As a job seeker, you need both a resume and a LinkedIn profile. Sync LinkedIn with your resume, but don’t duplicate content word for word. Each platform has its own particular purpose and, together, they function as a complementary review of your work history.
This week’s guest, Ed Han, says you need to be consistent when talking about yourself online and in your resume, but that you need to customize each piece.
Your LinkedIn profile is a broad overview of your professional value proposition. Your resume should be customized around a particular job opportunity. It’s important to use keywords from the job posting in your resume so the hiring manager knows you are familiar with the language and the culture of the organization. (This also helps your resume get past keyword-based applicant tracking systems!)
This Week’s Guest
Ed Han is a recruiter with a passion for networking and helping people put their professional best foot forward, especially on LinkedIn. His own career includes stints with a major Wall Street firm, an international fashion brand, and a publishing company. You can connect with Ed on LinkedIn.
Resources from this Episode
Mac Prichard: Hi, this is Mac, from Mac’s List. Before we start the show, I want to let you know about my new book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. I’ve been helping job seekers find meaningful, well-paying work since 2001, and now I’ve put all my best advice into one easy-to-use guide. My book shows you how to make your resume stand out in a stack of applications, where you can find the hidden jobs that never get posted, and what you need to do to ace your next job interview. Get the first chapter now for free; visit Mac’sList.org/anywhere.
This is Find Your Dream Job; the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard, your host, and publisher of Mac’s List.
I’m joined by my co-hosts, Ben Forstag and Jessica Black, from the Mac’s List team.
This week we’re talking about how to sync your resume and your LinkedIn page.
When you’re looking for your next job, you need both a resume and a LinkedIn profile, and they need to compliment each other. Our guest expert this week is Ed Han. He says, “You need to be consistent when talking about yourself online and in your resume.” Later in the show, Ed and I talk about how to sync up both your LinkedIn profile and your resume.
The words you choose to use on your resume can help or hurt you in any application review. Ben Forstag has found a list of one hundred words that are great for your resume and five words you’ll want to avoid. Ben tells us more in a moment.
You’re an expert in one subject but your professional experience is in another field. How do you talk about this io your LinkedIn profile? That’s our question of the week and Jessica Black offers her advice in a moment.
Well, as always, let’s check in with the Mac’s List team, and this week we’re returning to a favorite topic here at Mac’s List. That’s LinkedIn. It’s a subject that you can talk about from so many different angles. And this is a question, our theme this week, that comes up a lot, “how should my LinkedIn page be different from my resume?” Jessica, Ben, I’m curious, what do you two do differently on your LinkedIn profile versus your resume?
Ben Forstag: So, the big one for me is, in my resume I write in the third person, because that’s much more of a formal document, whereas in LinkedIn I try to stay in the first person, because it’s a social networking tool and the whole idea is to make connections with other people on the platform. And I think the first person is just a whole lot more communicative, social, and friendly.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, how about you Jessica?
Jessica Black: Yeah, I agree with that but I also really appreciate LinkedIn for its storytelling capacity. Of being able to still keeping it professional but being able to sort of tie in a little more of the reasons why you do the things that you do. Whereas, your resume is just the hard facts of what you’ve done and where you’ve been.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, there’s an informality, or at least a different tone, that comes across on LinkedIn that you don’t have on your resume and that opportunity to tell stories as well. I like that a lot too, Jessica.
One difference that stands out for me is just the length. There’s a long running debate here on the podcast about the length of a resume. Should it be one page or two? And we can go back and forth on that but the great thing about LinkedIn is there are no limits.
Jessica Black: There’s no restrictions, yeah. It’s really nice. You can go all the way back as far as you want to and add as many bullet points and accomplishments, and all of those things and then add in extra things in. Linking, and we’ve talked about this before in the podcast, of linking projects, and linking documents, and videos, and all those sort of visual components, as well, which is kind of nice.
