When you find yourself unemployed, crafting the perfect headline and summary on your LinkedIn profile suddenly becomes very important.
But finding a new job is always a challenge when you’re unemployed. So how do you handle this current gap in employment on your LinkedIn summary and headline?
We’ve got some tips to help you overcome this obstacle and make your LinkedIn profile work for you even when you’re out of work.
Focus On The Future
The best thing that you can do is to put the focus on the future and your career goals instead of on your current status as unemployed.
This means that you’re not highlighting your current status as unemployed. Instead you’re highlighting your career goals and strengths.
Confused? Here’s an example for you:
Instead of saying that you’re an unemployed accounting specialist, make your headline say that you’re an accounting specialist looking for accounting supervisor and management positions.
Then, you focus on all the strengths that make you perfect for that desired position.
Sure, this may sound a bit hokey and like we’re all about manifesting the job you want, but reframing the focus for hiring managers like this really works.
Updating Your LinkedIn Headline When Unemployed
The biggest problem I see with people who are unemployed is that they advertise their job seeking status in their LinkedIn headline.
You should never have a LinkedIn headline that says something like:
Actively seeking new opportunities in accounting.
Don’t do this because it’s only going to leave you unemployed for a longer period of time.
Sure, I get that you’re hungry for a new job so that you can pay those bills. But this is the wrong way to fix that problem.
You gotta make those employers want to hire you. Make them feel like they need to hire you and would be a fool not to.
A good LinkedIn headline for you might be:
Experienced accounting specialist seeking accounting supervisor and management positions.
This lets employers know what you have to offer before they ever learn that you’re not currently employed.
And if you’re lucky, they’ll be thinking about hiring you before they ever notice that unemployment status.
Laura at An Expert Resume also suggests that you focus on your skills and the ROI that you offer in your LinkedIn headline. She also recommends that you use the full 220 characters available in the headline field, like in this example:
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
Need more ideas? The team over at The Balance Careers came up with the following list of ideas for your Linkedin headline:
- Actively Seeking Employment
- Available for Employment
- Available for New Opportunities
- Seeking a New Opportunity
- Operations Logistic Professional Seeking Work
- Experienced Retail Manager Available for New Opportunity
- Former VP HR, Seeking New Human Resources Opportunities
- Marketing Professional in Transition
- Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Currently Exploring Options
- Recent College Graduate Seeking Entry-Level Programming Position
Though, to be fair, I’d skip those first three because they’re just other ways of saying that you’re unemployed!
Updating Your LinkedIn Summary When Unemployed
Just like with the headline, you should have a summary on your LinkedIn profile that focus on your goals instead of your current status as unemployed.
Sell potential employers on your strengths, your skills, your experience, and any relevant certifications.
Know what a hiring manager for your desired job looks for and make sure you give them that in your summary.
Think of the summary section of your LinkedIn profile as a sale brochure. And all good sales brochures end with a strong call to action.
This means that you also need a good call to action at the end of your summary.
What do you want from the hiring manager who is reading through your summary on LinkedIn? You want them to contact you about a new job, of course.
So, that’s what you should focus on in your call to action.
It can be something as simple as a direction to get in touch with you, like this:
I’m seeking new opportunities in the accounting field, so feel free to contact me directly.
Short, simple, and it gets the message across.
Over at Work It Daily, they suggest a more detailed call to action. Here’s their example:
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.
But feel free to play around with it and come up with a call to action that best meets your needs.
As you can see, you don’t have to let your status as unemployed negative affect your job hunting on LinkedIn.
By focusing on your skills, experience, and career goals, you can frame your LinkedIn headline and summary to attract the eyes of more hiring mangers.
And before you know it, you’ll be able to update your LinkedIn profile with the new job you’ve just landed.