LinkedIn Branding Tips: Should I Indicate on My LinkedIn Profile Status Update That I am Unemployed?

LinkedIn-Branding-Tips-Should-I-Indicate-on-My-LinkedIn-Profile-Status-Update-That-I-am-Unemployed-V1

Before I event start answering this question, I will tell you that I am going out on a limb on this one.  I am going against what a lot of people are actually doing.  You may think that I am crazy or just wrong, but my intention is only to help those that are unemployed with the best advice possible.  You can take my advice or leave it.  I welcome all opinions, but I do hope you will continue reading to the very end of this blog post to better understand me.

This question came recently from a LinkedIn/Twitter friend, and it is actually something that I almost put in my post of Favorite LinkedIn Pet Peeves yesterday.  It is also related to my previous post on What Do You Use Your LinkedIn Profile Status Bar For?.  In essence, should I tell the world that I am looking for a job in my Profile Status box?

You will be able to read about my thought process in my upcoming LinkedIn book, which is nearing completion as we speak.  But as a preview of what I plan to discuss in that book, you need to remember that everything that you do and do not include in your LinkedIn profile becomes your brand = how people perceive you.  Is “unemployed” something that you want to include as part of your brand?  My answer is “NO!”  You want positive qualities associated with your brand.  And whenever I see someone with a Status Update that says they are looking for a job, I want to tell them what I am about to tell you.

Now, I am not suggesting that you lie about your status.  Obviously you want to tell your network, and if asked by a recruiter, that you are unemployed.  But what I am saying is that the Status Update should be utilized differently in order to promote your brand.

For just a moment, let’s pretend that we are recruiters looking at LinkedIn profiles.  Now, I am not nor have ever been a recruiter, but I have engaged with enough recruiters that I have a faint idea of how they work.

First of all, do you know how recruiters find you on LinkedIn?  They search for you, of course, and if they are using LinkedIn recruiting solutions they are looking at a screen that looks something like this.  The key to being found?  List as many companies as you can that you have worked for with accurate titles in your profile.  And include those keywords that you want to be associated with in your profile.  Simple enough.

But what happens after they search and find you and start looking at your profile?  Recruiters want to see that you are happily employed.  Why?  Because, in a recent LinkedIn Poll, 60% of Recruiters said that passive candidates are better employees.  And, furthermore, quoting from this same LinkedIn Blog post, “It’s a widely held belief that the best talent is employed,” and “if they are actively looking then maybe they are not as good, or not as loyal.

I can tell you from the talent that I meet while networking that the above statements are absolutely and totally false.  If you are talented and happen to be unemployed, the above types of comments obviously hurt and fill your heart with anger.  There are so many reasons why someone loses their position or chooses to be unemployed.  How can you lump all of these people together into one category of people and say they “are not as good?”  It’s ridiculous.  And it is discriminatory towards those that deserve better treatment.

Now, the above blog post was not the opinion of LinkedIn; it was merely the results of a LinkedIn Poll.  So do not direct your anger at LinkedIn.  In fact, we should be thanking LinkedIn, because they have provided us a service by telling those who are unemployed what they need to know: DO NOT ADVERTISE THE FACT THAT YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED. We cannot change the way that recruiters think about us.  We can only play up to their expectations.

If you are unemployed, I understand the temptation to put that you are unemployed on your Status Update.  But, just as you can easily waste your time sending out applications to positions that are hiring on the Internet and compete with the several hundred other applicants who saw the same advertisement, letting the world know that you are unemployed by broadcasting that fact in your Status Update is only diluting your brand and making you look like an active, not a passive, candidate.  It is potentially lowering your value in the eyes of 60% of those recruiters in that poll.

What to do then?  If you want to tell your friends and close connections that you are unemployed, do so over the phone or in person.  Don’t use Social Media to broadcast it to 40 million other people.

Now, there may be people out there that have found a job by broadcasting the fact that they are unemployed just like there are always rare people who do find jobs on the Internet.  But, in my opinion, based on the above evidence, it is always best to preserve your LinkedIn Brand and get out and meet new people to network with that may directly or indirectly lead you to your next lead in your job hunt.  In fact, regardless of your employment status, you should always be networking and meeting people: dig your well before you are thirsty.

