Using LinkedIn to return to work

If you’ve taken time off work, it can be difficult to know where to begin when it’s time for you to re-enter the workforce.

When trying to get your foot back in the door, the first step is to tap into your existing networks.

LinkedIn is your best friend when it comes to connecting with people in your industry and selling yourself. Whether you have been out of the workforce for a few months or since before social media was even a thing, we have some expert advice to help set you on the path to creating a killer LinkedIn profile.

Talent acquisition specialist, Lisa Hammond, give us her top LinkedIn tips:

Differentiate yourself from your competition

“Your profile needs to be creative and show your personal side, in addition to highlighting your experience. While a resume is more technical/achievement orientated, a LinkedIn profile is an opportunity to tell people a bit about yourself.”

Be professional

“It is not Facebook or Instagram, it is a professional social media tool and it is your brand. It doesn’t have to be overly corporate but it does have to be professional. Avoid pictures of yourself in a bar or in social settings. Just think about how you would want to be perceived in a workplace.”

Use industry buzzwords

“Do your research into the industry you are interested in entering or re-entering and find out what is current. You want to use some of the keywords of your industry, as often the people hiring you will do word searches to pick up keywords on your profile or in your resume.”

 

Talent acquisition firms like The Next Step where Hammond works, can help people looking to return to work sell themselves and their previous experience to employers, as well as any other general job application advice.

She is of the firm belief that the first step for someone returning to the workforce is having a professional and updated LinkedIn profile.

“Your LinkedIn profile and ability to effectively network are absolutely critical in securing a role back in the market.

"A lot of jobs are actually secured through your networks – not simply through applying for jobs,” explains Hammond.

“LinkedIn is your number one marketing tool - more so or equal to your resume! People are going to see your resume if you send it to them, but if you’re connecting with people online or potential hiring managers are seeking talent online, your LinkedIn profile is what they’re going to see.”