Congratulations, you have retired! It’s time to pop the champagne, relax and… update your LinkedIn profile.
If you want to work after retirement, even on a casual basis, a vibrant LinkedIn profile will alert your network that you’re open to new opportunities. If you prefer a more leisure-focused retirement, LinkedIn can help you stay in touch with interesting people and ideas as you move into this next stage of life.
But what is the best way to design your post-retirement profile? For advice, I reached out to three career experts: Hannah Morgan, founder of CareerSherpa.net in Canandaigua, New York; Hal Flantzer, New York-based career and retirement coach; and Ashley Watkins, job search strategist at WriteStepResumes.com in Moody, Alabama.
Lily: The number of baby boomers and Gen Xers who plan to work after 70 or forever is impressive
The four common dilemmas
Below are their answers to four common dilemmas retirees face when updating their profiles, along with some advice from my experience coaching retired clients:
1. Should you avoid using the word “retired” in your title and profile?
“What does retirement mean in 2022 anyway?” Morgan asks. “If you want to stay connected and active on LinkedIn, I wouldn’t include ‘retired’ in the title. Instead, explain how you can be helpful on LinkedIn in your title.
Flantzer says he believes anyone seeing that word in a LinkedIn profile or title would assume the profile owner is done with the professional life.
Watkins came up with a slightly different take. “Because LinkedIn is about the whole person, ‘retired’ can bring clarity to a career story.”
After reviewing their responses, I say it is okay to use “retired” if you are sure you no longer want to work for a living, but are open to other ideas. For example, “Retired teacher. Seeking meaningful volunteer roles with non-profit organizations focused on the environment. »
However, if work could be part of your future, avoid “retired”, especially in the title. Instead, use adjectives like “former” and use the rest of the title to explain how you want to be useful in the future.
Here’s an example of a title from Morgan that illustrates this advice in practice: “Mentoring and advising on topics related to accounting career path options. Former CPA with a leading consulting firm specializing in manufacturing. Happy to facilitate introductions.
Another example: Richard Eisenberg, former editor of Next Avenue, uses this title on LinkedIn: “Unretired freelance writer and editor”. This clever pun lets people know that he is still working, but only freelancing.
See: Retirement can mean loss of identity – how to bring happiness to your next act
2. Should retirees not switch profiles until they know the next steps?
“Instead of just leaving the profile as is, think about how you want to use LinkedIn to help you determine what’s next,” advises Morgan. For example, the About section could start with a question… “If you need someone with these skills, let’s talk about it”.
I find this approach useful. For example, a colleague interested in longevity wrote this in her About section: “Starting in October, I’m taking a ‘semester break’ to consider my next callback. If you have a project related to making the most of our longer lives, I look forward to hearing about it in the coming year.
If you’re not sure what’s next, consider replacing your old job title with a more general title that serves as a temporary placeholder. For example: senior healthcare industry leader/potential board member/open to consulting opportunities
Morgan also recommends adding new jobs to the experience section. You can list your own consulting company, volunteer work, or just say “Currently looking for new opportunities”. This way, viewers will see that you stay active and engaged.
Related: Why do some people never retire, even though they have plenty of money?
3. How do retirees reconcile diverse interests in titles and profiles?
“It’s becoming more common — and accepted — to use multiple job or functional titles in their headers to reflect portfolio careers,” says Flantzer.
“Now that LinkedIn has increased the number of characters available for the title, it’s easier to showcase your various areas of interest and involvement,” adds Watkins. “As I moved into resume writing and job search coaching, I used my title to emphasize that I was a former recruiter turned resume writer and interview coach. , in the Summary and About sections, I tell the whole story of my involvement in television, radio, recruiting and coaching.
Here are two examples of LinkedIn titles that have several interests:
- Tour guide, freelance writer and volunteer
- Freelance graphic designer specializing in the furniture market / Master gardener in training / Advocate of a sustainable way of life
4. If you are looking for work in new fields, should you prune your profile?
“If I changed to a career that doesn’t really require a LinkedIn profile, like walking a dog, I wouldn’t delete or eliminate someone’s profile information,” Morgan says. “Instead, I would ask the person what they want from their LinkedIn network.
“If they’re completely done with accounting but want to mentor/advise,” she adds, “their title and About section would make it clear why they’re on LinkedIn — to mentor or advise on accounting topics. I would not change any of the descriptions under the jobs or eliminate/remove any positions.”
However, if you want to use LinkedIn to attract opportunities in your new area of interest, Flantzer recommends highlighting the skills and unique selling points that your new target audience values the most, while downplaying or eliminating those that don’t. are no longer relevant.
Read next: I quit my job at 65 and don’t want to retire — what’s next?
Finally, periodically check LinkedIn to congratulate your colleagues on their achievements, comment on articles and stay up to date with the latest news. You never know when or how your efforts might pay off.
Nancy Collamer, MS, is a semi-retirement coach, speaker, and author of “Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit From Your Passions during Semi-Retirement.” You can download his free workbook, “25 Ways to Help You Identify Your Ideal Second Act” from his website at MyLifestyleCareer.com (and you’ll also receive his free bimonthly newsletter).
This article is reproduced with permission from NextAvenue.org© 2022 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.
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