middle-aged businessman looking up

Forty is the new twenty.  Sixty is the new forty.

Maybe, but let’s be honest: for every voice encouraging you to ignore the numbers and embrace the wisdom and beauty of age – there’s one quietly whispering noooooo!

Remember trying to make yourself appear older than you were?   While those days are gone, one thing hasn’t changed – working to keep yourself looking and feeling your best is the key to success.

It’s no different on social media.  Your LinkedIn Profile tells the world who you are, what you’ve done and how you’ve done it. It should showcase your accomplishments, your vitality, your skill set, and your relevance, not the year you graduated from high school.  It’s the experience, not the age, that matters.

Here are several essential tips to ensure that you look as young as you feel, while maintaining the advantage of your expertise.

Use a professional photographer.

Invest in a quality headshot.  With the right lighting and camera angle, along with the judicious use of make-up, you can look years younger.  Plus, a good photographer is a master at getting the right look on your face. You’ll be proud of the way you look, and confident that you are making a strong first impression.

Remove the dates from the Education section of your profile.

LinkedIn provides the option to remove graduation dates while showing the degree and other information.  The fewer dates people see, the more easily they focus on the essence of your accomplishments.

Consider removing your early jobs.

In the same vein, it may be time to think about removing some of your earliest positions.  If your jobs were unusual or you achieved truly impressive results, by all means keep them. But if they don’t contribute significantly to your story, think about letting them go.  Fifteen years of work history is more than enough.

Update your skills.

Do you list yourself as proficient in Microsoft Office 2000?  Red flag. Make sure your skills are current, reflect hot trends and important issues in your industry, and include your leadership and management capabilities.

Be active on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is designed for networking and sharing ideas.  Take advantage of all it has to offer.  Push past any doubt about the value of social media and embrace a new digital you. Honestly, if you don’t embrace these opportunities, not only are you dating yourself, but you are limiting your networking possibilities.

Show that you are on top of the news by liking and sharing updates from industry insiders. Share your insights into current trends in a series of blog posts. Join a relevant group and contribute to conversations.  You’ll activate your network and build an audience, which helps in a job search, as employers look for candidates who are also social media leaders.

Recruiters and human resource executives tend to be active on LinkedIn. When you are active too, you make yourself easier to find.

Being current and using the tools at hand puts you in the mainstream.  Having detailed knowledge in a subject area and knowing how to share it to your best advantage creates an image of expertise and ability.  You may even get bonus points for so fully embracing all that is out there – ultimately making your age, ahem, maturity, a benefit.

That’s it – simple steps to make sure you are LinkedIn-youthful.

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