It really is easier to find a job when you are employed. We know there is also a stigma around being unemployed. This is especially true in IT, because there is such a high demand for most types of technology workers. But it happens every year to millions of people, often through no fault of their own. Because of the stigma, being unemployed brings some challenges in terms of how you present yourself to recruiters and hiring teams. This blog offers tips on how to present yourself publicly when you’ve lost your job.
How to Present Yourself When You Are Unemployed
When you’re between jobs, how should you present yourself to the world? You want to attract recruiters, not run them off. The good news is that there are all kinds of options when posting to social media that you’re looking for work. You don’t even need to mention you’re unemployed, just that you’re open to new opportunities. It’s fairly easy to update social media so if you find you’re not getting the inquiries you’d hoped for, just change your approach.
With that said, it is important to be honest about your situation when recruiters call on you. Employers are going to run a background check anyway. However, on your profile, you don’t have to mention it. One option is to put an end date on your last position and don’t add anything else. That makes your profile or resume accurate but avoids highlighting your unemployed status.
On LinkedIn, there is a setting that allows employers to know you’re looking for a new position. You can check that box (“Open for opportunities”) and then post a status that says you are currently looking for an X position.
LinkedIn gives you the ability to add a headline to your profile. This short summary should characterize who you are as a professional. This is important; while you may feel stigma around being unemployed, this job status does not define you. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your career and the skills you bring to the table. For example, you could say, “Experienced .NET Developer seeking new opportunities.” Or, try, “IT Project Manager ready for a new challenge.” There are all kinds of phrases you can use to turn the negative of looking for a job into an opportunity. For example:
- Seeking a new developer role.
- Searching for a good skills match.
- IT professional in transition.
- Available for new opportunities.
- Ready to try my next job adventure.
If you left your position voluntarily, you may want to share that, too. For example, you could say:
- After X years at X, voluntarily left the position to seek new opportunities as an X.
- Left this role voluntarily with an excellent track record of success and recommendations from the employer.
You could also simply leave your LinkedIn profile as it is and just say you’re “open to new opportunities.” Sometimes less is more, and unemployment is something you probably don’t want to leave to a social media post without explaining the situation directly to a recruiter.
We know there is unconscious (and sometimes conscious) bias in hiring the unemployed. But we also know unemployment can happen to anyone for any reason. If you’re currently open to new opportunities, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We can help.
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