And then the recommendations, and the endorsements, and all of those extra components as well.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, there’s a lot of opportunity to share your story and your accomplishments. And I know Ed will make this point later in the interview, that you do need to think strategically about how what you do on LinkedIn matches your resume and how they support each other.
Jessica Black: Of course. Yeah, you definitely want to be careful to not have any glaring differences between especially, timelines, stating accomplishments that aren’t on your resume or vice-versa. That’s important. I’m excited to hear what he says about that.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, I am too.
Well, let’s turn first though to Ben, who is out there every week poking around the internet, looking for resources you can use in your job search and your career. Now Ben, what have you uncovered for our listeners this week?
Ben Forstag: This week I want to share a resource I actually found on LinkedIn. This came from their pulse publishing platform; it’s by a LinkedIn member named, Mike…I’m gonna butcher this last name, Mike Figliuolo, who runs a leadership communications and strategic consulting firm in Columbus, Ohio. And it’s called 101 Great Words To Use In Your Resume and Five To Avoid. And I will include the URL to this in the shownotes.
So, really astute and long time listeners of the podcast may remember that I shared a similar list to this way back in episode 38, with Susan Rich. You know, I think there’s never a shortage of good words you can use in a resume and certainly words you could get rid of. The reason I like this particular list and decided to share it in addition to the one I shared earlier was a few reasons.
I think Mike has a really good intuitive test for figuring out whether you need new words in your resume. And he calls it the “develop test”. It’s really simple. He says, “Open up your resume, do a search for the word develop, or any variation of develop, development, developed, developing, developer, and if it’s in there more than five times, you need to get rid of it at least four times.” He says this is one of the most overused words in resumes and it reads as very redundant and boring. So if you’ve got the word “develop” in there a whole bunch you need to edit your resume.
The other thing that I really like about this list is that he includes five words that are resume killers. These are words that are way overused that are not appropriate for a resume and that you want to take out at all costs. Can you guess what the first one is, Mac?
Mac Prichard: Developed.
Ben Forstag: Bingo, you got it.
Mac Prichard: Okay.
Ben Forstag: How did you ever know?!
I’ll tell you the other four here. They’re leveraged, synergized, optimized, and annihilated. Now I’ve used three of the four of those in the past when talking about myself in cover letters and things like that. I can’t think of a single reason you’d ever use the word annihilated though, in any capacity, in a resume or a cover letter.
Jessica Black: Yeah, that’s very aggressive.
Ben Forstag: It is.
Jessica Black: And also synergized is a very clunky word. Like, synergy is a real word, but synergized, sounds made up.
Ben Forstag: It’s one of those business cliche things. We want to synergize all of our core capacities.
Jessica Black: It sounds like you’re trying to mix two words together and it doesn’t sound good.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, it ranks up there for me, along with initiated.
Jessica Black: Oh yeah.
Mac Prichard: That’s just a space filling word.
Ben Forstag: So another good list here. I will share the link to the url in the shownotes, and I hope that none of you annihilate any of your job responsibilities this week.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, okay. I do want to see annihilated used in context. Does he give an example?
Jessica Black: I feel like annihilating budget or costs or something. I could see that.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, I’m intrigued because I agree with you, Jessica, it’s a very aggressive word.
Jessica Black: Really aggressive.
Ben Forstag: After successfully completing the Death Star under budget and on time, we annihilated…
Mac Prichard: Princess Leia’s home planet.
Ben Forstag: Correct.
Mac Prichard: Right, structurally it’s claiming an accomplishment there; it’s pretty clear that something got done because of your work. So, good theory, but maybe not something you’d take pride in.
Jessica Black: Yeah. Very niche wording there.
Mac Prichard: Okay. Well thank you, Ben and thank you for the Star Wars reference. And if you’ve got an idea for Ben, or just want to share your favorite Star Wars story, please address him via email. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Forstag: You don’t know what you’ve done Mac. My inbox is going to be full of Chewbacca stories and Ewoks and those things.
