Using LinkedIn to change career after 50

Darain Faraz / 04 November 2015

If you are considering changing career after you have turned 50, read our tips on using online professional network LinkedIn to find new opportunities.

Tomorrow, LinkedIn’s Bring In Your Parents Day will see thousands of parents visiting their children’s workplaces to show it’s never too late to pick up a new set of skills or consider changing career direction altogether.

Recent research from LinkedIn shows that nearly half of 45-55 year olds would rather work in another industry, but two-thirds worry they’re too old to change careers.

If you’re considering a career 180°, LinkedIn’s Darain Faraz shares his tips on using the online professional network to find new opportunities:

1. Make your online shine

With 400 million members worldwide, and over 19 million in the UK, LinkedIn is now one of the first ports of call for businesses looking to hire. So, if you haven’t got a LinkedIn profile, get one! 

When you do, make sure it stands out and reflects your career history – if they can’t see it, how will they know you’ve done it?

You’ll be taken through step-by-step when setting up your profile, and you can adapt your settings to ensure it isn’t searchable through search engines like Google until you’re happy with it.

Simple things, like updating your profile picture with a professional shot, will help you standout – profiles with images are 14 times more likely to be viewed by potential employers.

Five tips for a killer LinkedIn profile.

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 over two million groups on LinkedIn, spanning a wide 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.

CV tips for the over-50s.

3. It’s still all about who you know

Networking may have moved online, but it’s still all about who you know.

As well as tapping into your own network, LinkedIn clearly flags who your second or third degree connections – people your connections are connected to – are so that you can easily expand your network. This can provide an easy springboard into other careers.

Getting an introduction or endorsement from a mutual connection is a particularly good way to get a foot in the door. Giving your connections endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn is a good way to encourage one back.

10 tips to help you get that new job.

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 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.

To find out more about LinkedIn’s Bring In Your Parents Day, you can visit or celebrate the day by sharing pictures of you and your parents/children on social media using the #BIYP hashtag.

For more tips and hints, visit or careers and work section.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.