pavingIn the middle of the night in a TV ad for paving stones that look great year after year, as if they were brand new, the voice-over stated:

“When you are older you want to look younger. When you are younger you want to look older. {Brand name} paving stones look new year after year.”  Or something like that…

And the ad went on to show their products resist the scorching sun, pounding rain and other extremes of the elements. They age well and always look amazing.

So can you.

Your experience and skills endure and improve with the years. You earned them. These attributes that are uniquely “you” will resist the stresses of the environment you work in. Be proud of them no matter how many years you have put in.

Used well, LinkedIn allows you to tell your story and relate your experience in your own words, each burnished with time. Your explanation of your past dictates your present situation and your present indicates your future aspirations. You must tell in all 3 tenses, in a personal way. All yours.

So yesterday when I finished teaching a group of underemployed baby boomers the best techniques to use LinkedIn to tell the history of their work experience and skill set, they finally came around and saw my point of view.  The process is always gradual.

As usual in each group I teach, we started with their verbal skepticism when I suggested they embrace their age by showing:

  • the year they graduated school,
  • their years of their full employment history and
  • the need to show a recent photo headshot.

They then learned how to make the quality of their experience shine through and thus out-shadow the younger competition. They finished, smiling and ready to renovate their LinkedIn profile with newfound enthusiasm and enhanced explanatory narrative.

My challenge was met and the mission accomplished. And the LinkedIn paving stones we laid will only improve with use and continue to look great over time. So long as you try.