10 LinkedIn career change tips
If you’re changing careers, professional social network LinkedIn can be a valuable tool. Here you’ll find companies, employers, recruiters, headhunters, networkers and professionals all related to your desired field. Make the most of this access to them.
Include your career aim in your headline
Whenever you post in a group or in the Q&A section on LinkedIn, people see your profile headline. When people come across your profile, the first thing they see is the headline. Make this headline count by clearly stating which career you’re looking to change to. For instance, if you’re an accountant looking to become a maths teacher, put something like ‘x years accountancy experience, now looking to use my head for numbers as a maths teacher’.
Fill out your profile completely
The more an employer knows about you, the more willing it will be to take a chance on you, even if you have no direct, paid experience in the career area in question. Potential employers will be looking at your LinkedIn profile, so be sure to fill it in 100 per cent and include any voluntary or pro bono work you’ve done in the area of your choice.
Upload a headshot
Companies are also more likely to take a chance on you if they trust you. For your profile picture, use a headshot of yourself looking directly into the camera. The more close up and less obscured a face is in a picture, the more people are likely to trust it.
Use apps to reflect your interests
LinkedIn has a wide range of apps you can add to your profile to reflect who you are and what you’re interested in. Use these apps to underline your passion and expertise in your target career field. Create an Amazon book list to show which books you’re reading on the field. If you’ve started blogging about your future industry, use Blog Link to connect the blog to your profile.
Do your research
The more you know about your desired sector, the more likely you are to get a suitable job within it. Research it by looking at the LinkedIn profiles of organisations within that sector. This will also come in useful in the future if you decide to apply to any of those companies.
Be fussy about who you connect with
You don’t have to connect with everyone on LinkedIn who’s in your chosen industry. Before you sent someone an invite to connect, look at their profile again and ask yourself what you’re really going to get out of this Connection.
Join relevant discussion groups
Becoming a member of groups related to your future career will not only allow you to network with people who can help you tap into that career but will also help you to learn more about it.
Be an active participant
Once you join some groups, remember to participate in them so you stay visible to recruiters and employers. You can also participate in other areas of the LinkedIn community such as the Q&A feature. Ask and answer questions related to your target profession.
‘Like’ relevant status updates
When your Connections update their statuses with news or links to articles relevant to your desired career, ‘like’ these updates to demonstrate your active interest in the topic.
Find events to go to
Through the events feature, you can find face-to-face events to attend. Do a keyword search for events related to your chosen industry and go along to them to get some face time with the movers and shakers within that industry.
Nisa Chitakasem is founder of Position Ignition, the UK’s leading Career Consulting Company, and co-author of their eBook 125 Twitter Job Search Tips. Nisa co-founded Position Ignition.com to provide career consulting to people looking for guidance and support through their career change, new career direction, job search and career development.