[magicactionbox]

I rest my case.  Feel free, as always, to comment.

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professional strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

@nealschaffer

Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker | 日米ソーシャルメディア専門家|G+: https://t.co/BqaJvubiP8
@OudWeth GOOD LUCK!!! - 1 hour ago
Neal Schaffer
Social Fresh West

Comments

  1. Neal Schaffer says

    Hey Diana, I was holding my breath until I saw your comment ;-) Thanks for the validation!
    - Neal

  2. says

    I disagree. In today’s economy a recruiter will have better luck getting an unemployed person to take a job rather than try to move someone who is happily employed. It’s a scary time out there right now and to take a new job that “may or may not” work out…is not worth the risk.

    I have trained 100′s of people in my Project Link It Forward workshops to tell people and the social media it’s ok to say you are unemployed. You need to also be honest about on your profile.

    I don’t recommend broadcasting it on status updates, there I do agree with you:)

    Final note..I get a lot of folks who message mew with job opps and I scour my database and anyone with a job, I pass over immediately.

    Lisa Hendrickson
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/callthatgirl

  3. says

    I disagree. In today’s economy a recruiter will have better luck getting an unemployed person to take a job rather than try to move someone who is happily employed. It’s a scary time out there right now and to take a new job that “may or may not” work out…is not worth the risk.

    I have trained 100′s of people in my Project Link It Forward workshops to tell people and the social media it’s ok to say you are unemployed. You need to also be honest about on your profile.

    I don’t recommend broadcasting it on status updates, there I do agree with you:)

    Final note..I get a lot of folks who message mew with job opps and I scour my database and anyone with a job, I pass over immediately.

    Lisa Hendrickson
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/callthatgirl

  4. Neal Schaffer says

    Hey Lisa,

    I also disagree with the recruiters state of mind as indicated by that poll.

    I also agree with you that you absolutely have to be honest with your employment status. But there is no reason why you need to broadcast it in the wrong media. I am only looking at broadcasting it in your status update…obviously you should be informing everyone in your network as well as potential employers that you are unemployed.

    Hope the clarifications make sense ;-)

    - Neal

  5. says

    Sure does. People must also remember to always remember that the HR folks doing direct hiring are surfing profiles.

    Keep recommendations to 2-4 at each job, don’t look too hungry.

    I’ve seen some horrible profiles btw. Just sayin’ LOL

  6. says

    Sure does. People must also remember to always remember that the HR folks doing direct hiring are surfing profiles.

    Keep recommendations to 2-4 at each job, don’t look too hungry.

    I’ve seen some horrible profiles btw. Just sayin’ LOL

  7. Neal Schaffer says

    I hear ‘ya Lisa. As for the number of recommendations per position, well, we could debate on that, but either way it does become part of your brand, for hopefully better but also potentially worse…

  8. Norman Naylor says

    Wow- what great advice and what great comments. As someone in transition who is trying to use my LinkedIn profile to greatest advantage, I really appreciate these differing perspectives.

    Neal- have you already written about what to do with the “current” portion of the profile if one is “between opportunities”…?

    Really great stuff- Keep it comin!

    Norman Naylor
    Huntington Beach, CA

  9. Norman Naylor says

    Wow- what great advice and what great comments. As someone in transition who is trying to use my LinkedIn profile to greatest advantage, I really appreciate these differing perspectives.

    Neal- have you already written about what to do with the “current” portion of the profile if one is “between opportunities”…?

    Really great stuff- Keep it comin!

    Norman Naylor
    Huntington Beach, CA

  10. Neal Schaffer says

    Hi Norman,

    Great to see you here and thanks for the comment! I am glad that you appreciate the different perspective…sometimes I do go “against the grain” but I do try to provide evidence of why I say what I say.

    As for your question of what to do with the “current” position when you are between opportunities, that is a topic for a whole other blog post ;-)

    Hope to see you at our So Cal Sushi lunch on June 26!

