The "U" word.
If you're out of work and looking for a job, you know exactly what we're referring to.
Using social media like LinkedIn to find a job while you're unemployed creates a real Catch-22: on the one hand, you don't want to come right out and say that you're unemployed. It smacks of desperation. On the other hand, you need to make sure recruiters know that you're actively looking for work.
What should you do? Well, for starters, use these tips from PrideStaff to optimize your LinkedIn profile – so you can explain to employers why you'd be an asset to their organization without using the "U" word:
Tweak your Headline. As the most heavily weighted field in LinkedIn's indexing scheme, this space is prime real estate. You want to clearly explain your value here, while alluding to your job search. Here are a few examples that effectively toe the line:
· Administrative Expert Exploring New Options
· Senior Sales Rep, Top Producer, Ready to Produce Results in Manufacturing
· Applications Developer, Seeking New Leadership Role in Managed Services Setting
· Human Resources Assistant Needs a New Job
Update your Status. Let your network know that you're looking for a job and could use their help:
· Craig is currently looking for a finance position. Do you know anyone who's hiring?
· Anna is interested in freelance opportunities. Contact her if someone in your network needs help writing or editing.
Periodically refresh the message in this section. Even a small change in wording may catch a reader's eye and lead to the connection you need.
Revisit your Summary. Use your Summary to recap your value proposition and convey your interest in discussing new opportunities (again, without using the "U" word). Try an opening like this:
· Why consider adding me to your Accounting team as a Financial Specialist? I offer a solid, verifiable track record of success that (include measurable results here).
…or close with a call to action like this:
· I'm eager to discuss requirements for a Production Management opportunity that would allow me to leverage my background in operations management, scheduling, budgeting and remediation.
Throughout your Summary, incorporate industry-specific keywords to attract attention from the right types of employers. And make it easy for them to get in touch – list your contact information right in this section.
Update the Current Position field. The best way to complete this field depends upon your specific employment situation. Consider these options:
· If you're recently unemployed. You can leave the current position field blank. If you have a paid "Jobseeker" account, use the briefcase icon to indicate to hiring managers and recruiters that you are looking for a position.
· If you're in a professional field. Consider using your name plus the term "Consulting" in the current position field. Indicate the skills you are using to maintain a sharp focus on your professional value.
· If you volunteer in the community (especially in an area related to your expertise). List that as your current position. It shows that you are staying active and current with your skills.
Do your homework. Do a search for people on LinkedIn who have your dream job title. What types of positions did they hold beforehand? What power keywords, words of action and achievement-oriented language do they use? Learn all you can from the profiles of people who are successful in your line of work – and use the best, most relevant ideas where they make sense in your profile.
Out of Work? Fear you may be soon?
If you're unemployed – or think you may be soon, PrideStaff can help minimize or even prevent an employment gap. With offices nationwide, we offer a wide range of temporary, temp-to-hire and other transitional opportunities that can keep you working while you search for your next full-time job. Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.