Mac Prichard: We’ve unleashed the power of the force. So I think that’s a good thing.
Well speaking of forces, let’s turn to you, our listeners, and to Jessica Black, who is here to answer one of your questions. Jessica, what’s in the mailbag this week?
Jessica Black: Yeah, we have a really interesting question this week and I’m going to let everyone listen to that before I weigh in.
Listener: “My question has to do with my dual career especially with respect to LinkedIn. I am both a United States Coast Guard Licensed Master, and I am a knowledgeable expert in the world of foreign trade. Those are not mutually exclusive, however they definitely go on two distinct paths. So my question is how do I pursue a dual career, both professionally and on LinkedIn?”
Jessica Black: This is a really interesting question because I think a lot of people struggle with this. Having this idea of having dual careers or having experience in a couple different areas and not really knowing which one to run with. And you don’t want to ignore one side and you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself into the other one because you have equal experience in both sides.
So, what I really like about being able to use LinkedIn in this capacity is finding the threads of where they are common or similar and being able to weave them together, and what skills do you use in both from your past careers and whatnot, that you could leverage to bring into your next opportunity. So I would try to find that, and I don’t have specific examples because I’m not exactly sure what a Coast Guard Licensed Master, what kind of experiences you’ve had there, so I would love to be able to see concrete experiences and be able to help with that a little bit more. What else do you guys think?
Ben Forstag: So, I think this is a common challenge that a lot of people have and I know if you listen to this show, one of the things we always say is, the most important thing is to get focused with your job search. Like, where you want to go. And I think some people think that means you need to get down to one very niche topic. The truth is you can have multiple goals; you can have two or three, you just need to narrow it down from the fifteen or twenty different goals. And so I think you could basically pursue a job search on two different tracks where one is focused around the…frankly, I don’t know what a Coast Guard Master does either, but one is focused around that track and the other one is focused around an international trade track and it very well may be that there are places where these two different career trajectories intersect. And that might be the sweet spot that you find where there’s a position that perfectly aligns with both skills. That’s like your dream job right there.
Jessica Black: Yeah.
Mac Prichard: And this is a very timely question for today’s interview with Ed, because I know he is a big fan of what he calls “master resumes’”. One of his ideas that he’ll share with us is that you need a master resume that describes your career, but it’s a starting point for tweaking your resume to help you pursue the different goals you were talking about Jessica. So if you do want to, in this case, pursue a career in the Coast Guard or something in foreign trade, if you have a strong resume, a good base, you can make those adjustments fairly easily.
And I agree with you Ben. Most people, I think they struggle with getting that list of career goals from fifteen to three or four or even just two. But it’s very common to explore several different goals at the same time. And Ed will not only talk about resumes but he’ll talk about how you can build out your LinkedIn profile to support that as well.
So, great question.
Jessica Black: Yeah, really interesting.
Mac Prichard: Okay, well if you have a question for us please email Jessica. Her email address is email@example.com. Or you can call our listener line. That number is area code 716-JOB-TALK. That’s 716-562-8255. If we use your question on the show, we’ll send you a copy of Land Your Dream Job Anywhere.
We’ll be back in just a moment, and when we return, I’ll talk with this week’s guest expert about how to sync your LinkedIn page and your resume.
Most people struggle with job hunting. The reason is simple; most of us learn the nuts and bolts of looking for work by trial and error. That’s why I produce this podcast; to help you master the skills you need to find a great job. It’s also why I wrote my new book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. For fifteen years of Mac’s List, I’ve helped people in Portland, Oregon, find meaningful, well paying, and rewarding jobs that they love. Now I’ve put all of my job hunting secrets in one book that can help you no matter where you live.
You’ll learn how to get clear about your career goals, find hidden jobs that never get posted, and ace your next job interview. For more information, and to download the first chapter for free, visit Mac’sList.org/anywhere.
Now let’s turn to this week’s guest expert, Ed Han.
