LinkedIn can be an important resource as you try to launch your career or find your dream job later in life.
LinkedIn can show off your work experience, help you build your professional network, or connect you to potential employers.
It’s never too late to build your wealth when you’re older by finding a better job. Here’s how you can do it by maximizing your LinkedIn profile.
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Update your photo
Right at the top of your LinkedIn page is a photo of you as part of your profile. You don’t want to leave a bad first impression.
Look into a local photographer who specializes in headshots to get your photo updated. You’ll want a photo that looks professional and not something that you’ve cropped out of a vacation photo or a quick selfie.
You also may want to consider updating your style. A great haircut or a crisp, new shirt may show that you’re still current and not an aging worker.
Highlight your success in previous jobs
One great advantage you have as a worker over 50 is your previous experience so make sure you pump that up on your LinkedIn profile.
It’s important to list relevant experience and tasks you performed in previous positions. And don’t forget to add awards or specific recognition you received or milestones you’ve achieved.
Include links to examples of your work
LinkedIn allows you to add links to websites so make sure you take advantage of that space to show off your work.
Think about using links that show off your skills for that particular position, such as projects you worked on or blogs you may have written that illustrate your depth of knowledge about a particular topic.
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Ask someone you trust to review your profile
You may have a mentor who has helped you in the past or a friend who might work in human resources. Tap their talents and ask them to review your page.
They may see things you missed or guide you to consider issues you may not have thought of. An extra set of professional eyes can help you identify issues to make your profile stand out so you can find success.
Review your professional headline
There’s a line right under your name in your profile that can say a lot about you in only a few words.
It’s important to take advantage of that space and give viewers a quick and important snapshot of what you do or what you’re looking for in your next dream job. So review your profile and decide a good way to sum up who you are quickly and concisely for potential employers.
Make sure your profile is complete
There are plenty of different topics you can provide information for when you build your profile so try not to skip any of them.
It’s important to make your profile as complete as possible with previous job experience or awards. You should also include a description of who you are as a professional or the types of skills you have.
Ask other professionals for references
LinkedIn has a great feature that allows you to have other professionals or people who know you to write a short reference for you.
Ask your current or former co-workers for a short paragraph that can attest to your work with them and what kind of experience they had working with you. It’s a good way for potential employers to hear about your talents from others who know you well.
Connect with your network
You may have a strong network on LinkedIn with plenty of professionals you’ve met over the years. These colleagues may have gone on to other assignments or companies since you originally crossed paths, which could be a good resource for you.
Use that network to your advantage by reaching out to people who may be at companies where your dream job could be and ask them about potential openings. They may have advice for you as you pursue your next big adventure.
Build up your network
It may also be a good time to expand your network beyond those people you’ve already connected with.
Check with some of your connections from previous jobs and see if they have other connections that you can add to your network. Maybe you have former colleagues that you haven’t added to your list yet. Perhaps a network connection can introduce you to someone in their network who could help you get that dream job.
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Use your LinkedIn feed to your advantage
Your LinkedIn feed is a good way to connect to your network and send out a note so others can know what you’re doing.
Perhaps you want your network to know about a big project you just finished at work or tell people that you’re looking for new opportunities. You also may have blog posts to share or maybe a small success in your current job.
Posting information about what you’re doing professionally is a good way to let potential employers know about your work and remind your network that you’re available for the next big thing.
Drop your graduation year from your education
When you graduated from college or earned a degree can be an important part of your profile, especially when you’re starting out professionally.
But if you’re over 50, it may be time to ditch your years of attendance or graduation date from your profile. Employers aren’t allowed to discriminate against you based on your age, but they also may not be willing to offer an interview to someone with a graduation date in the 20th century.
Make sure your contact info is accessible
You don’t have to put your home address and phone number on LinkedIn, and in fact it may be a good idea if you don’t, due to privacy issues.
But it is a good idea to make sure it’s easy for potential employers to contact you. Make sure your message box is open. You may also consider setting your email preferences to get notifications if someone contacts you about a potential job.
You have options if you want to switch positions to get your dream job when you’re older so you can meet new professional goals or retire early.
Review your LinkedIn profile with a critical eye to be sure it can lead to your dream job. And don’t be afraid to reach out to your network for ideas or advice. You may be surprised at what your LinkedIn networks can offer you.