Let’s call a spade a spade, being unemployed can be quite stressful. Nothing ever prepares you for being unemployed which makes it harder to deal with. However, with the right attitude, you can navigate out the unemployment waters. Part of that navigational knowledge requires knowing how to deal with LinkedIn. Here are a few tips to help you out.
Don’t Say You’re A Freelancer/Consultant… : Unless you are actually doing it! This means you can provide references from actual real clients. However, the sad truth is, that most people just change their title to consultant anyways. The problem is that this can be more detrimental to your job search than just listing “unemployed”. Once the hiring manager or recruiter call you and question you on your consulting activities and they realize you don’t have any, it’s all over.
Professional Title: This is the section that is below your name. Most people put their current title here, but what happens when you are unemployed; what do you put? Simply put, you add your best and strongest professional skills. Determine what you are best at and put those skills on your profile. This way when a hiring manager or recruiter looks at your profile, they know right upfront what you are good at. Also, they are keywords to make your profile more searchable.
Courses: Another section on LinkedIn that is under-utilized is “Courses”. Most people think it’s only for college students and recent graduates. However, when you are unemployed, you can add professional courses or certifications that you are taking. For example, say you are an Administrative Assistant and you are trying to advance your skills in Microsoft Office. In this section, you can add the online courses that you are taking to reflect that you are advancing your skills.
Projects: LinkedIn has a great section that you can add anywhere in your profile called “Projects”. This can be defined however you want it to be. For example, you could put a project that states how you are expanding your knowledge on a skill set for your profession. This is another avenue for you to say, “yes, I’m unemployed, but I’m keeping my skills sharpened and relevant.” Most employers don’t care that you are or were unemployed, instead, they care more about how you spent that time. This is your place to tell them that you have been staying up-to-date.