    - Neal

  11. Rebecca Mack says

    While I don’t believe it’s necessary to specifically state that you are unemployed in your profile, I also think it’s important to avoid even the perception that you’re trying to mislead.

    To me, the “Current” slot is for a job that you CURRENTLY hold, not the last position you held. To leave a position that you no longer hold in the “Current” slot on a LinkedIn profile, just to avoid “broadcasting” that you are unemployed, is just plain misleading.

  12. Rebecca Mack says

    While I don’t believe it’s necessary to specifically state that you are unemployed in your profile, I also think it’s important to avoid even the perception that you’re trying to mislead.

    To me, the “Current” slot is for a job that you CURRENTLY hold, not the last position you held. To leave a position that you no longer hold in the “Current” slot on a LinkedIn profile, just to avoid “broadcasting” that you are unemployed, is just plain misleading.

  13. Neal Schaffer says

    Hi Rebecca,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting! My blog post was centered around the “Status Update” bar, which I believe should be used to brand yourself in a positive way. If you are unemployed, it is natural that this will come out in your profile or when asked by a recruiter, but I believe that there is no need to go out of your way and “broadcast” this through your Status Update which could show up on the “Network Updates” page of all of your connections as well as anyone else who is reading your profile.

    As for the “Current” position on your profile, it remains that way until you manually put in your last date of your previous place of employment. For many people, traditionally, this happens when they update their LinkedIn profiles upon starting a new job. I don’t know of many people who, after having their position eliminated or leaving their job, are going to go back and update their LinkedIn Profile on that same day. There will always be a time lag, and the timing of when people do this is a personal matter and is purely up to them. I can offer no advice here, but you bring up a great point that some people may find this misleading. The funny thing is that many people sign up for social networks where they may not have updated their information for several months. I find this all the time, but if I was a Hiring Manager I would expect them to truthfully tell me what their current situation is.

    And that is what is important: when asked by a recruiter or a company, that they are not lying about their employment status. A LinkedIn profile is one thing; an official application for employment is another.

  14. says

    Back in 2006, a recruiter called me up at work and said: “Mr. Burda, we have a great job for you…” to which my immediate reply was “Thanks, but I am not looking for a job…” and without hesitation and with excitement, the recruiter said, “Perfect, we are looking for people who are not looking for a job!!”
    :-)

    What does this tell you?

    - Steven Burda
    http://whywebpr.com/burda

  15. says

    Back in 2006, a recruiter called me up at work and said: “Mr. Burda, we have a great job for you…” to which my immediate reply was “Thanks, but I am not looking for a job…” and without hesitation and with excitement, the recruiter said, “Perfect, we are looking for people who are not looking for a job!!”
    :-)

    What does this tell you?

    - Steven Burda
    http://whywebpr.com/burda

  16. Shiyun says

    I think this article’s key point is about using LI to create your own New Brand.

    Bob Goldman had a piece “The brand new brand you” talked about how to make yourself stand out from a crowd of job searchers. … the secret for creating your brand is to “discover your passion” and “put it together with your experience.”
    IMHO, Neal has successfully created his Brand just like that.

    http://funnybusiness.com/2009_03_01_archive.html

    As for the “It’s a widely held belief that the best talent is employed,”. I think it’s not only the perception of recruiter, but also the perception of employer. When we interview candidates, most of the time we pick the one from our competitor.
    Of cause, like Lisa H. said this is not an ordinary time, the perception can be adjusted.

    my 2c
    //Shiyun

    PS. hope this topic still active; Today’s SoCal Sushi geathering reminds me to check these blog.

  17. Shiyun says

    I think this article’s key point is about using LI to create your own New Brand.

    Bob Goldman had a piece “The brand new brand you” talked about how to make yourself stand out from a crowd of job searchers. … the secret for creating your brand is to “discover your passion” and “put it together with your experience.”
    IMHO, Neal has successfully created his Brand just like that.

    http://funnybusiness.com/2009_03_01_archive.html

    As for the “It’s a widely held belief that the best talent is employed,”. I think it’s not only the perception of recruiter, but also the perception of employer. When we interview candidates, most of the time we pick the one from our competitor.
    Of cause, like Lisa H. said this is not an ordinary time, the perception can be adjusted.

    my 2c
    //Shiyun

    PS. hope this topic still active; Today’s SoCal Sushi geathering reminds me to check these blog.

