Power Your Career Transition
Updated: Feb 20
We all recognize LinkedIn's power when it comes to job hunting, networking, and business growth. But how do you maximize LinkedIn to power your career transition into a new profession or industry?
Just as you would tailor your resume to specific jobs, your aim is to reposition your profile to focus on your new career direction and emphasize relevant, transferrable skills that can help you get found by recruiters and other hiring professionals.
Katie is a 27-year-old call center representative at a local performing arts company in Boston - a job she has held since graduating with her MFA in Creating Writing from Boston University. During her 4 years at the performing arts company, Katie earned a high reputation among management as a hard worker who is patient and helpful with customers, utilizing her strong active listening skills to resolve issues and provide them with sound advice and information on performances which has helped her to consistently exceed her quarterly ticket sales goals.
Outside of the call center, Katie is a certified yoga instructor and very passionate about health and wellness which she shares with her 2,000 blog readers. Katie also continues to practice her love of writing by volunteering as a copywriter for a local holistic wellness shop's online store and periodically writes for a small health and wellness magazine called, Purity.
Katie loves learning and attends a local community college to take a few marketing and writing courses (e.g. SEO, SMO, brand management, digital marketing, marketing research and analysis) which has helped her to promote her blog, significantly increasing readership and grow her online presence on various social media channels. Knowing Katie's influence over her blog readers, many holistic and wellness companies have reached out to Katie for her to try their products or services in hopes that she will provide a review on her website.
Now, Katie is ready to find a job that marries her passion and talent, seeking an entry-level marketing position with a company in the health and wellness industry. Although she doesn't have any work experience in marketing, she's hoping to position herself as a competitive candidate with her transferrable skills and experience.
Replace the default headline with an attractive headline that focuses on your new career direction and use a mix of titles and relevant keywords to help get you found by recruiters and potential employers.
Katie's New Headline (Example):
Health & Wellness Writer | Yoga Instructor | Marketing Writer & Copywriter for small holistic health and yoga businesses
With this two-part headline, Katie can separate herself from a bulk of the competition (other marketing writers and copywriters) by prominently displaying holistic health, wellness, and yoga to attract her target audience - hiring managers and recruiters for companies in the health and wellness industry.
Craft your headline with your target audience in mind, and search LinkedIn users with similar job titles (e.g. Marketing Writer and Marketing Copywriter). Identify how you can make yourself standout using keywords your target audience would enter in the search box to find potential candidates.
Your summary should be a compelling, first-persona narrative that connects your current profession with your new career direction. A cohesive summary is especially important if you changed careers before. This will prevent you from appearing scattered and unfocused.
Katie crafts her summary by stitching the three key areas of her professional and personal activities: Customer Service, Health & Wellness, and Marketing Writing. She uses the following opening statement to hook her targeted readers:
Whether I am advising first-time patrons on the perfect ballet performance to attend, informing my blog readers about the latest in holistic health and yoga, or helping small businesses improve their marketing of products and services, I am committed to delivering excellence.
Katie understands that she needs to create an enjoyable reading experience to maintain her readers interest. To accomplish this, she creates different headers within the summary to call out to specific areas of her background and optimize her profile's searchability. The headers will also make it easy for her readers to quickly skim her summary. Some of the headers Katie uses in her summary are: Customer Service, Holistic Health & Wellness, Marketing Writing, Areas of Expertise, and Let Connect.
With the Holistic Health & Wellness and Marketing Writing sections, Katie introduces each section with an introductory statement that ties it into the others. For example, in the Holistic Health & Wellness section, Katie connects her work with customer service:
Over the past 5 years, I have dedicated myself to helping individuals achieve a balanced life - mind, body, and spirit - by sharing information about the latest holistic health and yoga practices and resources.
And then in the Marketing Writing section, Katie makes the connection to her holistic health and wellness experiences:
I believe holistic health is a critical component to the well-being of individuals and communities, I launched Health & Wellness Marketing, LLC - a freelance marketing writing and copywriting service catered to small holistic health business
Katie understands how LinkedIn's algorithm scans users profiles to pickup keywords recruiters use in the search bar to find potential candidates.
To further her chances of being found by recruiters for marketing writing positions, Katie created an Area of Expertise section to highlight relevant skills:
AREA OF EXPERTISE
HubSpot Marketing, RankActive, Adobe Creative Suite, Google Analytics, MailChimp; Content Development, Copywriting, Marketing Communications, Proofreading, Editing, Brand Development
Lastly, Katie ends her summary with a call-to-action for her targeted readers:
Let's Connect! If you would like to learn more about my background and how I can contribute to your company, you can reach me by phone at 555.555.5555 or at email@example.com.
Just as you did with your summary, your work experiences should be aligned with your new career direction.
Focus on your accomplishments - not responsibilities, duties, or tasks - that are most relevant to the new job you're seeking.
Frame your accomplishments by stating the problem/situation, the specific actions you took, and the specific results generated.
Here is an example of how Katie focuses on some of her most relevant accomplishments:
I generated a combined total of $1.5M per year for 25 small holistic care businesses by authoring compelling email campaigns, product launches, landing pages, video scripts, blog posts, e-commerce copy, social media posts.
Having recommendations from people who can vouch for your work is the best way to create credibility. Invite one or two people to write a recommendation for selected positions - the ones that are most relevant to your new career direction. In your personalized recommendation request message, mention the type of position you're targeting and some of the skills you would like for them to highlight.
Showcase Media and Files
Uploading relevant media files and images to your About and Experience sections are effective ways to draw attention to your most impressive accomplishments. For example, Katie added a colorful online resume she created using Canva to her summary, a link to her holistic health and wellness blog, and a video screen shot with link to a presentation she gave on effective content development strategies.
When you're switching careers, you have to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills to be successful in this new line of work. A targeted LinkedIn profile that catches your targeted reader's attention will well-position you to make that change.