How To Write A LinkedIn Profile When You’re Unemployed

Are you wondering how to write a LinkedIn profile when you're unemployed? This may sound odd, but if you’re unemployed, you actually have BETTER opportunities to promote yourself on LinkedIn than other users. Openly displaying your personal brand and skills is simpler than fretting over the possibility that your boss is reviewing your Profile changes with suspicion. Still, marketing yourself on LinkedIn when you’re openly seeking a new job can be daunting. What should you disclose about your job search and goals – and how much? Use these tips for a strong LinkedIn profile – one that tells employers why you’re an asset to their organization, while capitalizing on your ability to freely promote your skills:


1. Your Headline

Here’s where you’ll want to ensure your value proposition (rather than your employment status) stands out. After all, your Headline is prime real estate—displayed in nearly every interaction you’ll have on the site AND the #1 most heavily weighted field in LinkedIn’s indexing scheme. However, your employment status is NOT the brand message to send to employers. Instead, you’ll want to display a clear promise of value, while alluding to (but not directly stating) your job search. These examples show how you can make your message clear to employers, without the negative connotation of “unemployed” in your Headline:
Senior Sales Rep, Top Producer. Consistent 124%+ of Quotas. Ready to Produce Results in Manufacturing, SaaS, or Electronics IT Director | VP of IT | Seeking New Infrastructure, Applications, or Networking Leadership Role in Managed Services Setting

2. Your Summary

Just like your Headline, the Summary can be used to deliver a direct message to employers—referring to your value proposition first and foremost. In addition to a list of your career high points, consider starting your Summary with a message similar to this example:
Why consider adding me to your Operations or Supply Chain teams as an Analyst? I offer a strong, verifiable record of efficiencies that took XYZ Manufacturing’s shop floor and warehouse to a 32% drop in cycle time.
Note the keywords built into this introduction, telling employers this applicant is interested in an Operations Analyst or Supply Chain Analyst role. You can also close your Summary with a call to action that states:
I’m eager to discuss requirements for a Business Development leader who can open multiyear sales opportunities at the CIO or CTO level, using a sales background in cloud services, hosting, managed services, and software.
In this example, Business Development, sales, CIO, CTO, and other industry-specific terms are all used as keywords to attract attention from the right employer.

3. Your Experience

If your employment ended only recently, you have several options. Some users leave the Profile as is for a few months, especially if they’re technically still “employed” by receiving severance pay. You may need to check with your former employer before doing this. 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. In some cases, job seekers add a “current job” to give recruiters an idea of the title they’re seeking, while making it clear they’re currently unemployed. Should you decide to do so, a simple “COO in Transition” or “Sales Rep Open to Territory Responsibility” can serve to educate your Profile readers on your status. The bottom line? Being unemployed is actually a GOOD reason to tend to your LinkedIn Profile with renewed enthusiasm. If you use keywords and brand messaging appropriately – leveraging your ability to be more open in your search – you’re likely to gain increased traffic (and job opportunities) as a result. Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles: Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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