Often I get asked, “when should I change my LinkedIn profile to say I am no longer working?”
Sometimes this question is fueled by the concern of having to explain the reason for the job loss. I see it regularly, being unemployed can be embarrassing, being cut because of a performance issue or because “it’s no longer a fit”, is demoralizing and can kill your moral and self worth.
Beyond the most prevalent reason being used today, “the economy”, there are hundreds if not thousands of reasons why people are unemployed. Get past it – focus on being positive.
There is also the perspective that businesses do not want to hire the unemployed. This may have some truth to it, just like racism, sex discrimination and age discrimination occur daily. Get past it – focus on being positive.
Therefore my recommendation is to uncheck that box that says, “I currently work here” as soon as you can. You don’t need to do on the first day of your unemployment, but you need to do this as soon as your have updated your LinkedIn Profile Summary and Headline to say, “Who am I, What is it I want to do and Why should someone consider hiring or contracting me”
Go ahead and publicly state, “I no longer work at Company XYZ.” You don’t need to say why or to wallow in all of the reasons related to your departure. On LinkedIn – no one cares.
Additionally, wouldn’t it be great to get past that statement now? Go ahead and jump into the next important part of the conversation, maybe something like, “I have left Company XYZ and wish them the best as I focus on a new place for me to share my skills, knowledge, experience and passion. I am so excited about my future.”
Force yourself to focus on the positives and not the negatives regarding why you are not working there any longer. Pump yourself up with excitement and passion. Don’t drag yourself down worrying about how to explain your departure. Did I say, “get over it – focus on being positive?”
If you had been successful in your previous position and they let you go because the board changed their focus or because the organization did not feel you were a fit any longer, get past this. Stay positive and get focused on the next great opportunity.
When asked why you left your previous employment be honest but don’t dig deep into the negative or details. You do not need to over explain the reason for your departure.
Furthermore, Social Media, including LinkedIn is not the place to explain anything.
I use this analogy often, Would you stand on a street corner telling complete strangers, or anyone for that matter, why you got let go? No – you only have a detailed (or semi-detailed) conversation regarding your departure with someone who matters or cares. And, you’ll still spin it in as positive of a discussion as you can, “Never wallow in the details.”
Use your LinkedIn profile to promote the brand you call “ME” (that’s you OK?).
Promote the great things you have done, fabulous projects, Actions ans Results you have been involved in or driven. Promote the great value you bring to the table or company.
I don’t need to go beyond this statement – use LinkedIn to Contribute, Collaborate, Connect and Cram towards that next great position. Turn off the old job and turn on the positive activities that will move you forward to that next job.
What are you thoughts on this issue – please share.