different. You can be much freer about what information you include and how you describe it.
You can expect that a hiring manager will Google your name while you are being consider, so there’s a good chance they will see your profile anyway. Just realize that this will be well into the hiring process. Many hiring managers will only put forth this type of effort once they are seriously considering making an offer. If you want your profile to be read early in the process, before interviews start, then you need to link to it.
What Value Does the Profile Offer to Your Resume
LinkedIn profiles have several pieces of information that may compliment your resume. The most obvious are the recommendations. Users can write recommendations for co-workers. This allows a hiring manager to read what is essentially a reference check long before they normally would conduct references.
Another benefit is seeing the connections you have. This can be particularly helpful for business development professionals where the largest rolodex wins.
The LinkedIn Answers is a place where you can answer questions asked by others. Having a strong track record of answering questions in a field may demonstrate expertise. I wouldn’t set out to answer questions just to highlight on your resume, but if you have a passion for participating in the discussion, it may help.
Finally, your profile personalizes your resume. Profiles usually focus much more on an individual’s interests and motivations than a resume does.
Why Shouldn’t I Add My Profile
First, if you have an incomplete or poorly written profile, don’t highlight it.
Second, are you going to leave something off your resume that is more valuable to make room for the link? If so, skip it.
Third, what message are sending with your profile? Is it creating a complimentary message to your resume and cover letter? Make sure it’s helping you in your search.
Bottom Line: Don’t add your profile unless it’s a really big selling point for the position you are pursuing. If you’re not sure, leave it off.
How Should I List It?
I see several ways of putting a Linked In profile on your resume. You can place the link in your contact information at the top of your resume.
Your could place it at the end of the resume under a heading indicating what you want to highlight. For example, after the last section of your resume, add a section titled “Recommendations” and place the link under it.
You could put the link in your cover letter, highlighting the information on your profile that you want the hiring manager to read. For example, you could call attention to the recommendations and provide the link.
Finally, you could imbed the link within another section in your resume. For example, if you had a great recommendation from a former boss on your profile, you might attach the link under that job.
For some job seekers, adding a link to their resume could be beneficial. For most, I wouldn’t do it. Make sure your profile is really good before doing this and have a clear plan for why you want to include it.
Check out the discussion on Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/answers/using-linkedIn/ULI/299873-11341068
I have close to 2000 direct connections on LinkedIn. Feel free to send an invitation to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to link.