Ed Han is a recruiter with a passion for networking and helping people put their professional best foot forward, especially on LinkedIn. His own career included stints with a major Wall Street firm, an international fashion brand, and a publishing company. He joins us today from Flemington, New Jersey.
Ed, thanks for coming on the show.
Ed Han: Mac, it’s a pleasure to be here; thanks very much for having me.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, it’s terrific to have you. Now our topic as you know, Ed, is LinkedIn and resumes, syncing them up. And we get this one a lot. I bet you do too. You know sometimes people just want to copy and paste their resume right into their LinkedIn page. But obviously you see people use both tools effectively, so let’s start with the basics. Ed, why shouldn’t somebody just copy and paste a resume to their LinkedIn profile?
Ed Han: I love that question, Mac, and it’s an important one that more people should ask I think. So the reason why is that a LinkedIn profile by dint of its very nature is a very broad overview of what your professional value proposition is as the expression goes. So, for example, if you’re a project manager; so you manage projects. People understand what that means, there’s IT project managers, construction project managers, and within the very broad headings, people typically understand what those things are. And this is what’s seen by everybody with an internet connection who wants to look at your profile, assuming you haven’t changed the privacy settings to prevent that.
So, it’s a one size fits all solution, but as we all know, one size fits all is really not the solution when you’re talking about a particular opportunity, and a particular job seeker’s qualifications for it. So I’m sure your listeners are very familiar with the best practice of customizing the resume for opportunities. For example, if the job descriptions speaks of certain, very specific experience. Let’s say we’re talking about an administrative assistant for example, who needs to have a strong experience in booking international travel.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, that’s a great example, and I do think, Ed, some people wonder; do they need to customize their resume for every job application and what I’m hearing you say is that this is a no brainer these days. That the answer is absolutely yes.
Ed Han: Yes, I wouldn’t quite go so far as to say it’s a no brainer, but I do certainly think it’s the best practice, Mac, Because there’s usually a very specific language involved in most job descriptions. And part of being able to demonstrate that you are a fit for the opportunity and with that culture for the hiring entity is being able to sound like, yes, I am that kind of person. For example, let’s say this is a management consultancy, so in a management consultancy you expect a lot of the colleagues to be using MBA speak. Like that little rhetorical trick I just did, where I say, “make a statement”, then come up with question mark. So there’s typically very specific language that ideally the job seeker wants to mirror. To demonstrate that, “Yes, I am the kind of person that you want to add to your team. Don’t II sound like you?”
Mac Prichard: Okay. So, when you’re building that resume out, pay attention to the job description, mirror the language back. Let’s go back to LinkedIn…you made the point that it is probably the widest seen document that describes your professional background. And you say that you have to construct something that can appeal to the broadest audience possible. When you’re building your LinkedIn page, Ed, while you don’t want to copy and paste your resume right into the profile, how could you use your resume as a starting point?
Ed Han: Oh, obviously, let’s assume for the sake of argument we’re speaking strictly of a chronological format resume, versus the functional or the hybrid resume.
Mac Prichard: Okay, that sounds good.
Ed Han: Because you know, obviously, that’s the closest we’re gonna get to an apples to apples comparison. So with that understanding, certainly the structure of “here’s my work experience, etc.” that’s very straightforward. And LinkedIn does really ape the chronological resume format, what with the main summary and then the experience, and then the educational information towards the end, which of course is a little bit frustrating right now because with the new interface you can’t rearrange those things with the freedom that you previously had.
But certainly you could take the broad headings anyway. And certainly that would make a lot of sense.
Mac Prichard: So we were talking, Ed, about using a chronological resume as a starting point for building your LInkedIn page and you were saying that it can help you as you build out that LinkedIn page. Are there things you shouldn’t do when drawing out content from your resume for your LinkedIn profile?
