What should I put on LinkedIn when I am an unemployed student looking to transition into the non-profit, human service, or social service sector from financial services?
Should I list that I am a student who is looking for job opportunities and looking to transition into the non-profit, human service, or social service sector from financial services in my headline? Should I mention the career which I aspire to have? In the experience section should I list my financial service experience, though it does not relate to my goals? I mostly want to showcase my need for employment and the fact that I am a student in an appropriate manner. #career-counseling #career-path #job-search #linkedin #career-change #job-search-strategies #linkedin-recruiter
Here are some suggestions for how to use LinkedIn to help make a successful career change:
- Become an expert on the career you want to pursue
From the moment you begin considering a change, start to read as much as you can about the industry or function you want to join. Being in the know will help you discover organizations that might be hiring and will help you make a good impression as you begin networking and eventually interviewing for positions in your new industry. A great way to do this research is through LinkedIn Today, a new, free tool that customizes your news experience by sourcing content from your network and lets you follow industries you might be interested in.
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile for your new career
Your next crucial task is to revise your LinkedIn profile so it supports your career change goals. Start with your headline -- the most important piece of real estate on your profile -- and use it to promote the transition you want to make. For instance, “Experienced corporate executive seeking position in nonprofit management.” If your job hunt is not public, try a general headline such as “ Experienced product and marketing executive.”
Next, write a very strong Summary statement that briefly explains what you’re doing now and the fact that you’re changing careers -- don’t leave it up to the reader to guess that you want to make a change. Be sure to keep your explanation concise and positive (i.e., never lament the fact that your current industry is in decline or that you got laid off and are being forced into a switch).
Then focus on explaining your “transferable skills” -- those skills you have that can apply to multiple industries or roles. Examples of transferable skills include: people management, technical training, sales, communication, negotiation, leadership, creativity, organization and general administrative skills. As much as possible, you’ll want to mention skills that you know are important in the industry or function you aspire to. Not sure what those are? Look at LinkedIn job postings and the profiles of people in your desired career for ideas.
Once you’ve revised your profile, ask a few people who have a background in this field to check it out and provide any additional “insider” tips.
- Join LinkedIn groups related to your desired career
Joining LinkedIn groups in your desired industry or function is a great way to build your knowledge, image and network in your new field. Remember that your group memberships appear on your LinkedIn profile, so they indicate to people that you are serious about your new career.
- Alert your network to your career change plans
Networking is crucial to a career change, particularly if you are currently employed and not able to publicly announce your career change plans. Start by reaching out individually to everyone you already know -- friends, family, neighbors, former colleagues, former classmates -- to explain your desired transition and ask directly for their support.
- Talk to anyone who works or has worked in the field you want to join
In addition to networking with your existing contacts in any industry, nothing beats talking to a real person who has firsthand experience in the profession that interests you. Ask your existing contacts if they know anyone in your desired field they would be willing introduce you to.
Additionally, use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search to research people in your desired industry with whom you have something in common (e.g. you attended the same university, worked at the same employer in the past or belong to a shared LinkedIn group). You can reach out through LinkedIn connection requests or InMail (if you have a premium account) to request a brief, informal discussion.
During all of these conversations with industry members, ask people to recommend insider tips, must-read publications and advice on what jobs in their field are most realistic for people to transition into. Keep in mind that it’s not appropriate to ask any of these contacts for a job, just for advice and guidance. And don’t forget to send a gracious thank you email to thank people for their time.
All the tips you can read on:
I would definitely recommend putting in your current school status. Always put in any volunteer work because that shows that you care about your community and want to give back. Seek out opportunities in the field you want to get into so you can get at least entry level experience.
Angie recommends the following next steps: