Creating a great LinkedIn profile! for a mid-career job seeker
So, you’re back on the job hunt, either by choice or by circumstance, and perhaps you just aren’t sure of where to start. Maybe it’s been 15 or 20 years since you’ve had to look for a job and you’re feeling overwhelmed by how much the job search game has changed! First of all, take heart in knowing you’re not alone. In an era of company budget cuts, downsizing and re-org’s there is an ever expanding pool of older job seekers in the market. Beware – this fact is a double edged sword. While it is comforting to know others are experiencing the same life changing moments you are, it’s also a little discouraging to think of all the competition that’s out there.
What do you do? Where do you start? How do you get a leg up?
First of all, take a few deep breaths. Focus on your objective. Know what your end goal is (don’t be afraid to get specific) and go after it. Dust off that resume and let’s get revising! If you’re like most of us out there, you’ll have some updating to do. If you’ve been continually revising your resume then I applaud and commend you!
At zenPeak, we recommend a functional style resume (http://zenpeak.com/3-second-resume/) that first and foremost highlights your previous achievements with hard, numeric results and shows a company what you can do for them – not everything you’ve ever done. Once you’re pleased with your new and improved resume and you’re armed with some more self confidence, take a look at your LinkedIn profile. If you’re not familiar with or already a part of LinkedIn, allow me to suggest you look into it – pronto.
Networking is the name of your game right now and LinkedIn is it’s most popular playing field.
How’s your profile photo? Do you even have one? Is it up to date? Do you look happy? Presentable? A picture really is worth a thousand words and more profiles get looked at when a picture is included. Exposure is key when you’re looking for a new career opportunity. Make sure your status accurately describes that you are looking for work & what type of position you’re looking for within your preferred industry(ies). This profile is a great example:
The Summary section – remember that highlight package you put together at the top of your resume? Pick 3 – 5 of the best ones and start your summary with them. You can go into further detail about the type of position you’re looking for as well in this space.
Next, list your experience, but don’t regurgitate your resume. Shorten up the details. Make sure to mention any successful projects or improvements that you led/were involved in and awards or honours you may have received. Complete your education section as well. Endorsements are great if you have them, but not necessary. If someone has taken the time to endorse you for something, repay the favour and endorse them back. It’s always nice to feel appreciated for something.
Some say recommendations are essential, others would argue against that. My opinion is that they certainly can’t hurt. Reach out to a few people who you’ve worked for (preferrably directly reported to) or who’ve worked for you (again, directly reported to you) and ask if they’d be willing to write something. A great place to start asking is with your references. You could also inquire with customers or clients who you feel were very satisfied with your performance.
Check out this profile for a good example:
Join groups to network with likeminded individuals, follow companies you’re interested in, connect with your school(s) alumni and find past colleagues to connect with. Your next opportunity could be right around the corner and the more connected or “linked in” you are, the better.