There’s never a bad time to apply for a new job, but updating your resume can begin to feel like a big task (especially if you’re already overworked). If you’ve got a LinkedIn profile though, you can use what you’ve already written to build and customize a strategic resume, as well as speed up your application processes.
LinkedIn has a built-in resume builder that uses the data on your profile to generate the ideal CV. The feature even suggests keywords to include based on the job you’re applying for. We’re going to tell you when you should and shouldn’t use LinkedIn’s resume builder, and how to make the most of it.
When you should use LinkedIn resume builder
If you already have a LinkedIn profile, a couple of quick updates are probably good enough to bring it up to date. You can add your current job position, responsibilities, and achievements to the profile, and then you’re ready to use the resume builder.
If you feel you haven’t had the time to make a great resume, then you can use the information you already have on LinkedIn to generate one automatically. From that point, you only need to shorten it to fit it on one or two pages, and make sure that you’re using all the relevant keywords for the position you want.
(Adding keywords is important because many firms use automated resume scanning software that outright rejects applications if it doesn’t detect certain words. LinkedIn’s resume builder saves you the hassle of finding these keywords as well.)
The best thing is that you can build your resume without affecting anything mentioned in your LinkedIn profile. All the changes you make will be restricted to your new resume.
How to use LinkedIn’s resume builder
To build your resume on LinkedIn, go to your profile by clicking the Me button in the top bar next to your Notifications, and hitting View Profile.
Once your profile is open, click More below your name, description, and location. This will open a drop-down menu where you can select Build a resume.
LinkedIn will allow you to either upload a resume you’ve already created or build one from your profile. Click Create from profile to start generating your resume. This is when LinkedIn asks for the title of the job that you’re applying for, so that it can suggest relevant keywords. Type the job title and click Apply.
You’ll now see a preview of your LinkedIn-generated resume. The right pane will show information on matching keywords found in your profile and suggested keywords that you could consider including. In the left pane, you’ll see a pencil icon next to each section in your resume. Just click the pencil to start editing. Most people would be looking for some brevity to make the resume fit on one page, which is fairly easy.
To check if your resume fits on a single page, click the Preview button on top for a good idea of how your resume looks. Feel free to keep tweaking it until you’re satisfied, and then click More and select Download as PDF to save your resume to your computer.
When you should avoid LinkedIn’s resume builder
LinkedIn’s resume builder isn’t perfect—it has a few shortcomings that make it unsuitable for some, especially consider that it generates a plain-looking resume that might not exactly stand out. If you’re applying in a creative field like being a designer, you might want to consider looking for a more attractive resume template on Google Docs or Microsoft Word, or designing one from scratch to show off your skills.
And, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet, it’s not worth building one just to generate resumes. You can easily use any of the millions of templates available online and make one without going through the hassle of creating and updating your LinkedIn profile. Yes, LinkedIn helps you network and find jobs, but if you aren’t using those features of the website, then the resume building function alone isn’t something you want an account for.