Transferring data straight from your resume to LinkedIn?
You could be hurting your company or personal brand.
As an executive and leadership team member, your work naturally affects your employer’s bottom line by driving technology innovation, quality, productivity, or other factors.
Your resume SHOULD tout these facts – but your LinkedIn Profile might be a different story.
When you’re building a LinkedIn presence to support your job search, you may need to limit what you disclose, especially if it affects your company or teams, according to marketer Neal Shaffer, who frequently posts on social media and the law.
Industry competitors, investors, shareholders, Board members, colleagues, and bosses can all see the data you’ve added – and Harvard Business Review reports that employers are increasingly monitoring this information.
To avoid problems affecting your employer or personal brand, here are some ways to “tone down” your LinkedIn Profile, while maintaining a strong message of leadership:
Remove some of the metrics used on your resume.
Metrics in your resume are critical to demonstrating performance (as shown in What Does a Good Resume Look Like?), but these same figures can land you in hot water if they appear online.
This is particularly true if you’re describing projects not yet disclosed to investors or the public.
First, decide what you CAN share on LinkedIn. Your major projects or client names may have already been published on your company’s website, for example.
You can also analyze whether your resume information would give competitors an unfair advantage by finding out the customers you’re targeting or new products you’re developing.
Then, alter your achievements for LinkedIn as needed by toning down facts to an overview level, as shown below:
RESUME: Closed $54M in solution sales across APAC and Canada.
LINKEDIN: Closed millions in international solution sales – a 19% improvement.
RESUME: Saved 6M+ OPEX in Year 1 of 5-year Mitigation initiative.
LINKEDIN: Trimmed 30% OPEX in first stages of mitigation project.
Question if the information would paint your colleagues in a bad light.
Executives who lead turnarounds or improvements often save the day by eliminating lingering problems. Yet, if you mention these SPECIFIC problems online, your executive team could be portrayed as ineffective – and your professional network could suffer as a result.
Instead of pointing directly at the root cause, try a different way to describe a turnaround, as in this example:
RESUME: Reversed stagnating 4-year revenue at ABC Company with 32% more product SKUs generating 54% uptick in sales.
LINKEDIN: Added product SKUs and innovative offerings raising ABC Company revenue to pre-COVID levels.
By focusing on what you did (without framing the cause), you’re less likely to invoke the wrath of company insiders or co-workers.
Consider how customers could react to details you’re disclosing on LinkedIn.
Executives engaged in digital or business transformation face a unique challenge: by describing how they’ve upgraded outdated practices or technologies, they could be revealing problems to end consumers.
Rather than openly providing details on the issues from legacy IT systems or inefficient business models, you can make your point on LinkedIn from a different perspective.
For example, the changes shown below could make it less obvious to consumers that they’d paid a higher price for this company’s products in 2021:
RESUME: Boosted profits 52% after resolving B2C marketing issues, leading to record-making margins and 30% higher prices in 2021.
LINKEDIN: Refined marketing insights with new analysis techniques, prompting 34% rise in targeted consumer sales.
The bottom line: LinkedIn isn’t private in any form.
Potentially confidential information (including any copies of your resume floating around online) should be carefully examined to ensure they won’t cause professional or company issues.
Take a closer look at your resume accomplishments and adjust your story BEFORE sharing it on LinkedIn and other platforms.