  18. Neal Schaffer says

    Hi Shiyun,

    Yes, this is still a very active topic! Thank you for your input. I think after your meeting me today and my explaining to you in person, you could better understand that my only intent here was to have LinkedIn users starting to look at their profile as part of their brand. I am glad you understood my message!

    Looking forward to your future comments and getting together again soon!

    - Neal

  19. pgadeyne says

    find a non profit you identify with and volunteer, it’s a great way to “fill in” and employers look kindly on people volunteering while looking for a job. You can use volunteering to enhance your brand, network and get more experience or learn new skills

    • says

      That is some of the best advice that I have seen on the comments here. Thank you! Volunteering is a great way of paying it forward to the community of your choice!

  20. pgadeyne says

    find a non profit you identify with and volunteer, it’s a great way to “fill in” and employers look kindly on people volunteering while looking for a job. You can use volunteering to enhance your brand, network and get more experience or learn new skills

  21. mpjj says

    The issue is that people need to stop worrying about perceptions. I was a recruiter for 5 years and it constantly ticked me off when managers made assumptions based on resumes. The same holds true for social media. If you read or see something and make an assumption, you may be missing out on your next great employee. If someone doesn't want to hire me because I'm telling the truth on my profile, especially in today's market, then that isn't the right company for me and they are missing out on a great employee. Focusing on the WRONG things is what got our economy and so many people in the situations they are in. Just be honest and ask questions to clarify potential concerns. But quit making assumptions…and start realizing that just because someone doesn't have a job currently or has been unemployed for awhile doesn't mean that they couldn't be great for your organization. The company I was working for was hurting financially and had to make cuts and they started with people that didn't live where the majority of the other employees lived. Is that my fault? No. Does that mean I couldn't do an amazing job for another employer? No. Does that tell anyone looking at my resume or profile ANYTHING about me? No…unless they start making assumptions.

    Oh, and your poll of recruiters assumes that there aren't a lot of really bad recruiters out there. Trust me…there are…a lot more bad recruiters than good ones. Why? Because they make assumptions.

    I rest my case.

    • Tess says

      You brought something important up, and that is, in social media people may not disclose a current job or won’t post their current position for many reasons.  And yes, instead of making assumptions, I’m inclined to “making up reasons” why a person hasn’t put their current job up.  Maybe that person doesn’t disclose because he’s career switching and moving to a different industry.  Maybe that person doesn’t disclose where she works because she doesn’t want competitors to have more information than they need.  Anyhow, thank you for writing about your experiences as a recruiter.  It’s very refreshing to read this!

  22. says

    I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say and appreciate the passion and depth in which you made your argument. The problem is is that the perceptions do and will continue to exist, and that many (not all) recruiters continue making assumptions. Until then, we all need to manage our Personal Branding careful. I am not suggesting lying at all; all I am saying is that it is more advantageous to use the LinkedIn Status Update bar for positive branding rather than for telling the 45 million users on LinkedIn that you are unemployed! Everything you display on your profile will become part of your brand whether you like it or not, and I am just hoping that more people will take more control over how they are perceived to increase their brand value!

  23. mpjj says

    I know what you are saying, Neal. I really do. I definitely don't think you should broadcast it on your status on a regular basis, but I don't see an issue with commenting about the situation, recent networking events or interviews, etc. as a person works through their search for that next career. I'm in that mode right now as a matter of fact. I have been on LinkedIn for years and I don't put my job status out there every day, but I have put it out there before and people can see on my status that I am no longer at my previous employer.

    Yes, the problem is that perceptions do and will continue to exist, but that doesn't mean people need to cater to the type of people that still live in that fantasy world. Those are the same people that care way too much about the car they drive, the square footage of the house they live in, the name brand of the clothes they wear, how big their annual salary is, etc. In other words, they care about things that don't matter at the end of the day. It's like permanently being in “first date” mode where you go out of your way to portray someone that you want to be instead of who you are. Many people are learning that the hard way now, but better to have learned it now than when they are lying on their death bed thinking about the lie of a life they've led.

