LinkedIn Issues for the Job Seeker

One of my E-book purchasers – John – had a couple questions about using LinkedIn specifically around being in a job search mode.

He thought my answers made sense, and I thought they might make a good post…

Dealing with being laid off

> I was laid off at the end of the month, should I change my current job?

At some point he will have to – but I don’t know that I would suggest that anyone login and do so the day after the event…

On the other extreme, a profile should recognize that by three months later.

Finding a job when you have a job

This whole “put an entry in that makes it look like you have a job” is a big grey area.  Yes, it is better to find a job when you have one, but it can get tricky.  What’s the “best” way to go?

One option – don’t list a current job.  This has the benefit of being completely true, but possibly at the expense of revealing that fact…

Another option – listing your own company.  This is great at showing you’re active, but you have to consider the mixed message.  If you’re really looking for work, will a potential employer get scared off because you’re doing this consulting thing?

And if you do this without being clear on the matter, you’re just as likely to scare off a potential client because they’ll see you’re looking for work and might leave them in a lurch…

One other option I’ve seen is giving yourself the title of “Job Seeker” at something like “My next company”.  I’m not particularly thrilled about seeing that, but I don’t claim to have specific expertise in finding a job – it just doesn’t seem to send the right message.

Other comments

I saw one individual list something like “doing housework and chores” on their profile as an attempt at humor – a very bad attempt at humor. Even if it is completely true, it’s not something you’ll want to put on your professional profile…

Think about what is on your resume.  If you don’t have a current position listed on your resume, do you really need one listed on your LinkedIn profile?

You want to be clear on your status, how you talk about what you’re doing, and yes – your personal brand.  If you concentrate on those things, the details of having a specific job should follow – and not become an issue.

Does that “what I’ve been working on” status do anything?

Status is seen by your direct connections in update messages, RSS feeds, and when they visit your profile.

I have a contact that noted his just-changed status and was flooded with responses – because he’s a pro.  On the other hand, if you were to whine, it probably would come across badly.

If you connect to people you trust, you probably want to let them know that you’re looking for a new position – and they ought to be happy to let you know of openings that come to their attention.

For more on this you might want to read the earlier article about network updates.

What has worked (or not worked) for you?

And as I noted above – I’m not in a position to see what works and doesn’t – I’m not a job seeker.  I’d love to hear from readers that have tried a couple different ways of listing a current job (or not) and how they have used status updates – what’s worked out better for you?

To your continued success,

Steven Tylock


  1. Hi Steven,

    In a nutshell – based on my career mentoring experience – I agree with your strategy when being a job seeker

    1) Avoid bad taste with temporary employment records and keep current employer for 2-3 months whilst contacting your best LinkedIn network members individually since it will take anywhere from 3-6 months at least to find a job in today’s economy unless you are part of a rare “expert” breed with remarkable skills.

    2) Take up an evening (language) course at a local university or Berlitz which will allow you to maintain your LinkedIn profile without gaps and allow you to go to interviews during office hours. Most people forget that looking for a job is a fulltime job on its own, so taking an evening class will keep the social networking channel open and keep you motivated whilst you are applying to companies that fit your profile.

    3) Make sure this is temporary unless you really take this career change seriously enough to launch a company, travel around the world, build your house etc. Some people cash in a nice package when being laid off that the tax man would absorb 20-50% of the additional salary you make by immediately taking on a new job!

    All the best

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