While it may not be too hard for you to get familiar with a social media channel like LinkedIn for job search, your parents may still find themselves needing guidance, and it’s up to you to help them. Here are some simple tips to get you started on LinkedIn, which you can then share with your parents to help them in their job search.
1. Get the Basics Right
Every LinkedIn profile must have some basic elements. Ensure you fill each of the important sections, including the profile photo, headline, summary statement, work experience, education and skills.
When you are helping your parents set up their account, ask them to think about their career achievements and showcase these with relevant keywords to enable employers to find them through search. These could be anything from simple keywords like “project management” to others denoting specific competencies like “BIM” for Building Information Modelling in the manufacturing and construction industry or “network security” and “penetration testing” in the cybersecurity sector. For reference, look up how others in your parents’ preferred industry have populated their profiles and the type of skills and achievements they highlight in each section.
2. Make a Positive First Impression
Now that the basic fields are filled, it’s time to get creative.
Create a professional-looking profile photo: Headshots allow the face to be seen clearly when the photos appear as thumbnails in searches. Professional attire and a warm smile also help to leave a positive impression on employers.
Craft a unique, compelling headline: This is the line that appears right under the name, and can be used as an opportunity to mention experience. For example, “Experienced manufacturing professional looking for a new opportunity in [industry]” is a simple statement that makes it clear what your work experience is and what they are looking for.
Write a brief summary statement: This is where you expand on your skills, qualifications and accomplishments. For your parents, this might be where they can mention their experience and reiterate what this allows them to bring to their new job. Some LinkedIn users also leave their contact email and phone number here, to make it easy for recruiters to get in touch with them.
3. Seek Endorsements and Recommendations
Direct your parents to the LinkedIn Recommendations Tool in their profiles, to create a personalised message asking their contact for recommendations on specific skills that employers may notice when they view your parents’ profiles. For example, for a new role in process engineering, your parents could ask a former colleague to endorse or recommend their soft skills in team leadership or product development as well as their technical competencies in Lean/Six Sigma methodology and in their understanding of ISO and safety standards. Encourage your parents to offer their contact a recommendation in return as well.