    Not to be morbid or overly dark here, but people need to quit worrying so much about perception, and it starts by looking HONESTLY in the mirror first. To thine own self be true. Way too many people are living a lie of a life, in “real life” and in the “social media” space. I don't have time for people that aren't genuine and I don't want to be hired by someone that isn't genuine. The hardest part for a job seeker is to find that small percentage of people/employers/recruiters that actually “get it” and are genuine and true to themselves.

    That's just my $.02. Take it or leave it. I realize I'm not going to convert the world to my line of thinking, but at least I can share it and hope it makes a few people stop and think.

  24. says

    I also understand what you're saying. The beauty of social media is that it make us completely transparent. We can only be honest, otherwise it will show up somewhere that we are lying. I am also in transition. But I don't advertise the fact, other than if you look at my LinkedIn profile you'll be able to figure it out for yourself. I agree that people need to be 100% genuine, and in my upcoming book on Windmill Networking and utilizing it for LinkedIn, I go out of my way to tell people to be real, genuine, and always add The Personal Touch. Social media has tremendous potential to connect us in real and genuine ways, and it is this potential that Windmill Networking seeks to maximize for the positive good of all of our networks.

    There is nothing wrong in wanting to convert people to think like you do, because I am in essence trying to do the same with my Windmill Networking concept. I am sure that you'd agree that if only one person stopped and thought about things as you suggest it would make you happy. I am the same. So the best of luck to both of us on our journey!

  25. says

    Neil,

    I have a few points to make regarding this. I'm relying on my 7+ years of recruiting and 3+ consulting on the job seekers side.

    First, I don't really think it makes much difference. Here's why. If your profile matches a recruiter's open search, they're going to call you regardless of your employment status. A great recruiter will call you at work first anyways. One call, they know you aren't there anymore.

    Now this begs the question if you are honest on your LinkedIn profile do you show when you left your current employer or do you keep it XX/XX to present? If I were recruiting, saw someone had updated their status recently, called them and found out they've been unemployed for a few months but didn't bother to update their profile, I'd think one of the following things.

    Either they have no attention to detail, can't figure out how to update their profile or didn't change it because they are trying to “not” appear unemployed. All of those raise a red flag and none are particularly flattering initial impressions.

    This fallacy that employed and/or passive candidates are better is just that, a fallacy. The best candidate is the one that can do the job the best. Regardless of their employment status.

    Rgds,

    Brad Attig
    http://www.myretailcareer.net

    • Neal Schaffer says

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! My blog post was centered around the “Status Update” bar, which I believe should be used to brand yourself in a positive way. If you are unemployed, it is natural that this will come out in your profile or when asked by a recruiter, but I believe that there is no need to go out of your way and “broadcast” this through your Status Update which could show up on the “Network Updates” page of all of your connections as well as anyone else who is reading your profile.

      As for the “Current” position on your profile, it remains that way until you manually put in your last date of your previous place of employment. For many people, traditionally, this happens when they update their LinkedIn profiles upon starting a new job. I don’t know of many people who, after having their position eliminated or leaving their job, are going to go back and update their LinkedIn Profile on that same day. There will always be a time lag, and the timing of when people do this is a personal matter and is purely up to them. I can offer no advice here, but you bring up a great point that some people may find this misleading. The funny thing is that many people sign up for social networks where they may not have updated their information for several months. I find this all the time, but if I was a Hiring Manager I would expect them to truthfully tell me what their current situation is.

      And that is what is important: when asked by a recruiter or a company, that they are not lying about their employment status. A LinkedIn profile is one thing; an official application for employment is another.

  26. says

    Hi Brad,

    I completely agree with all of your points, and if every recruiter was like you those in transition would be very happy. The point that I was trying to make in the blog post was that of whether you overly advertise the fact in your Status Update or not. I want people to be more conscious of their brand and how people will perceive their LinkedIn Profile. Much more on this to come in my book next month!

