Do you wonder what to put in your LinkedIn headline when unemployed? You’re not alone! Your headline should promote YOU, not your employment status, so check out these examples.
Updated October 2020
LinkedIn Headline When Unemployed
By default, LinkedIn uses your current job title and company in your headline, but what happens when you’re unemployed?
Your headline is more than your job title and employer. It should explain your most marketable qualifications.
Your LinkedIn headline and photo are the only parts of your profile that show up in search results within LinkedIn. Your headline explains more than just what you do – it’s a snapshot of what makes you unique.
However, a job title alone doesn’t paint an enticing picture. Nor does it differentiate you from other people with the same job title listed on LinkedIn.
Announcing You Are Looking?
Your headline seems like an obvious place to announce you are unemployed and looking for a new job. But is it?
I don’t think so.
There is no reason to highlight the fact that you are unemployed, in transition, or looking for your next opportunity.
Recruiters will never search for candidates using “unemployed” or “in transition.” The fact is, recruiters do not care if you are employed or unemployed. What they care about is whether you have the qualifications they are looking for. That’s when they want to talk to you. The honest truth is that recruiters may not be as interested in you if you are unemployed. To better understand what recruiters look for in a LinkedIn profile, check out this article by Jobscan.
Some experts recommend using #ONO (open to new opportunities) in the headline, but I’m not convinced this makes any difference to recruiters or hiring managers.
If you wonder where to indicate you are looking for a new job, I’ve got that covered later in this post.
LinkedIn Headlines with Impact
Here are three examples of LinkedIn headlines for unemployed job seekers that show value. They are conservative, yet still have an impact!
Your headline can be up to 220 characters including spaces, therefore, every word counts! And take note, none include a reference to being unemployed, seeking new opportunities or looking!
Operations Manager. Skilled in warehousing, purchasing, P&L, inventory management and logistics
Helping clients find solutions to challenging problems in electronics design, test, measurement and fabrication
Creative HR exec and operations manager. Experience with diversity HR practices, entrepreneurship and strategic partnerships
Looking for more help crafting your headline? Check out Fix Your LinkedIn Headline Today
Update That You’re Open To Work
Instead of putting your employment status in your headline, try turning on the Open To Work feature instead.
When you turn on the public option, a green frame appears around your photo and a list of job titles you specify appears at the bottom of your information card.
You can choose the private Open To Work option that only is visible to those with LinkedIn’s Recruiter software. Recruiters in your company will not be able to see this is turned on. (But that doesn’t mean that other recruiters won’t tell them.)
Learn more about turning on LinkedIn’s Open To Work here.
Unemployed and Looking?
If you are laid off, don’t rush to put an end date for your current job. Instead, review these 3 ways to update your job title and employer if you are unemployed.
The bottom line:
Your LinkedIn profile should market/promote YOU! Not your employment status, previous employer or education!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.