If you’re hoping the New Year brings a new career, you’ll want to promote your experience in a way that translates into your new target area. Your LinkedIn profile is a powerful tool for repositioning yourself in a new industry, a new role, or both. LinkedIn is public and searchable, so not only employers and potential recruiters can see it, but also potential connections that may offer information, leads, or other materials. LinkedIn is a social network, and we’re still on vacation – a great time for networking! Therefore, updating these five aspects of your LinkedIn profile to support your career change should be a priority:
1 – Rewrite the title for your new sector and / or target role
If you don’t personalize the phrase that appears just below your name, it may default to your current title and business. This is sufficient if you want to continue working in the same industry and in the same role. However, if you aspire to a career change, you don’t want your old industry and / or old job to be the first thing potential contacts and employers see. (Your title may be the only thing employers, recruiters, and other potential connections see if you show up in search results, and people decide not to click because your title is irrelevant.)
For example, let’s say you are currently a marketing manager at a bank, but want to market for a media company. You can change your title to include your overall marketing expertise – for example, Marketing Manager | Partnerships | Direct mail | E-commerce. This distracts the bank’s attention, which is irrelevant, and highlights your marketing expertise, which still fits.
2 – Highlight new activities in the About section
Likewise, when you summarize your background in the About section, open with the most relevant and important qualifications for your new field, even if your experience in previous industries or roles is longer. You want to grab the reader’s attention early on because they might not read everything, or even read it, once they see you in the old industry or role, he won’t see you as a potential candidate for something new.
For example, you may have 20 years of banking experience, but you can still open up with your enthusiasm to the latest media trends. If you’re working in your new industry (even if it’s a side-consulting project or volunteer work), highlight it first. If you have any certifications or are an active member of a relevant professional association, this may also legitimize your interest in the new field. If, instead, you open up with a comprehensive list of your old experience, expertise, and skills, by the time they move on to new things, they’ll see you as a newbie and therefore a risk of hiring.
3 – Present your new expertise in your Activity
In addition to the About section, your activity – for example, posts you write, comments on other posts, videos or presentations you attach – can be tailored to the new career and showcase your expertise. . Being active in your new area is also a good way to build and expand your network in that area. An insider can take note of your ideas and introduce you to others.
For example, you can summarize ideas for books or courses you are taking to learn more about your new field. If you are conducting informational interviews (and you should), you can highlight the main takeaways from these meetings. You don’t have to produce content from scratch – you can follow the leaders of your target function or your dream companies and comment on what they post.
4 – Include substantive counseling, part-time work or volunteering in Experience
The work experience you include in the Experience section does not need to be paid or your main job, as long as it is substantial. Yes, you can also put volunteer work in the Volunteering section, but then it might be overlooked. Your goal is to grab the reader’s attention before they think you are too deeply rooted in your old career.
It also includes how you organize your current job description – if some aspect of your job is more relevant than others to your new career, highlight them first. For example, one of my clients made a career change from financial services to education. It seems like a big pivot given that it had decades in its home industry. However, in her last job, although most of it was financial, she also had some mentoring and training activities that she listed first.
5 – Talk to your new audience with relevant keywords
Whether it’s your title, summary, activity, experience, or whatever section, take a look at what you include and how you describe it from the perspective of your new target area. Avoid jargon that only applies to niche domains. Generalize your skills so that multiple industries can see your value.
For example, I asked a client in the transportation industry to change the references to passengers for clients. Another healthcare client replaced patients with clients. A small change in appearance makes your profile more welcoming.
Put your LinkedIn URL in your email signature so your entire network has your updated information
Of course, having an updated profile that is responsive to career changes doesn’t make sense if no one sees it. Putting your LinkedIn URL in your email signature (your personal signature, not your current job!) Is a discreet way to attach your history to every correspondence. While it is presumptuous to send people a CV (and people who don’t know you well may not open an email with an attachment), posting a URL gives access to the same information but in a more subtle way. As a career changer, most of your network will likely be in your old career rather than your new target, so your existing relationships may not see all of your adventures in your new career. Directing them to your profile in every email is a constant reminder of what you’re doing and everything you’re working on for something new.