Jumpstarting Second Careers With LinkedIn

This topic blends a number of different questions that readers and seminar attendees have asked over the years, and seems to call out for a special article.

How should a user deal with multiple industries, age, locations and positions when they’re working with LinkedIn?

“Steve, can you help me merge those elements?”

The background

Very often, if I ask, the individual has had a successful career in one area – but through a variety of reasons is working in a new field. (sound familiar to you?)

Perhaps the jobs weren’t there, a special situation came up, or it was finally time to follow a passion.

And it may not be an easy transition.

The profile

LinkedIn allows for only one industry, title, location, and summary.

But that’s ok because how many of you are there?

The trick is to weave those elements into a cohesive picture that builds off the past and positions elements for the future. And to do that, you have to focus on a personal brand.

The thing that will set you apart from everyone else.

Let’s look forward – the industry is the one you are entering. The location is where you want to live. The summary is a few paragraphs describing your qualities, abilities, and establishing that personal brand.

The title is the condensed form of that personal brand.

(For specific help here, consult the category archives at the right under “profile”)


This just happens to be the one area that offers the most to a second career – a history of great relationships.

If you’ve been a professional for more than a decade, you’ve got to have contacts. The people you worked with, worked for, and those that worked for you. Vendors, professional associations, alumni groups, volunteer organizations, not-for-profits, and even neighbors.

You’re going to connect to everyone you know and trust.

(Find more on connections in that archive off to the right as well – and if you need more assistance with all of this, consult “The LinkedIn Personal Trainer“)


And this is why you want to re-connect with every possible individual in the old career.

They know people.

Both inside and outside the old industry.

And when you want to find someone that can help you with the new career, you’ll perform some advanced searches on LinkedIn to find them.

(again – find search information in the search archive)


This is the end game – find the people that you need to reach in the new career, and then ask for introductions from those people that you already know and trust.

You don’t know who they know – but when you’re all on LinkedIn, you can find out, and then use those relationships to give your new career a leg up.

(and at the point of being repetitive, I’ll remind you that there’s a good number of articles about introductions in that archive as well…)

And everything else

Sure, you’re going to ask for and get recommendations on the positions you’ve listed. (There’s no reason to pretend you just appeared on the professional scene 6 months ago – you have a history – build on it)

You’ll work every other aspect of LinkedIn too, this is just the start. You’ll join LinkedIn groups based on your target, explore the answers section, and look into the jobs tab…

Makes sense, yes?

To your continued success,


Steven Tylock