If you’ve recently lost your job you will most likely want to do what many others do in your situation and optimize your LinkedIn profile, It’s common to want to connect with potential employers, executive search firms, colleagues, and network with other contacts who can help you in your job search. This is by far one of the best ways to spend your time in the first week after leaving a job.
So, how do you present your recent unemployment on your profile in a way that is an advantage?
- Put an end date on your current position
The first thing you should do is put an end date on your current position. Some will say it’s best to leave their former position as if they’re still employed there. However, this an inaccuracy that will require an repeated explanation. It might seem like a little white lie, but his will impact your credibility and cast you in a negative light.
- Address your professional headline
Next, you should cerate have a compelling headline that draws in the reader, such as:
Sr. VP – Manufacturing Quality | MBA |Building Customer Processes & QualityPrograms for Manufacturing Suppliers
Or, use something a little catchier:
Senior Executive: Advocacy/Strategic Communications/Management
Whatever you decide, remember that you only have 120 characters for your professional header so be sure you don’t sacrifice keywords to indicate your area of expertise, and the areas you are interested in being considered for.
- What NOT to do;
The smell of desperation will scare off a lot more opportunities than you will ever know. As a senior professional, you should never use your header to showcase your job search. Examples of poorly presenting your transitory status include:
– Manufacturing Quality SVP Available for New Opportunities
– Manufacturing Quality SVP Seeking New Opportunities
– Manufacturing Quality SVP in Transition
- Have your contact information available
As a recruiter I had very limited time to develop my pool of potential candidates for a particular role. If I had to add someone just to see their contact information (please believe I’m not burning an inmail on a “potential” candidate) that meant the single point of failure was on their ability to reply within the day or be forgotten.
Use the ”Advice for contacting me” Section found under “Additional Info” Section to include your contact information on your profile.
Also, include your contact information in your summary. Another strategy to ensure recruiters and hiring managers have quick access to your contact information is to incorporate your title, phone, and email at the top of your summary section Why? Because your summary shows when your LinkedIn profile comes up in Google search results. This helps people who aren’t in your network contact you.
- Add Your Current Position
You’re saying, “But wait, I just left my job. I’m unemployed!” Are you though?
My advice to my clients is to begin offering their services as a consultant. Select a name, build a website on Square Space or Wix, and you can now accept offers from organizations seeking your expertise on a part time basis.
If creating a new side hustle as your current position doesn’t work for your circumstances, consider adding a volunteer assignment as your current position if it’s relevant to your field.
Regardless, ensure this current position is rich with relevant keywords. Google your current position, and select key phrases from the first few search results for the description of your position. This is an easy short cut to ensuring your text is inline relevant searches.
- Add Your New Title
The LinkedIn search algorithm curates their network and ranks current positions with related keywords. Your ranking in LinkedIn search results will drop if you leave outa current position in the experience section. So, it’s necessary to have a current role, even when you don’t have one.
Use a job title that matches your career goal. You should appear to already be at the level you are seeking to obtain. Most recruiters are seeking someone that is a lateral move into the open role they are trying to fill. Over qualified; they’re scared you’ll run as soon as you smell more money elsewhere. Under qualified; they’re scared of the cost to train you, and the potential for failing to succeed in the role.
Stay away from entrepreneurial related titles. In the eyes of a recruiter, they want someone they can trust will stay in a job if they’re hired. How could they trust someone to not go back to working for themselves?
Definitely don’t use words like “unemployed”and “laid off” because they will undermine your perceived value. Unemployed people want a job, and just that fact will put you at a disadvantage in negotiating on your behalf. There is also an insidious bias in the mind of anyone hiring that an unemployed person must have done something to deserve it.
- Add Keywords in The Description
In the job description section of the newly current position, you have another opportunity to showcase your skills and value. This is where you can use keywords to ensure you show up in related searches and highlight your proactive approach to seeking your next step in your career.
These strategies will ensure your profile is optimized in search rankings and hiring organizations and headhunters can quickly find you and assess your qualifications. I hope this has helped. Did I miss a tip? Tweet us @VonDiercc or leave a message in the comments section.