Research from LinkedIn has shown that nearly half of 45-55 year olds would rather work in another industry. But among those respondents, two-thirds worry they’re too old to change careers.
But worry not. If you’re considering a career 180°, here are some insider tips from LinkedIn itself on how to best use the online professional network to find new work opportunities:
1. Make your online shine
With more than 660 million users worldwide with more than 20 million in the UK and an ever-increasing reach and social media prominence, LinkedIn is one of the major ports of call for businesses looking to hire. So, if you haven’t got a LinkedIn profile, get one now!
When you do, make sure it stands out and reflects your career history in the best way possible. If prospective employers and your LinkedIn network of followers can’t see it, how will they know you’ve done it?
You’ll be taken through step-by-step when setting up your LinkedIn profile, and you can adapt your settings to ensure it isn’t searchable through search engines such as Google until you’re happy with it.
Simple things, like updating your profile picture with a professional shot, will help you stand out. Profiles with images are many, many times more likely to be viewed by potential employers.
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2. Little and often
Once you’ve got your professional profile up and running, you’ll need to start building your online network.
Don’t worry; spending just nine minutes a day connecting with people or updating your profile is all it takes to start seeing a real impact.
With more than two million groups on LinkedIn, spanning a vast range of industries, interests and demographics, spending some time joining relevant ones is a great way to meet and connect with like-minded people, or even find a mentor.
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3. It’s still all about who you know
Networking may have moved online, but it’s still all about who you know. Contacts are king.
As well as tapping into your own network, LinkedIn clearly flags your second and third degree connections – people your connections are connected to – so that you can easily expand your network. This can provide an effective springboard into other careers.
Getting introductions and endorsements from mutual connections is a particularly good way to get a foot in the door. Giving your connections endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn is also a great way to encourage one back. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, as the old saying goes.
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4. Leverage your own experience
As an experienced professional with years of work under your belt, you’ll want to make sure all your skills are clearly listed on your profile, especially transferable ones. These will show potential employers you’re adaptable and ready for the challenge of a career switch.
And, to inject some colour and personality to your profile, use it to showcase any relevant presentations, design work, videos, screenshots or links to standout work that might set you apart from other candidates. It’s easy to upload these to your profile under the relevant section of your career history.
For more tips and hints, visit our careers and work section