Being a mother is a wonderful thing. It’s one of the greatest joys of life, and pretty much any mom will tell you there’s nothing as rewarding as raising a child.
Caring for your little one is like a full-time job in itself.
However, returning to the workforce after an extended leave is often difficult, even when it’s for such an important reason. You’ll have to compete with candidates who are probably more experienced and have up-to-date skills.
As a mom looking to rejoin the workforce, you’ll need to think of innovative ways to stand out and stay ahead of other candidates.
One way to do this is by updating your LinkedIn profile. Follow these tips to improve your LinkedIn profile and increase your chances of landing a job.
1. Update your LinkedIn profile pictures
The profile page of your LinkedIn account is the first impression you make, especially to a potential employer.
Your profile picture should be a recent and professional picture of yourself. This lets people know that you’re active and keeping up with the times.
If you do not have one currently, you can easily take a picture with your smartphone. (Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you should use a selfie.)
You can use a tripod or get a friend or family member to help you take a professional picture of yourself.
Take a fairly close-up picture, from the chest level up.
Also, use a clean or minimal background to keep the focus on you.
And finally, dress according to your industry. If you’re a lawyer, it won’t be very convincing if you dress like a farmer, and vice-versa.
Be cautious that your profile photo is professional and not suggestive, as over 90% of women on LinkedIn reportedly received romantic advances or inappropriate messages at least once.
2. Review and edit your headline
The world of work is constantly changing. Things that worked years ago don’t work anymore. And this applies to LinkedIn headlines.
If you’re returning to the workforce after a lengthy sabbatical, the things you used to know about writing LinkedIn headlines probably no longer apply.
To increase your chances of landing a job, you have to get up to speed with how LinkedIn headlines are written today.
Your LinkedIn headline should describe the type of work you are looking for in a professional and unique manner. It should also let potential employers know what you can offer them.
A good headline should look something like this:
“Senior Sales & Account Management Professional. Literally sold ice to an Eskimo!”
“Customer Success Manager – Increased customer satisfaction ratings by 10%”
Not only are they specific to the type of work you do, they also highlight results, and show a bit of personality.
3. Address your employment gap/career break
Unfortunately, research shows that working mothers are viewed as less capable than women who don’t have any children.
Makes no sense, right? You know that is not the case, and you need to get back to work.
So what do you do?
Don’t use new LinkedIn job titles tailored to moms in the workforce or moms coming to the workforce.
With such a bias going around, it may not be advisable to indicate on your profile that the reason for your career break is “caregiving” or “raising a family.”
Instead, we recommend putting any volunteer or consulting work you did during your career gap. It doesn’t have to be anything grand; it just needs to show that you spent your time gaining some form of experience.
4. Update your experience section
Your experience section should contain a brief description of your most relevant work experience. Also, include any experience you gained during your break.
If you worked with a well-known company in the past, you can incorporate a short description about them to make your profile look more impressive.
Also, include any volunteer experience you’ve gained and describe how it helped you develop a skill.
The same thing applies if you started a business, got involved in a project, or held a board position in an organization. Add these to your experience section and highlight how they have contributed to your professional development.
5. Ask for recommendations
LinkedIn recommendations are one of the most underused selling points of any profile. A recommendation can greatly increase your chances of getting your next job as a working mother.
It serves as proof that you are really who you say you are, and positive recommendations are a plus in the hiring manager’s books.
Not having LinkedIn recommendations yet is not a big deal.
This is because you can easily ask for recommendations from people you have worked with in the past. You can also ask people you volunteered with (or even people you were on the PTA with).
This option can be found under the “Skills & Endorsements” section of your LinkedIn profile.
6. Let people know you’re open to work
The next step is advertising yourself and announcing that you are looking for a job. That being said, you do not have to tell every soul on LinkedIn about your unemployment or career issues.
We recommend letting only recruiters know that you are open to job opportunities. All you need to do is go to your profile and update your “open to” tab to let only recruiters know that you are open to work.
As a working mother, returning to the workforce is already hard enough. Don’t make it more difficult with a poorly-crafted LinkedIn profile.
Update your LinkedIn profile with these tips to drastically increase your chances of getting hired.
To get noticed and land your next job faster and easier, you can also invest in professional LinkedIn profile writing services.
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