Ed Han: I definitely think there are certain things that should be avoided, again, as a best practice. So the things that I would recommend doing are: number one, please don’t simply copy and paste the experience from each position that was held. There’s a couple of reasons for that. Typically speaking, most job titles, the day to day functions, are fairly straightforward. Most people understand what those things are going to be. But in the resume, that’s where you really want your accomplishments to be. And I don’t think that’s the kind of thing that most job seekers want to add on to their LinkedIn profiles. It’s very easy to find very specific keywords, in the LinkedIn profile, and heaven knows, that’s what I do everyday all day.
But the actual resume itself, that’s where you really want the accomplishments to stand out, so whatever abbreviation you like for the behavioral interview format, response, that certainly would be something that I would reserve for a resume.
Mac Prichard: Okay, that’s interesting. I want to just explore for a moment. Do you think it’s not a good idea to list your accomplishments on LinkedIn, or are you saying that people should just take a different approach?
Ed Han: I think it’s better not to include all of the accomplishments on LinkedIn, and the reason for my saying that is, what will happen is that perhaps you’ve listed your accomplishments but then because you listed accomplishments, someone who’s looking at the resume might have you in mind for a different role, may not necessarily see the accomplishments he or she is particularly keen on seeing. And then you have the problem again, of one size fits all, then you come to a place where you kind of want to list all of your accomplishments and then once you’ve done that, you’ve given them no reason to contact you.
Mac Prichard: So, Ed, what’s your best advice about when describing your experience on LinkedIn to give a reader that reason to contact you. How can people stand out and incentivize somebody after they read your page to say, “Oh gosh, I want to talk to that person?”
Ed Han: Sure, Mac, and I’m really glad you asked that as well. So, certainly you want your LinkedIn profile to be very keyword SEO compliant. And certainly job seekers have a pretty good idea of what kind of keywords should apply for the kinds of roles that they’re targeting. Developers certainly understand these things, and certainly anyone who works in social and digital media would know that really well. But if someone is uncertain what terms would really apply, they should certainly do a survey of the kind of job descriptions that they’re seeing that interests them and make sure they’re identifying commonalities in the keywords that are being sought in those job descriptions.
Mac Prichard: Great. Now Ed, I know you’re a big fan of master resumes. Can you tell our listeners what a master resume is and how it can help you not only when you’re building out applications that require a resume but also constructing your LinkedIn page?
Ed Han: Of course, how can you do that? So, I’m a huge fan of the master resume and let me be clear about what I mean when I say master resume. What I mean by that is the full work and educational experience that a job seeker has earned. So, even though perhaps you’re going back to your very first job, you know, after leaving school, then yes, that’s the kind of thing I’m talking about. In addition to that, I am talking about a master list of the accomplishments that a job seeker has achieved as well. I think this is extremely important Mac, so I’m sure your listeners are very familiar with the accomplishments that could appear as bullets for each entry in a resume.
And the reason I’m big on the master list of accomplishments is because of two things; number one- having that list handy makes it a lot easier to customize resumes on the fly. So you can speak to persistence, you can speak to work ethic, you can speak to thinking outside the box, and all these other kinds of traits, that job descriptions like to emphasize. And that makes it a lot easier to do these things.
But here’s the other thing; as anyone who’s been through a job search knows, sometimes your job search day has not gone well and you need to recharge a little bit perhaps. Maybe you’ve had a discouraging day, and certainly, having managed my own searches in the past, I know I certainly did. But the beauty of the masters list of accomplishments is that you can pull it out when you’re having such a day and remind yourself of the amazing things that you have done in your career.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, I think that’s great advice Ed, and I love your recommendation that you’re basically creating a fundamental reference document here. You’re recording all your accomplishments from the start of your career, and keeping it up to date, and using it as a starting point for the individual resumes you might create…or at least the ones that you might tweak. How can people use that document when they’re building up their LinkedIn page? What do you see your clients do effectively when they do that?
