LinkedIn Re-Entry – Preparing the Ship and the Uniform

Learn more about my client – She is now ready and excited to re-establish herself professionally but needs to position herself to show her expertise appropriately on LinkedIn. This is the second of two blogs (see #1 here) written in collaboration with a woman re-entering the workforce after a long gap she took to raise her family.

Gathering data

Coach: Let’s gather some basic information before as we begin.  How may views over what period of time do you have right now?  If you’re not sure where to find that information, see under the “Profile” tab “Who’s viewed my profile”.  It’s also visible at the top of your home page on LinkedIn.

Client: I’ve had 10 profile views in the last 90 days. I’m pretty sure that’s not very good!

Coach: There’s no “bad” at this point.  It’s just information.  Let’s take some other base measurements just to be able to set some goals and measure progress.  How many connections do you have?

Client: I have 74 connections so far.

Coach: That’s actually a great start.  But again – just information. Tell me about your professional background.  What is it that you want to do?


Client:  I worked for the National Security Agency from 1985 – 1996. During those years, I held a variety of positions – Intelligence Analyst, Project Manager, Technical Translator/Editor, Instructor. After I left NSA, I homeschooled my kids, and did a lot of volunteer work. Lately, I’ve been tutoring students, mostly in math and science (yes, I’m a math geek and proud of it!), and I’m working on getting some articles ready for publication on information security topics. In general, I’m very good at synthesizing, organizing and communicating information, and figuring out how to get things done. I’d like to find work as a project manager or instructor in the Information Security field.

Coach: How have you kept up to date in your field? Could you walk into that type of job today and do it?


To get back up to date, I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading– papers and textbooks on cryptography and data security. I’ve written a couple of overview articles and I’m preparing them for publication. I’ve been taking classes online, mostly through Coursera. I’ve taken classes in Python, R Programming and Data Science, Project Management and Cryptography. I know that’s not reflected in my profile, so I’ll need some advice on how best to do that.

Coach: You have a lot to offer an employer.  We just need to collect it and position you correctly on LinkedIn.  Let’s start with something basic.  What are your key skills that you’d like to showcase on your LinkedIn profile?  You can have up to 50 but you don’t have to have that many.  I see you have nearly 50 but many of them are not relevant to your current job search.  What are your top 20 skills that are relevant to the job you’d want now?

Key Skills

Project Management, Program Management, Process Improvement, Customer Service, Management, Leadership, Customer Service, Information Security, Cyber-Security, Analysis, Business Intelligence, Electrical Engineering, Statistical Data Analysis, Technical Writing, Technical Documentation, Curriculum Design, Instructional Design, Training Delivery, and Employee Training.


Coach: What is the title of a job that you would like to have now?

Client: Project Manager or Technical Instructor

Coach:  Let’s take a look at the key skills required in those jobs.  What are they? And do that match what you have?

Client: Both jobs require excellent communication and organizational skills, which I have. I also have experience as a project manager at NSA and as an Instructor and Curriculum Developer at the National Cryptologic School. I have a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, and I have a background in Intelligence Analysis, Information Security, and Telecommunications. What I don’t have is current experience, except for volunteer work in totally unrelated fields.

Coach:  Enough talk for now.  Let’s get started on updating your profile.  Ready?