If you’ve spent considerable time on LinkedIn, you probably know there’s a simple way to build your resume from it.
Just view your Profile, click under More, select Save to PDF, and your resume will magically appear!
As part of Microsoft’s AI initiatives, this is a clever way to create a resume with little effort.
Or is it?
I used LinkedIn to build my resume, just to see what would happen.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using this shortcut for resume writing:
Disadvantage: Adding too much detail on LinkedIn can expose company secrets and lead to confidentiality issues.
And if it’s not on LinkedIn, it won’t appear in your resume!
Therein lies the conundrum.
Think about it: your resume NEEDS clearly articulated success stories. Yet, most startups, public companies, boutique firms, or PE-owned companies do NOT want competitive data released online, especially if it reveals their struggles.
What about your stakeholders? Your bosses? Your teams? It’s nearly impossible for company leaders to be completely transparent on LinkedIn.
When you’re targeting a new step up the career ladder, you’ll need to pull together much more data than you can put online, period.
To see why an effective executive resume NEEDS this information, see 7 Tips to Take Your Executive Resume From Old-School to Outstanding.
So, you’ll need to mine your background for accomplishments long before using any resume generator, and be cautious about what you publish on LinkedIn.
Advantage: Your LinkedIn-generated Resume uses fairly attractive formatting.
If you’re a novice in using Microsoft Word or other tools, you’ll be grateful to see your resume information populated very quickly by LinkedIn.
The PDF tool shows a dark-shaded column to the left, which contains your contact details, links to your websites, 3 top skills, certifications, honors, and publications. Your Experience section will show the details of your work history, with indents under each employer and job entry.
Disadvantage: Now your resume will look like everyone else’s document.
The format of your resume DOES matter in 2019. It’s a business presentation, after all. Why use a format that fails to distinguish you from other candidates?
Even the placement of key information and the font chosen can make a distinct difference in how employers react when they read it (which is why most resume experts advise against using Comic Sans).
Disadvantage: Your LinkedIn Resume “hides” education.
Most employers want to see your education details to gauge your qualifications. Unfortunately, your LinkedIn Resume buries this data all the way at the bottom of your document. Yes, hiring authorities can scroll down to see it, but remember the 6-second rule? Most will just glance at your resume and assume something is missing.
To add to the cons of this method, your Education entries (especially if they’re like mine, with some post-graduate certifications) are buried under any professional training you’ve completed since college.
Most resumes that use a left-column design will feature your education, so this is a bit of a miss.
Simultaneous Advantage & Disadvantage: Your LinkedIn-generated Resume will appear “complete,” but only if you already added the right data.
It may be a relief to generate a resume with little-to-no effort, especially if you’re new to resume writing.
But if you haven’t fully populated your LinkedIn Profile, you could still face challenges. Some people (and I’m looking squarely at YOU, last-minute job hunter who just received a recruiter’s call), ignore LinkedIn or resume writing until the last minue.
So you’ll still need to put in the work and document your career achievements.
If you’re using LinkedIn to build your resume, remember – just like any job search tool, LinkedIn will only yield what you put into it.
And due to corporate confidentiality, you may still need to personally write your own resume to feature top achievements.