Ed Han: So, going back to what we were discussing earlier, I’m not a huge fan of sharing the accomplishments on the LinkedIn profile. But when you can do it, I mean, usually people have a short list of accomplishments that they’re most proud of. And certainly one of those would be a terrific branding statement, if you can work it into your summary statement in the LinkedIn profile. Certainly that would garner a lot of attention that would make a lot of people sit up and pay attention. So, for example, let’s say you are a project manager and your claim to fame is that none of your projects has ever been over budget or over scheduled. I mean, that’s an extraordinary accomplishment to be able to say for a project manager.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, that is very impressive. But how do you recommend people put that into their LinkedIn profile?
Ed Han: So, I recommend including that in the summary typically. If you can state it concisely you can also make that part of your headline, certainly. The headline is a highly underutilized piece of screen real estate.
Mac Prichard: It is, and I’m always attracted by compelling headlines when I run across them. Headline writing is an art, it’s one you can master; but the people who do it well certainly do stand out.
Ed Han: That’s really my sense as well, Mac.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, well terrific Ed. I’ve enjoyed the conversation very much. Tell us what’s coming up next for you?
Ed Han: So, coming up next for me…back in October I began a job search and support group. There’s an area in Warren, New Jersey, which is currently being underserved and yet there are a lot of job seekers out there. I saw an opportunity and need, and thought that someone should fill it, so why not me? So the group is called Land Faster. You can find us on Facebook easily enough. We meet in Warren, New Jersey, one evening the second Thursday evening each month.
Mac Prichard: Well terrific, we’ll include a link to that Facebook group in the shownotes. And I know, Ed, people can, not surprisingly, find you on LinkedIn, and your LinkedIn URL is https://www.linkedin.com/in/edmhan. So Ed, thanks for being on the show.
Ed Han: My pleasure, Mac. Thanks for having me.
Mac Prichard: We’re back in the Mac’s List studio with Jessica and Ben. What are your thoughts about my conversation with Ed, about resumes and LinkedIn pages and how they sync up?
Jessica Black: Yeah, it was interesting to hear what he mentioned about making sure that you’re adaptable, and the customizable resume that’s crucial to everyone. And I really liked his master list, his couple of pieces about that, especially. And you touched upon this during the interview Mac, I like the idea of making the list of all the accomplishments because I think it does really help so that you’re not having to wrack your brain every time you’re writing a cover letter or getting ready to interview. That you’ve sort of already done the work, and it’s all there and you can use that content later.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, I know on an earlier interview with Michelle Ward, she talked about the value of keeping track of your accomplishments during the course of a year so that they’re handy when you sit down with a supervisor to talk about a raise or what you’ve accomplished. Ed’s point here, that you need a list like that, what he called a master resume for your entire career that lists all of your accomplishments, I think it’s even more powerful.
Jessica Black: Yeah.
Ben Forstag: Yeah, I like all that stuff about the master resume. I think that’s one of the simple things that we all should be doing, but very few people actually do because we don’t think about a job search until we’re looking for a job. The one thing that I am still trying to wrap my mind around, I’ll admit, is the “don’t talk about your accomplishments on LinkedIn”. I’m curious about your opinion on this because you know, I think one of the real functions of LinkedIn is to get people’s attention and one of the ways to do that is by highlighting as many accomplishments as possible. So what was your reaction to that, Mac?
Jessica Black: I thought that was interesting too.
Mac Prichard: Yeah, I was intrigued by that. I think it’s a novel approach, and I know that Ed has written about this and has a blog post or two that we should put a link to in the shownotes so that people can explore it more themselves. I think his main point is that these are two different mediums, LinkedIn and resumes, and you have the opportunity to, on LinkedIn, to talk about a lot of different subjects and you should take advantage of that. And with the limited real estate you have on a resume, if you have to pick one or two things to focus on, probably accomplishments, I think Ed would say, are what matters.
Well, thank you both, and thank you, Ed, for joining us. And thank you, our listeners, for downloading this week’s episode of Find Your Dream Job.
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