LinkedIn Profile Help (For Your Career Transition)
It can feel like a little bit of both :).
With hundreds of MILLIONS of people (433 million and growing, according to INC) using LinkedIn for their professional lives, it is important that you get on it and have a profile.
But if you are changing careers, what should your profile say?
Ugh. The AGONY.
Not to fear however, because there are a few things that you can do to help stand out. So, without further ado, let’s talk about how to help your LinkedIn profile.
Step 1 LinkedIn Profile Help: Update your headline.
Headlines MATTER. That is a huge part of the LI search, and what people read first. A vague headline that reflects your old job, or the fact that you are job-seeking is a no-go.
Instead, you want to use your headline to reflect keywords that are searchable for work that you WANT.
What does that mean? Avoid generic words like “experienced leader” or “team manager” and instead try to get more industry specific, like: “Graphic designer with experience in HTML” or “Interior designer specializing in commercial space.”
Note: If you are struggling with your headline because you aren’t exactly sure what you want to do next, here’s a free worksheet to get you started…CLICK.
Most important: Go ahead and embrace where you think want to be next, not where you’ve been (and you don’t want to be). If you want to get a job in the new industry, start acting like you are already there!
Step 2: Update your summary.
Your summary is a little different from your resume summary or overview. On LinkedIn, it’s a chance for you to stand out with a bit more of a story.
You can read mine here as an example: CLICK.
Think about keywords and themes that you want to highlight, and don’t be afraid to show more personality than you might in your resume. If your resume is a formal suit, your LI summary is more of a business casual sweater. Make sure you hit on your experience in the new career (you can use volunteer work, certifications, blogs, anything that you’ve done to bone up for the new industry), and talk about why you like the work.
To get started, write a sentence that goes like this, using your name: “John Doe is a …..” and then fill in the blank with the work that you want to be doing. If you don’t feel like you can do that credibly, then write a sentence about who you are at work and what you love to do (at work). Keep positive and future focused, and try and grab the reader with something interesting, rather than simply rote (don’t worry, you’ve got your resume for that!).
“John Doe is an experienced organizer.”
“John Doe is an event planner who believes that life is too short not to have great parties.”
Step 3: Marry your new work experience with the old.
You’ve probably got a ton of work experience from the career you are trying to leave behind. That’s fine, no one expects that you sprang fully-formed as if from nowhere.
Now, however, it’s time to introduce your relevant experience for the work you want to get.
First off, go through your old work experience and remove anything that’s really out of date.
Next up, rewrite your old work history to highlight any transferable skills for the new history.
For example, if you are moving from being an office manager to an event planner, you might want to talk up the office events you planned, instead of your skills with excel.
If you are thinking of leaving your finance job for one in communications, now is the time to call-out your contributions to the company newsletter or any internal communications you may have done for your team.
Finally, add the work experience that you DO have that’s in the new field. You can have concurrent or overlapping jobs on LI, and this is the place to do that. If you have volunteered as an event planner for your alumni organization or charity work, then put that in as a job. It’s real experience and you can absolutely highlight that.
If you are trying to get writing gigs and move into being a full-time writer from another profession, it’s time to include the blog you’ve been writing for the last year, or any articles that you’ve pitched and published on credible websites.
You see where I’m going with this.
Step 4: Review the skills you have up for endorsement.
This is incredibly easy to do on LI. Just click on the “add skill” box at the top right, and you can delete old skills that you no longer want to be known for, and add new ones that reflect your new career choices. These are more keywords that help in search and in credibility (go you!) and it’s the easiest of all updates to make.
Now your profile more clearly reflects where you want to go, instead of where you’ve been. This is a great step on the road to career transition since we’ve already talked about all of the millions of people on LinkedIn. Some of them are looking for YOU.
Now, one big caveat before I go: If you don’t know what job you want, make sure that you figure out what your passion is FIRST, before you go out and randomly try and update your profile. Without a clear direction it’s a waste of time, and I don’t want that for you.
If you need help finding your passion, then please grab the #1 passion tool out there: Zero to Passion – it’s my entire system for figuring out written down for you. You can find it right here…CLICK.