Laid Off? Make LinkedIn Work for You

Published 10/12/2011

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Laid off recently?  I'm sure you already know this, but you aren't alone. Not even close.  You are in the good company of roughly 10%-11% of the population.  Depressing, I know.  Well now that you are gainfully unemployed its time to get your but over to LinkedIn and get to work.  Here are some tips, courtesy of Forbes, for making your LinkedIn work for you and land you a new job. 

Professional Headline:

    • This is key.  It's the line which goes under your name and is meant to give a generic example of what you do. I.E. CEO, CFO, Marketing Manager, etc. Do not limit yourself to what your last job description was, put what you would like to be and feel you are qualified, based on your experience, to be. 

Current Position:

    •  You are currently out of work so make sure to move your last position into your work history an add an end date. In this economy there is no shame in being between jobs and this lets recruiters know you are definitely available to work.

Summary:

    • In this section you need to describe just how fabulous you are in a few short paragraphs or less. This is definitely a less is more block. Put in here your key skills skills and a short list of workplace accomplishments.  Finish it all out with a sentence like "I am currently looking for an opportunity to expand on these skills."

Experience:

    • Do not, I repeat, DO NOT lie in this section.  Make sure you accurately describe your past positions and length of time you were there. Also, request recommendations from co-workers and managers a like to a test to your skills.

Education:

    • This block poses the unending question of "should I put my year of graduation or not?" There are pro's and con's to each.  Putting a year of graduation allows another point from which someone can connect to you from, but on the other hand it also denotes age which may hinder certain employers.  It is really a personally call, however once again the key to this is don't lie.  Employers will find out.

Picture:

    • This aspect was not discussed in the Forbes article, however it is important.  Pick a professional looking photograph.  Preferably one where you are smiling.  Do not use photos of you and other people, or you in overly social environments, I.E. the bar.  Keep in mind this picture is representative of how you want an employer to see you. 
Tags: Advice