• First, "Career Advice" is still in its rollout phase, and only a small number of matches may pop up for you. Of the three that were suggested to me, none seemed quite right for the kind of advice I was after. And there’s no guarantee that the note you send to a potential match will be answered, so it can be a bit of a dance to get the party started.
• Second, keep in mind that the person at the other end will probably not be a professional job coach. “Connections who do not have a true stake in your career could provide insight and advice that help you, but they could also confuse you,” cautions John O’Connor, a coach with CareerPro Inc., based in Raleigh, N.C.
With this feature, LinkedIn sends you each month a list of skills that are trending among people who have your same job title. The idea is that you might add the skills to your profile. This is a great way to show you’re in the game — a persistent bias that employers have against older applicants is that their skills are not up to date. “All job seekers, especially later-stage career professionals, need to identify the skills that are ‘in demand’ in their profession,” Mattson explains.
This feature can also help potential employers find you. “If you’re on the hunt for a new job, highlighting your skills and keeping your skills refreshed on your LinkedIn profile is a great way to help you be discovered in a search,” Fisher says. “Members with five or more skills on their profile are found up to 27 times more in recruiter searches.”
You can also click on the skill in the notification to find companies hiring people with that skill. And the site suggests LinkedIn Learning courses if you need to brush up.
A commonsense word of caution: Make sure you actually have any particular skill that you add. The proof will be in the pudding.
Video From Your Phone
I’ve long suggested that older job seekers add videos to their profiles if videos are common in the field they’re exploring. A good video can set you apart from the crowd, show your experience and even build a bond with prospective employers before they meet you. Plus, it’s another way to show that you’re at ease with technology.
Employers will find a video particularly valuable if you’re applying for a job where you’d be in the spotlight — sales, public speaking, tourism or fundraising, for instance. “Video is a powerful way to show your personality in an authentic, visual way, and it’s being shared 20 times more than other content types on LinkedIn,” Fisher says.
Now the LinkedIn mobile app lets you post videos from your phone or tablet. Look for the share box and tap the video icon. Record a new video or upload an existing one. “Keep it concise — 30 seconds to two minutes does the trick in most cases,” Fisher advises.
You don’t need to appear in the video yourself, notes Susan P. Joyce, an online job search expert. Using software such as Camtasia or just the video app on your device, you could make a short video that, for example, illustrates a flower bed you designed or a piece of furniture you built.