I’ve been teaching a cycle of three LinkedIn courses (beginner, intermediate and advanced) for several years at a social services agency aimed at preparing baby boomers for re-employment. Some are deer-in-the-headlights stunned and trying to absorb all the demands on their new-found time: new resume, interviewing skills, headshot, and among these and other mini courses, LinkedIn. Others just need a new orientation to a LinkedIn profile in need of a simple brush up. The rest in between.
It’s a rough ride for many of them. Some had to leave career-long positions as their firms closed, some employee victims of the Madoff scandal, some as technology booted them out in favor of a 23-year-old whose salary plus benefits were less costly than the boomer’s. Many reasons, all with the same result: a jolt.
Looking for a job as a 50+ year old is very very different now than when they first started their careers. Being LinkedIn-savvy is expected although they mostly have no idea how to do more than copy-paste a resume. After three 90-minute sessions with me, they are well prepared on LinkedIn for the harsh reality of seeking a job with 30+ years’ experience and the roller coaster ride to a new position. LinkedIn profiles telling their backstory as a complement to the bare-bones resume are the goal to making them more real to the interviewer. An electronic “leg up.”
I do this probono, and I revel in knowing they are prepared and better able to speak about themselves on LinkedIn. There have been success stories and accolades and high marks in the surveys about my courses.
Those are memorable. But none as rewarding as the woman who came up to me after one of my recent series of tri-courses and just plain said thank you, simply but wholeheartedly. Nice.