I was perusing more of the recent LinkedIn changes yesterday and stumbled on to something cool. I noticed a new option: LinkedIn now offers you the option to download your profile to a PDF document. When I shared it on Facebook yesterday, nobody else seemed to know about it either… so here we are:

If you are like me, you probably keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date. If you don’t, now would be a great time to start! Why you might ask? Here’s my take on things… People often think that resumes are only for job seekers. I disagree with that. I use my resume often in networking and developing business relationships. People want to know who they are connecting to and doing business with.

If people are considering doing business with me, I can tell you that they often do go look at my LinkedIn profile to ‘check me out.’ (Let’s assume you do know that you can see who is looking at your LinkedIn profile.) Keeping your profile current is important for that reason alone, let alone the whole job-seeker element.

The PDF download, in my mind, is a great foundation for a resume. Why would you spend hours writing one and formatting it, when LinkedIn now offers this up? I can see areas on my profile now (by having looked at my downloaded profile), where I might want to beef up some of my information and experience. The other piece about this that is really cool is that it includes all of your recommendations. A nice little added bonus, because those recommendations give indication to someone who may not know you, what type of experience they might have in doing business with you.

Is this resume-type-download perfect? No, it’s not. I do believe, however, it can be a great tool to use in networking.

Here are a few general tips about keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date:

  • Look at it at least monthly to make sure you haven’t developed a new skill that would be a nice addition to your profile.
  • If your roles change in your current job (or you’ve changed jobs), update your position summary to keep it current.
  • When you finish large projects, ask for recommendations – both from co-workers and clients.
  • Add plug-ins that make sense for your profile, and push content through those plug-ins (blogs, SlideShare, etc.)

I am often surprised when I go look at profiles of some of my colleagues and their profiles are so out-of-date! Why bother having a LinkedIn profile if you are not going to keep it up to date. You don’t need to spend hours and hours on LinkedIn to have a great profile, and you don’t have to connect to a million people, but it’s a great way to promote yourself.

Now, I don’t mean to imply that resume writing services will become unneeded. I actually think some people just don’t know how to piece these things together. In this day and age, I do see the resume services evolving more into digital persona development services. In plain English for the job seeker, you’ll hire someone to help you build your LinkedIn profile in a way that will highlight all the right skills for the type of position you are seeking.

If you haven’t checked out the new resume download on LinkedIn – head over to your own profile and check it out!