Cancer and Careers and the volunteer career coaches who work with us have long stressed the importance of networking when looking for a new job, seeking a career change or simply aiming to stay abreast of industry trends. Given the emphasis placed on networking, it’s important to utilize tools that will assist with that process.
LinkedIn continues to be a key tool for job-hunting and establishing one’s professional online brand. With that said, it’s important to stay up to date on best practices, to make sure you’re accurately reflecting your interests through your profile. A recent article from The Job Network identifies six ways to update your LinkedIn profile in 2019 so you can be sure you’re using it to its fullest potential. We’ve highlighted a few that are particularly relevant for cancer survivors interested in using the platform.
Upgrade your headline and summary. Your LinkedIn profile provides a first impression to hiring managers, so it’s crucial that it includes language that catches their eye while also providing key, accurate information about you as a professional. Even if you’ve been out of the game for a while due to treatment, this is where you can help hiring managers see your skill set and abilities.
Check your settings. Privacy and online settings are topics CAC feels strongly about — and for good reason. It’s important to have a good understanding of how information about you is shared on social media platforms, and this includes on LinkedIn. Now that a new year is underway, take some time to carefully review your settings and make the decision yourself of how much you wish to be public. Keeping privacy in mind on all social media platforms is important, but particularly when that platform is connected to employment.
Review your connections. Whether it’s adding people to your network or doing a careful audit of your connections, having a sense of who you’re linked to can impact what types of opportunities you might come across, or miss, on the site. To maximize LinkedIn, think of creative ways to effectively engage with your online network. It’s important to also consider your decision regarding disclosure, and to communicate that decision with those in your network, especially if you plan to ask anyone for a reference.
While LinkedIn is not the only method for networking, it can be an easy way to connect with other professionals and to share with your industry and the professional space who you are and what you can offer. Check out our webinar recording on Building an Effective LinkedIn Profile for more instruction on how to make your profile stand out and work for you.
For additional resources to help with job-hunting or changing careers, be sure to join our Balancing Work & Cancer webinar on Job Search on Wednesday, February 6! And take a look at CAC’s Job Search Toolkit, available for order or download, as well as our section on Looking for Work, which covers various topics to consider as you look for work following a diagnosis.