Give Your LinkedIn a Makeover as You Re-enter the Workforce

by Brynne Tillman, CEO of Social Sales Link

Financial Frequency. mySecurity

January 28, 2019 .4 min read

There are dozens of reasons why we take a hiatus from our careers. Whether it was to raise our children, take care of our aging parents or any other of life’s events, getting started again can be a challenge.

What’s important is to not just dust off our resume but to also update our LinkedIn, so that it attracts and engages our targeted hiring managers and gets them to want to interview us. And by the way, if you are entering back into the workforce, the primary goal of your profile is to get interviews at targeted companies.

Mindset First

Spend some time articulating all the amazing things you do and know that would benefit your future employer.

Get to a place where you are confident that they would be lucky to have you because you bring real value. Know the impact you can make inside an organization, and make sure that message is loud and clear in all of your online interactions.

Once you have that down, it is time to build your professional brand on LinkedIn.

Profile – The Basics for Job-Seekers

Add a professional headshot. Your photo should be an up-close shot with you making eye contact and smiling. This is their first impression of you, it is vital that they connect with you.

The default headline is your current company and title. While this is not what we ever recommend, it is even more difficult to figure out if you don’t have a current position. Write a headline that refers to the value you will bring to an employer as well as include keywords and phrases that a hiring manager will use when searching for your talents. ie. Experienced Benefits Administrator with 7 Years of Experience Supporting a 500 Person Company (120 characters)

Write your summary like a pre-interview. A hiring manager will want an overview of the value you added to your former employers, clients, co-workers, and other stakeholders. Rather than making this resume like, tell short success stories and accomplishments that future employers would want in their company.

Add keywords and phrases to your skills section, and ask your friends and family to endorse you. If you are unsure, look at the words used in job postings that match your criteria, and use some of those words not just in skills but throughout your entire profile.

Reach out to people you worked with in the past and ask for recommendations. Even if it has been a while, a recommendation goes a long way. And, if you volunteered or worked on committees during your hiatus, be sure to include that work in your profile.


Make a list of companies you’d love to work for, whether it is a wish list, previous employers or competitors of previous employers ensure that you have a large number of options.

Add to that list by visiting those Company pages and looking at the LinkedIn feature, People also viewed on the bottom right and identify a few more.

Follow the LinkedIn company pages.

Check out the “see jobs??? tab and search keywords to see if there are any postings that match your skills.

Take a look at the number of connections you have that work at that company and make a list of people that you can reach out to and schedule a call.

From the Jobs tab on LinkedIn, scroll down to the bottom to Identify what companies are already represented in your network. Click on connections and choose a people that are in your network that you can reach out to.

Take a look at what jobs are out there in your field. You don’t have to limit it to LinkedIn for this search, check out other job boards as well, and bring that intel back to the LinkedIn platform.


Connect with everyone in your ecosystem including parents of your children’s friends, your CPA, attorney, and P&C broker. The bigger your warm market, the more connections you will have to potential employers.

Pull out the old Rolodex and connect with everyone you’ve ever worked with including a note: Jane, I hope you are well, it has been some time since we last spoke. I’d love to connect here and LinkedIn and catch up.

Welcome message to these connections:

Jane, I was so excited to find you on LinkedIn. Can you believe it has been 10 years since we worked together? I was fortunate enough to have raised my three children, and now that the youngest is in school full time, I am excited to be re-entering the workplace. I don’t know if you remember, but I have a passion for helping employees with their benefits and am hoping to continue my career path. Are you open for a catch-up call – or even grab a cup of coffee? Let me know what works best for you.

Take a look at the wish list you made and people you know at that work at those companies and reach out with a message: 

Fred, it has been some time since we connected on LinkedIn so I hope you don’t mind that I am reaching out now. I am entering back into the workforce and am seriously looking at [company name] as a company I’d like to explore. I have over seven years of experience as an Employee Benefits Administrator and believe I could bring value to your organization. Would you be open to a quick call, I’d love to ask a few questions about culture before I submit my resume. If you are open, please send me the best time and number to reach you. Thanks in advance for your help.

When you chat, ask a few thoughtful questions and, if appropriate, ask if they’d be willing to submit your resume directly to HR.

If you are going to be networking with an individual, search their connections prior to the meeting, make a list of 8-10 people they know that you’d like to meet and discuss them when you are together. If appropriate, ask for a warm introduction via email or LinkedIn message.

Visit the Jobs tab and complete your criteria and save the search. LinkedIn will continually update you on new posts.

This is just the beginning but will keep you focused and busy. LinkedIn is a very powerful tool and when leverage correctly will help you fast track your job search.