Age-Protection Tips for Your LinkedIn Profile

Age discrimination in employment can occur in different ways. Sometimes it starts at the very beginning of the hiring process, when employers review information such as social media profiles to screen candidates.

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, while 43% of employers use social media to verify current employees. This means that if you don’t use social media to your advantage, it can hurt your chances in the hiring process.

LinkedIn is one of the biggest networking sites for professionals. If you don’t have a profile, you need to create one. It’s worth the time and effort for older workers to join LinkedIn, as that in itself shows you’re up to date and can help you avoid some age biases. It’s also a great place to connect with people in your industry, search for jobs, and let certain people know you’re looking for your next opportunity.

Here are some tips on how you can age-proof your LinkedIn profile, section by section:

1. Create a catchy title

Just like a good newspaper headline makes you want to read the story, a good LinkedIn headline will get people to revisit your profile. Make sure the title quickly shows what you have to offer and includes relevant keywords that both human and automated recruiters will search for. (You can find these keywords in the language used in the job postings you’re interested in.) Also, don’t include your years of work experience in the title – unless you want to tell someone about your age from the start.

2. Show passion in your summary

One of the best ways to show that you still have what it takes is to show that you are still passionate about your job and your industry and are up to date with current trends. Showing this knowledge will make a recruiter or hiring manager take notice.

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The resume is also the place to provide additional details about your experience, accomplishments, and what you hope to do in the next phase of your career. Forget the dates and keep the information fresh and relevant to what you did recently, not what you did 15 years ago.

3. Focus on the scope of your experience

In the experience section of your profile, think width, not length. You certainly don’t want to include employment history from more than 15 years ago. However, you want to showcase the industries you’ve worked with, the skills you’ve learned, and the accomplishments you’ve gained over the years. Just do it without the dates. A bulleted list works well.

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