The Difference Between a Resume and LinkedIn Summary (+ Examples)

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ZipJob Team

7 min read

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You already recognize that job-seeking these days is dramatically different than it was a generation ago. To be successful, you need more than just a solid resume: you need a brand. Social media is a major component of your branding effort, and helps to provide you with a powerful online presence. And, of course, LinkedIn is near the top of any list of useful job-seeking social media platforms.

So, when you have a perfect resume, it’s only natural to want to use the same language in your LinkedIn profile, right? Or are there resume and LinkedIn summary differences that you should take into consideration?

As it turns out, there are major differences between the two--and that is as it should be. It’s never a good idea to simply copy the same text across multiple mediums, no matter how good the original message might be.

While LinkedIn can help to sell you to hiring managers and recruiters, it’s not productive to just use it to post another copy of your resume. Instead, you should understand the differences in both tone and objective, and leverage them to your advantage.

To answer the common question "Can my resume and LinkedIn summary be the same?" No, here's how and why they should be different.

Resume and LinkedIn Summary Differences

1. Length

You should make your resume summary as brief as possible. Most experts recommend between four and six lines of text. Obviously, you need to condense information to cram as much value into those lines as possible. Chances are that you’ll always feel like you could have elaborated on those details in greater depth. So why would you choose to skip that option with your LinkedIn summary?

Your LinkedIn summary, now labeled the "About" section, introduces you to your professional network. Design your LinkedIn summary as a career highlight reel. Use it to create a summary of your career that goes beyond a few bullet point achievements. Elaborate on career highlights, with a focus on your strengths and how they helped you obtain your goals.

A resume summary is designed to capture a hiring manager’s attention. Your LinkedIn profile's About section should read more as a brief career autobiography.

Here’s an example of how they might differ:

Example: Resume Summary (short)

An accomplished sales leader with a keen understanding of the market dynamics that impact national advertisers. A proven record of success in penetrating new market segments, account development, and revenue growth. Expert in integrating video, display, mobile, television, and print verticals into a cohesive message. In-depth knowledgeable of creating digital content packages and brand strategy for both start-ups and Fortune 500 accounts. Have secured and managed multi-million dollar contracts throughout my career. In 2010 I surpassed my goal by 127% bringing in revenue of $20 Million for Tribune 365.

To craft your own, check out this post on writing a good resume summary here.

Example: LinkedIn Summary (expanded)

Communication matters, but what you communicate matters even more. That belief has been my touchstone throughout my adult life, and it’s a principle that I bring to everything that I do.

Whether I’m explaining to an umpire at my son’s baseball game why he’s wrong to call strikes on our team or communicating bold ideas about products and services to an online market, I’m always guided by the simple recognition that content is everything. Words matter.

That emphasis on content has served me well in my role at XYZ Marketing. I’ve leveraged powerful internet content to create a company valued at several million dollars, served Fortune 500 clients, and worked with many of the most vibrant content creators in the industry today.

Success, though, should be built on a foundation of values and not just capabilities. I’ve been a strategist and a marketer, a manager and a leader, a writer and an editor – and yet none of those jobs or titles have defined my success. For me success, has always been built around my values:

Big ideas and sound execution. A steady hand that views every challenge as an opportunity. A desire to see everyone bask in the credit that is born of success. Fearless commitment to being a positive agent for change in the lives of my employees, clients, and the community.

I was voted Content Creator of the Year in 2015, and have received accolades from peers and trusted industry organizations – but none of that matters at the end of the day. In the end, it’s the content that matters.

If internet content matters to you too, let’s talk. Even if you couldn’t care less about content, reach out anyway. I’m always eager to exchange stories, ideas, or strategies with new acquaintances.

My specialties: Informal and formal communication, content creation and management, social media, web development, editorial direction, operational management.”

2. Tone and style

There should also be a difference in the tone and style you use for these different summaries. Your resume summary is a more formal affair designed to showcase your professionalism while highlighting qualifications. With your LinkedIn summary, you can be a lot more informal in tone and style. For example, you can write your LinkedIn summary using first-person point of view rather than a more objective style of delivery.

LinkedIn is, after all, a social platform. Like other social platforms, it should be used in a way that showcases your unique voice. That means that you can be more informal, and a little more relaxed with your narrative style. You should strive to maintain some level of professionalism, of course, but your language can be more expressive.

3. Tailoring for your audience

We’ve told you in other articles about the importance of tailoring your resume. You do that to ensure that you are modifying the resume to fit different job positions. Chances are that you have already started to use the tailoring process to improve your individual resume submissions.

However, that tailoring process won’t work with LinkedIn. Here’s why:

  • You don’t want to change your LinkedIn summary each time you submit a resume to a different company. That’s too time-consuming, and will ultimately harm your efforts to expand and maintain your LinkedIn network.

  • You also don’t want to have too narrow a focus when you craft your LinkedIn summary. If everything is tailored to reflect your most specific job skill set, you will end up excluding other important information that might appeal to recruiters and others outside your industry.

  • Tailoring will narrow your narrative to the point where you’re nothing more than a set of skills and experiences. You should include other relevant information that showcases you as a complete, well-rounded individual with diverse interests, skills, and accomplishments.

4. The story you're telling

The good news is that recruiters and hiring managers typically look at both your resume and LinkedIn profile. Naturally, they’re (usually) going to review your resume first. That’s why it’s so critical for you to make sure that your LinkedIn profile isn’t just a carbon copy of your resume.

Remember, you have a story to tell. Use your resume to capture a hiring manager’s interest and sell yourself. Use your LinkedIn profile to flesh out that story and reveal more about the real you. Present yourself as an actual person and potential co-worker.

That’s the best way to leverage LinkedIn to increase your odds of successfully landing your dream job!


Even though your LinkedIn profile and resume have different goals and slightly different audiences, you still want to keep your summaries similar to keep your personal brand consistent. The trick is to know the difference between your resume's professional summary and your LinkedIn's About section so you can tell your story effectively in both places.

If you need additional help with your professional resume writing and LinkedIn profile writing, head over to our .

For further reading, check out these related articles:

Resume and LinkedIn Summary Differences 23

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Written by

ZipJob Team

The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers and career experts located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.

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