How should you update LinkedIn when unemployed?
No matter if you quit, were laid off, or your job was eliminated, you’ll probably have these questions:
- What current job should you put on LinkedIn while you’re unemployed?
- Should you even mention your unemployed status – or keep it under wraps?
- How can you write a strong LinkedIn Headline when unemployed?
You’ll need a strategy for LinkedIn that helps head off questions, while drawing employer traffic and representing your personal brand.
Here’s how to write a strong LinkedIn Profile that, unemployed or not, that puts the focus back on your TALENT and VALUE PROPOSITION:
How to update your LinkedIn HEADLINE when unemployed.
Here’s where you’ll want to ensure your leadership value proposition quickly stands out.
Remember, your Headline is prime real estate — displayed in nearly EVERY interaction you’ll have on LinkedIn AND the #1 most heavily weighted field in LinkedIn’s indexing scheme.
In other words, get your Headline right, even if you don’t touch the other fields!
“Unemployed” is NOT a personal brand. You can turn on the #OpenToWork banner, which says you’re in the market – while promoting your ROI to your next employer.
These examples (making full use of the Headline’s 220 characters) show how you can make your message clear without any negative connotation:
Revenue Officer. Consistent #1 Market Share & Customer Acquisition for US, Canada, & India. Aligns Sales, Marketing, Channels, Analytics, & CRM for Customer Experience in Telecom, SaaS, or Retail
VP Sales & Alliances. 35% New Opportunities (Despite Downturn) from New Market Entry, Lucrative Partnerships, & GTM Strategy. #1 Ranking Across 300+ Leaders in AI, SaaS, & Enterprise Markets
IT Director, VP of IT. Infrastructure, Applications, & Networking. Managed Services, DevOps, Agile, AI, Automation, & Cyber Security. Creates Efficient Teams Delivering Cost Savings & Business Capabilities
Here’s how to create a Headline like this:
- Use job postings and review other LinkedIn Profiles to build a keyword list similar to these examples. Keywords are critical in your Headline, because they attract employers and increase your traffic through the site’s algorithm.
- Add a brief statement of value, such as Grows Sales Up to 65% Through Consultative Techniques.
See A Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Headline for more insight on creating a Headline that attracts attention.
How to Update your LinkedIn ABOUT section when unemployed.
Just like your Headline, the About section (formerly the Summary) can be used to deliver a direct message to employers that clearly outlines your personal brand.
Show powerful achievements in your About section – and introduce them with a personalized message similar to this example:
“I take companies to next-level growth – building IT operations as CIO that cut OPEX up to 30% and delivering apps that generate revenue, heading digital transformation, leveraging AI tools, and cutting ticket resolution time 50% using analytics.
Cost, value, and ROI are crucial factors in operationalizing business decisions and improving our productivity.”
Do you see the keywords built into this introduction (IT operations, IaaS, AI, digital transformation, analytics, OPEX, ROI), telling employers this executive is interested in another CIO role.
There is NO mention of unemployment status – only ROI!
You can close your About section with a call to action like this:
“As a Business Development VP who opens C-suite relationships, I design and win multiyear sales opportunities for cloud services, AI, and software sales.
I welcome connections at Laura@AnExpertResume.com.”
In this example, Business Development VP, sales, cloud services, AI, software, and other industry-specific terms are all used as keywords to attract attention from the right employer.
Remember, you actually have BETTER opportunities to promote yourself on LinkedIn when unemployed! Use the About section to openly display your expertise, without worrying that your employer is eyeing your Profile.
How to update your LinkedIn EXPERIENCE section when unemployed.
List your career history and job titles as usual, with a sprinkling of accomplishments and description of your role in the company.
However, don’t get creative when it comes to your last job! If your employment ended only recently, you have several options.
You could just leave your former role as if it’s still current, especially if you’re still receiving severance pay or helping your previous employer on an as-needed basis.
Another option is to simply give your former job an End Date on your LinkedIn Profile. While doing so will drop your Profile’s searchability (slightly), this is also the most straightforward way to show your current status. Again, you don’t have to say you’re unemployed when doing this!
In some cases, executives add a “current job” entry to give recruiters an idea of the title they’re seeking, while making it clear they’re currently unemployed. The main reason to do this? A current Experience entry helps you rank higher in recruiter searches.
Should you decide to do so, a simple “COO in Transition” at “Manufacturing Company” or “IT & Program Leader” at “Technology Industry” will suffice.
What you should put on LinkedIn when you’re unemployed, basically, is a reflection of what you offer employers going FORWARD.
It’s NOT about your unemployment status, but what YOU uniquely offer the RIGHT employer.
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