    - Neal

  27. barbarasafani says

    Neal,

    I totally agree. Just today I spotted a status update on my Facebook feed that read “Any jobs out there?” In addition to being bad for your brand, these types of status updates make your network feel uncomfortable. More thoughts about status updates for job seekers at http://www.careersolvers.com/blog/?p=415

  28. barbarasafani says

    Neal,

    I totally agree. Just today I spotted a status update on my Facebook feed that read “Any jobs out there?” In addition to being bad for your brand, these types of status updates make your network feel uncomfortable. More thoughts about status updates for job seekers at http://www.careersolvers.com/blog/?p=415

  29. Jameson says

    What do you recommend for people that were laid off in November 2008 and have been unemployed for over a year? It's a situation where there are no jobs in the city, county, and to be perfectly honest… the state. Moving isn't an option due to family obligations but there is literally nothing out there. How do you reflect that in your Linkedin status?

  30. says

    Thank you for your excellent question and my prayers go out for you and your situation.

    There is no way to hide unemployment. Everyone goes through transition at least once in their life, so it really is only a temporary state. That being said, when unemployment lasts more than a few months, it creates a challenge as to how you depict yourself online.

    The most important thing to ask yourself, which potential employers will ask you as well, is what did you do during your time in transition? Did you go back to school to pick up new schools, do part-time consulting work, or even volunteered your time and shared your expertise at a local non-profit or religious organization? If you did, these are things that you can definitely put in your profile that show that, even though you are temporarily employed, you are still trying to better yourself and the community around you. It also shows that you have taken some sort of initiative.

    If you haven't done any of the above, you may want to consider doing so and updating your LinkedIn profile as such.

    To put everything in perspective, a LinkedIn profile in itself is not going to get you a job. But should a potential employer look at your profile, you want to make sure that you are putting your best food forward.

    Hope the advice helps…please feel free to continue your comments should you have any additional questions.

    Best of luck to you.

    @NealSchaffer

  31. says

    Hi Tess – thanks, but I’m actually not a recruiter. That being said, if you think like they would think, you begin to see where I am coming from. Either way glad that the post added value to you. Cheers!

  32. says

    I started my career as a Recruiter and now run my own Career Development business and I have to say I agree with Neal. In a perfect world, no one will make assumptions, everyone will be given equal footing and opportunities and the best person for the job will get the job.

    In reality, this just doesn’t happen.

    Whether we like it or not, if you aren’t employed a recruiter will ask themselves “why?” Someone who is already employed is someone that another business has decided is the pick of the bunch and thus presents less risk (theoretically) as a candidate than someone who has been overlooked by other businesses.

    When you have a recruiter who has several jobs they are trying to recruit for with a minimum of 3 candidate requirement to find and get  ‘job ready’ they are going to take the easiest road to the destination and take the candidates that are less ‘risk’ for them. Every person they put forward for the job is a reflection on them as a recruiter and we all know that the paying client is the most “important” person in the transaction to the business (whether they should be or not) thus the client and not the candidate is the one that the recruiter wishes to please.

    You don’t need to advertise the fact that you are unemployed to advertise the fact that you are seeking work. When asked, don’t lie (for God’s sake don’t lie!) but there is no need to volunteer the information. Remember, you are *selling* yourself. You don’t see Pepsi say “yeah, look, I know it’s not coke, but hey it’s pretty similar and it’s just the best damn thing we could come up with.” Don’t sell yourself short but focus on the positives.

    • Ankitkansara says

      Zoe tell in a nutshell ..should i update seeking for a job in status update box ..although i am working in my family business as a trainee and i am not satisfied with the environment. Please help.

  33. Kelly says

    I have a question for you, Neal.  I recently graduated from college, and I’m in the process of looking for my first “real” job.  I’m working on my first LinkedIn profile.  Do you have any recommendations for what I should (or shouldn’t) include in my status update and/or profile summary to attract potential employers?    

    • says

      Hi Kelly!

