The reason why your job search is taking too long might not have anything to do with your age or experience. It’s how you describe your contributions in the marketplace. Senior job candidates do themselves a disservice by not having a robust LinkedIn page, positively generating attention.
Some 760-plus million users are on LinkedIn, with 87% of recruiters using it to viable source candidates. Having a strong online profile is a must, yet senior candidates often lack a LinkedIn strategy necessary to attract interest.
We know that ageism exists in the marketplace, and one way to overcome age-related perceptions is to talk about your experience not in terms of years but of value. When job searching, think of your LinkedIn page as your billboard, marketing your overall skills and value to recruiters who search for more depth using online profiles.
For those thinking about their next career steps, LinkedIn is not just for job searching. Instead, it is to help you stay in touch with your network of contacts and share information. It is your way of advertising your talents and accomplishments.
When senior candidates misjudge the significance of LinkedIn, they lose out on broadening their networking power and cultivating interest from employers. Unfortunately, some candidates view LinkedIn as more of a trend than a tool used in their professional growth.
Having an online profile that lacks luster could be sending a message to recruiters that you might not want to be active in the marketplace; instead, you are participating because “you are supposed to.”
At one time, having a strong resume to depend on was the marketing machine for your job search. Resumes are still important, and they send a snapshot of your career to help employers determine if you have the qualifications and experience needed for specific jobs. But if you handed out a resume that just listed your work history with no accomplishments, you probably would generate zero interest.
A resume that lists just your employers with your job titles gives the employer no clue how you contributed in a meaningful way. Instead of selling your skills, you end up marketing the list of employers.
The same philosophy holds with your LinkedIn profile. In job searching and networking, it is easy to forget that employers want to hire the best candidates, strive to excel in their careers, and increase their success. When you hide behind job titles hoping they will speak for you, you miss the opportunity to tell your story.
Regardless of having the same credentials and qualifications, every professional brings their communication style to the workplace. Your unique value sets you apart from others yet failing to tell the reader about your results limits your ability to get noticed.
Here are some ways senior candidates can generate more interests from potential employers and broaden their networking opportunities on LinkedIn:
- Be generous with listing your key skills. Let people know about your core skills by naming them.
- Tell your story by personalizing LinkedIn. Use personal pronouns to describe your accomplishments, style of communication, and philosophy towards producing results.
- Use your LinkedIn summary wisely by sending a professional message.
- Don’t copy your resume verbatim onto your LinkedIn page. Your resume and LinkedIn are different tools.
- If age bothers you, consider leaving out graduation dates or training classes from 20-plus years.
- Create enthusiasm with your choice of words and descriptions.
- Endorsements can reflect how others perceive you but recommendations are more powerful.
Your LinkedIn profile will more than likely be the first impression you make with employers and those that share common interests with you.
What are your thoughts about updating your LinkedIn profile? How has it helped you in your job search?