Putting 'Unemployed' on Your LinkedIn Profile Makes You Look Desperate — Here's What to Write Instead

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By Kathleen Elkins

Your LinkedIn professional headline is one of the first things recruiters and hiring managers will see upon scanning your profile - and sometimes it is the only section they will read.

When setting up your profile, you may have noticed that it is also required to fill out - so what do you use as your headline if you're unemployed and currently seeking a job?

We decided to take this dilemma to the career experts.They agreed that using phrases such as: "unemployed," "seeking opportunities," or "pursuing positions in ..." is a costly error.

"These headlines will make you seem unattractive and desperate to a recruiter," says Nicole Williams, CEO of career consultancy WORKS.

Rather, it is important to highlight your previous achievements and future value to grab the attention of recruiters.

"Create a job title that matches your job goal," Williams recommends. "If you are currently unemployed as a writer you can still put, 'writer, storyteller, copy editor.' These are all examples of your skills and achievements in the field."

While it is important to draw in potential employers and encourage them to read on, resist the urge to get overly fancy with your word choice, Williams warns: "If you get too creative within your headlines, recruiters will not be able to find you. 'Architect for ideas' could mean marketing for you, but architect for LinkedIn's recruitment system."

Note: For students or recent graduates with limited experience, the rules vary slightly. In a LinkedIn post, executive recruiter Pete Leibman says that students and young grads can use the headline to highlight a strong GPA, leadership positions, or technical skills.
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