Like it or not, LinkedIn is often the first social channel used by recruiters, employers, colleagues, and industry insiders to check you out. In today’s digital world, not having a LinkedIn profile makes you almost invisible to recruiters and potential employers because there simply is no other single site that conveniently displays your career stature, credentials, education, and work experience.
Being active on the platform when unemployed is just as important as when you are employed. The question of how a profile should look during unemployment is a common head-scratcher. After all, you want to broadcast your career successes, not your current joblessness.
LinkedIn offers a green profile photo frame to job seekers, which indicates that you are open to new opportunities. But this is only a good starting point. If maximizing opportunity on LinkedIn is your goal, you will want to go beyond the green.
Update your headline
Fortunately, there is a smart way to show that you are looking for new opportunities without broadcasting your unemployed status, and it starts with a good headline. Writing a good LinkedIn headline is always important, but it's critical when unemployed. Take this opportunity to push the 120-character max in service of a headline that showcases your successes.
LinkedIn headline examples when your unemployed
- Data Scientist with 10-plus years of experience
- Experienced Sales Strategist
- Seeking Chief Financial Officer - VP of Finance Position
- IT Manager Seeking Application Development, Infrastructure, or Networking Manager Roles in Production or Manufacturing
- SaaS sales Sales Director who increased company growth from $250M to $1.2B in revenue in 18 months
Stay active on the platform
LinkedIn is the place to grow and develop your personal brand. Creating connections, joining groups, engaging with industry colleagues, creating and sharing content, and continuous opportunities to learn are just some of the benefits of staying active on LinkedIn.
How to get started
- Create and share posts: Talk about projects you are working on, experiences you've had and how you dealt with them, or what you have learned from these experiences. You can also share industry colleagues' posts and add your take on the subject.
- Add informational content: Create a long-form post relevant to your industry and the space in which you work. If you are creative, make an infographic, share an article you have written, or, if you are comfortable on camera, add a video. This is the time to show your colleagues what you know.
- Stay consistent: Posting on LinkedIn should earn a spot on your weekly to-do list. It may be useful to set a reminder on your calendar so you don’t go through the week without posting. Soon enough it will become second nature, and your once-a-week post will turn into several posts a week!
Post any relevant certifications you may have
If you have any relevant industry certifications, you will want to be sure they are prominently displayed on your LinkedIn profile.
Why this is important? Recruiters or hiring managers frequently include various certifications in their search criteria, so having your certifications readily accessible will help you stand out from the crowd. It also shows potential employers that you are hungry to learn and are on top of best practices.
What if I don’t have any certifications? While you are looking for your next opportunity, you can (and should) actively look for certifications that may be relevant to your job (or the job you want).
Where can I find certifications?
Coursera: Coursera is a popular place to find both free and paid online courses for a wide array of topics.
Udemy: With 18,000+ courses available, you are bound to find a course that will benefit you!
Linkedin Learning: Since you are already optimizing your LinkedIn profile, take some time to earn LinkedIn certifications. There is no shortage of opportunities to further demonstrate your expertise regardless of your industry or profession.
PMI: You can find many relevant project management certifications here.
Avixa: Avixa is undisputedly the leading certification source for audiovisual professionals.
Consider Getting a Premium LinkedIn Subscription
If you are unemployed, LinkedIn Premium is probably worth your consideration since the benefit of landing a job will more than offset the monthly fee.
LinkedIn offers many paid subscription services. For job seekers, LinkedIn Premium Career is the most logical option. LinkedIn Premium Career will cost you $29.99 a month. In return, you will get 3 InMails and unlimited people browsing, which is especially worthwhile when actively looking for a job.
Why LinkedIn Premium Career?
All users have access to LinkedIn Jobs, but this is just a listing and will not, in and of itself, work any miracles for you. To land a job, personal connections are invaluable. It’s no surprise, then, that 72% of recruiters were using LinkedIn to find candidates last year.
LinkedIn remains a popular place to find a job. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s internal statistics, 40 million people look for jobs on LinkedIn every week, and 3 people per minute find a job there. As a Premium user, you can get a leg up on the competition by directly reaching out to recruiters.
It’s important to remember that having a presence on LinkedIn is key to your success in our hyper-connected world. This is largely a function of visibility--if no one sees you, if no one is exposed to your capabilities, it is less likely that you will find an acceptable job in a timely manner.
So make sure you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, consider adding the green “open to work” filter to your profile picture, choose a success-oriented headline that is relevant to your career, and make sure you are actively networking! With these arrows in your quiver, you can rest assured that you are using the singular tool of LinkedIn to the greatest effect possible.