AOL Jobs published a great piece called, “Over 50? Here’s How to Beat the ‘Old Timer’ Stereotype in Your Job Search.” It focuses on using LinkedIn to overcome stereotypes. You know, the ones that assume those over 50 are less motivated, less willing to participate, and more resistant to change when compared to their younger counterparts. It’s a stereotype that’s not often true, but unfortunately there is one stereotype that rings true for older workers — they don’t use social media. And it’s a stereotype that’s hurting their job hunt.
LinkedIn falls under the social media umbrella but there’s a major difference when it comes to this social network. It’s not about cat videos, pictures of your kids, or ranting about your bad day — it’s exclusively about networking and finding a job. And those over the age of 50 who aren’t on LinkedIn are missing out in a big way. What may look like ageism could actually just me a miss on the job seekers part. If many employers are finding most of their new hires on LinkedIn, but you’re not there, who’s to blame? Do yourself a favor and put yourself exactly where the employers are recruiting.
For the over 50 set, it’s more important than ever to craft a completed LinkedIn profile, which includes a photo, detailed explanations of all positions held, and a full roster of connections. Once you’ve gained comfort with the network, go above and beyond the typical LinkedIn user. Get involved in groups. Share relevant industry articles with the update feature. Write about your industry with the publishing feature. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but it’s time well spent. These days, a LinkedIn profile is as important as a resume — if not more so.