Should I mention that I am looking for a job in my LinkedIn profile?

Dear Liz,

I had my last job for three years. The business was shrinking all the time, but my CEO was ready to retire anyway. He finally sold the business last summer. I was fired with a package and took time off.

Now I’m looking for a job and it’s going pretty well. I have had three interviews so far. The first two interviews were a failure.

Watch on Forbes:

The third interview was very promising and I’m just waiting for their return. Here is my question. Should I mention in my LinkedIn profile that I’m looking for a job?

I have heard arguments for and against. Some people say employers are biased against unemployed applicants. Others say that if you mention that you are looking for a job, you are giving up some bargaining power. They say recruiters will find you anyway whether you say “I’m looking for a new job” or not.

What do you think?

Thanks Liz!



Dear Lynette,

Let’s take a look at the arguments against listing your job search status on your LinkedIn profile.

There is no doubt that some employers are biased against unemployed applicants. If they do, do you still want to work for them? How would you expect them to lose their minds so that they didn’t find out that you were not working at some point during your interview process?

The first question they are going to ask you “Are you still working? Are you going to fake employment dates on your LinkedIn profile and CV?

Are you going to start a bogus company like the famous Vandalay Industries of “Seinfeld” fame, and have your friends answer the phone and confirm that you are working there?

Of course not! Any company that interviews you will find out that you are not currently working very quickly.

There is no way to avoid it. So even if you want to hide your job seeker status to please the rude person who would reject you out of hand if they knew you were unemployed, you still can’t do it.

Are you giving up trading leverage when you advertise through your LinkedIn profile that you’re not working right now? It is only to the same extent that you believe that your unemployed status makes you a less than ideal candidate and therefore at a favorable price. However, I don’t want your job search to be the focus of your LinkedIn profile. but for another reason.

There is no longer a reason for someone looking for a job to be completely unemployed, hammering the pavement and hoping someone will hire them.

We are all consultants now. No one has a better reason to get into counseling in one form or another than someone who is unemployed and looking for a job. Understanding how to start conversations with people about their business and their pain is an essential survival skill these days. The only way to hone this skill is to practice it.

You can go to any office supply store or Vistaprint online and get business cards.

Order them this weekend. Include your name, phone number, LinkedIn profile URL, email address, and a line about the type of consultation you’re doing. If you are not sure, leave this line aside. Go out and network.

You are a problem solver, and problem solvers get paid. Don’t see yourself as a needy job seeker. It’s a job title based on what you don’t have (a job at present). Shift your attention to focus on what you have amazing brain, amazing experience, awesome skills and the energy and wisdom to help people get out of traffic!

You are a consultant. Step into your power as an independent economic unit. Meeting people to talk about their needs is a far more effective approach to job hunting than throwing applications into black holes and ignoring them. You would be surprised how many organizations need flexible short term support and are willing to pay for it.

Take charge of your job search! You don’t have to say “I’m looking for a job” or “I’m looking for my next challenge” in your LinkedIn profile. You can instead “I consult”.

Hope this can help!



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