      Thanks for the question! What you put in your status update and profile summary all depends on what type of work you are looking for. Imagine your Hiring Manager: What type of activity would you think they would like to see? I would definitely be sharing resourceful information for your targeted industry as well as have an SEO-optimized and “branded” summary that is targeted for your ideal job. Just picture your future boss reading your summary and looking at every status update of yours: What would you like them to see? Hope the advice helps! GOOD LUCK!

  34. Steve says

    I really do not agree with you on this one, first off if you are let go from your employer and have waited 1 month or longer to update your headline, you can get away with it, when it goes past that into 2 months, you can no longer lie about your status.  Also your co-workers will use the feature within LinkedIn to say that you are no longer a current employee and you will not be part of the company network.  It’s not too hard for a recruiter to call your office and ask for you either and if your not there, how does that look?  They will then drop you anyways.

    Fact is, you have to be up front, padding resumes and lying is really rampant right now why “brand” yourself as a fraud where it will be such forever?   Most recruiters are searching the job sites and copying and pasting jobs they find on there and relisting them with hopes of getting a candidate locked into the position then getting their cut.  If there’s no money to be made, you will not hear from them again regardless if you are employed or unemployed.  It’s all based on the persons background and education and almost always location.

    So to you and those who post comments saying “you don’t need to advertise the fact you are unemployed” maybe you should define how one does that and what happens to you when you “don’t lie” when asked.  Surely anyone that is let go and leaves their current headline and position as such 3 to 6 months after being canned is not a trustworthy person because they are in fact lying about their current status. 

  35. says

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your comments, and indeed, LinkedIn has strengthened the ability of others to “flag” someone if they do not currently work at your company.

    My point was about the branding of yourself. There are many ways to indicate that you are looking for new challenges without potentially devaluing your brand. It is not easy to do, and there is no one rule, but I just believe that people should be a little more cognizant of what they say and how they depict themselves online on social media websites such as LinkedIn.

  36. says

    My advice: You should tell your network you are looking for a job by contacting them one-by-one and mention in your summary and work experience that you are temporarily helping out your family business while you look for your next challenge. This is only my personal advice … I am not a career coach nor job search counselor … but I hope the advice gives you something to think about… Good luck with everything!

  37. Neal Schaffer says

    Hey Diana, I was holding my breath until I saw your comment ;-) Thanks for the validation!
    - Neal

  38. Neal Schaffer says

    Hey Lisa,

    I also disagree with the recruiters state of mind as indicated by that poll.

    I also agree with you that you absolutely have to be honest with your employment status. But there is no reason why you need to broadcast it in the wrong media. I am only looking at broadcasting it in your status update…obviously you should be informing everyone in your network as well as potential employers that you are unemployed.

    Hope the clarifications make sense ;-)

    - Neal

  39. Neal Schaffer says

    I hear ‘ya Lisa. As for the number of recommendations per position, well, we could debate on that, but either way it does become part of your brand, for hopefully better but also potentially worse…

  40. Neal Schaffer says

    Hi Norman,

    Great to see you here and thanks for the comment! I am glad that you appreciate the different perspective…sometimes I do go “against the grain” but I do try to provide evidence of why I say what I say.

    As for your question of what to do with the “current” position when you are between opportunities, that is a topic for a whole other blog post ;-)

    Hope to see you at our So Cal Sushi lunch on June 26!

    - Neal

  41. Neal Schaffer says

    Hi Shiyun,

    Yes, this is still a very active topic! Thank you for your input. I think after your meeting me today and my explaining to you in person, you could better understand that my only intent here was to have LinkedIn users starting to look at their profile as part of their brand. I am glad you understood my message!

    Looking forward to your future comments and getting together again soon!

    - Neal

  42. says

    Thanks Neal, this is a great article. I really appreciate that you genuinely want to help your readers.

    I’m currently looking for a job and something I have done to help with this dilemma is to volunteer. It allows me to put my volunteer position as my position, rather than unemployed. It’s fairly easy to get skilled volunteer work, especially with not-for-profit organisations. In my summary I have “Currently seeking work opportunities” obviously at the top, which I think indicates positively that I’m open to new jobs without saying saying I’m unemployed. I have had a recruiter contact me, so I think this is a pretty good strategy.
    Thanks again,
    Mikaela

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