If you’ve left your most recent position or been downsized, it might seem like announcing your unemployed status on LinkedIn would be an obvious first step. Perhaps it shouldn’t be. What you do and don’t do on LinkedIn can hurt your job search. Here are a couple of sound reasons to whisper rather than shout your lack of employment on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn’s search algorithms penalize the unemployed. In simple English, this means that when hiring influencers search for candidates on LinkedIn, your name will rank lower in the search results if you leave your current position blank or choose to put “unemployed” as their current position or their current organization. I cannot recommend leaving a past employer in the current space, as hiring influencers view false information very unfavorably.
Highlighting unemployment places a reader’s focus on your status, not you. When you are trying to attract the attention of recruiters and HR professionals, you want to sell them on your skills and experience. You don’t want the focus to be on your availability, or cause too much interest in why you’re unemployed. You want to be seen first and foremost as a desirable candidate.
So, with two great reasons to whisper rather than shout about your unemployment, how do you handle your LinkedIn profile around the issue? Give a descriptive of your ideal role in the headline field, making sure it’s a title you are qualified to hold and select the appropriate industry. For example, here are two headline options for a real estate development executive:
Senior Level Real Estate Development Leader – All Real Estate Classes
Creative Deal Maker – All Real Estate Classes
You can indicate your availability on LinkedIn without highlighting your unemployment. Make sure your profile is up to date showing the end of your last position, and customized to boost your google ranking and filled with quantifiable achievements, not a laundry list of duties and responsibilities. The key is to shine the spotlight on your skills experience and value-add first, then whisper or suggest your job search in your Summary section, instead of shouting it out and drawing attention to your unemployment as the most important fact about you at the top of your profile.