This is far from an exhaustive list—after you read through it, please comment below and let me know what else you think people should do on LinkedIn (and beyond!) when they’ve lost a job and are seeking a new opportunity.
Let’s take this top to bottom, shall we?
Your headline already shouldn’t have been the default “Title/Position at Company”—but now you REALLY need to make sure it’s about you as a person, and what you bring to the table.
Make it clear that you’re open to SPECIFIC opportunities; don’t be vague or you won’t be found. Use the language recruiters and hiring managers in your field are using. (Same for your About section!)
EXAMPLE: Engagement-focused inbound marketer seeking an in-house opportunity within a global consumer goods company.
Make sure you do have a cover image, though! It can feature accolades, press appearances, pics of you speaking—or just be as basic as a plain swath of color with your name and what you do (or want to do). I’ve even seen cover images with verbiage inviting people to reach out for a coffee!
No shame in that game! Put it out there—recruiters can search for it. Why let your pride stand in the way of enhanced visibility?
It’s not just the circle around your profile pic. You can indicate precisely what kinds of work you’re “open” to:
Clicking on the “Open to work” box on the top of the profile will then lead to this, which gives more detail on what kinds of opportunities you’re seeking (assuming you’ve filled it out, of course):
Yes, recruiters in the inbox can get spammy. But it’s worth it to allow the right ones more of a chance to get through.
Bite the bullet, check the box, and be prepared to delete a lot of stuff.
If you don’t already have “Services Provided” specified on your profile, take a look at that feature now, and choose any relevant skills you hope to leverage in your next position. Look at the requirements listed in relevant job opportunities and prioritize those.
At the top of your profile, you should see a “Providing services” box. Click on the edit pencil in the corner for options.
There’s a limited number of pre-filled-in service options you have; pick whichever ones you’d like to be found for!
Start off with the things that will matter to your next boss. Use the language they’re using to search.
This doesn’t mean you have to erase your unrelated history—all of that provides context and additional skills that could also catch someone’s eye. Just LEAD with what will inspire the right person to continue reading.
Don’t be afraid of putting an end date on your last job! Some even put what they’re seeking in there.
EXAMPLE: Social Media Manager Candidate: Open to opportunities in x y z
(don’t forget to list your skills—see below!)
You can change which ones are displayed, and in which order. Which means that instead of showing that some rando “endorsed” you for something irrelevant, you can focus on the skills you actually care about potential employers seeing—and, as detailed below, you can also indicate which skills you’ve used in which positions.
Choose which skills you want displayed in what order by choosing the “Reorder” option in the three-dots menu at the top right.
You can now add specific skills to specific jobs.
Click the “edit” button on the specific skill to indicate where you used that skill.
Seriously, if you’ve been waiting to ask people who think highly of your work to write a brief LinkedIn testimonial for you, now is the time (and next time, ask people sooner, while they’re actively working with you—ideally right after you’ve done something awesome for them).
Don’t forget to give some testimonials to other people (and some of those same people), too!
Hopefully you’ve been doing this already, but if you haven’t, do it now—it’s never too late! Make sure you’re connected with everyone you worked with at your last job (especially if they thought well of you, and you of them), including any outside vendors you may have interacted with.
Don’t just “spray and pray,” though. Make sure you are connecting with people for a reason.
Now, not every skill set has a LinkedIn skill assessment—but if yours fit, they’ve got assessments in a variety of technical, business, and design softwares (you can see the full list here).
Scoring in the top 30% on the skills assessment will give you a badge to display on your profile and enable you to be found by recruiters on LinkedIn who are seeking that skill.
If you’ve done any sort of professional certifications, make sure they’re on there; if you haven’t, this could be a good time to get some! Many credential-issuing bodies will have those searchable and linkable on LinkedIn so potential employers know they’re legit.
You may not need it, but paying for LinkedIn Premium Career can help you level up your networking by letting you track who has looked at your profile, send InMail to people you’re not yet connected to, unlock industry salary data and insights on your competition for relevant roles, apply for jobs on LinkedIn as a highlighted “Featured Applicant,” and more.
Add to your network, but make sure to include a personalized note with your connection request—both to give people a reason to say yes, and so you can keep track later of how and why those relationships initially came to be.
You may not know who you’re even connected to at certain companies—and they may not know you’re looking.
Also, even if someone’s in an unrelated function at a relevant company, having an employee submit your application is still a major help at many organizations—so if you actually know them, it never hurts to reach out and ask.
Now is a time to be visible. Don’t hide away licking your wounds.
Post to LinkedIn. Engage with other people’s posts. Give the algorithm (which values engagement) reason to surface you.
Now is the time to engage like it’s your job—because it sort of is!
Christine Gritmon @christine
I think you’re a rockstar.
Let me know what lights you up—I want to hear YOUR stories (and to have you write for Social Media Pulse!)