Your LinkedIn header is one of the most valuable places on your profile. This is the first thing people viewing your profile see. It’s also the first line recruiters see when searching for candidates on LinkedIn.
So why might a LinkedIn headline that reads “looking for a job” make it difficult for you to find a new job? Since LinkedIn is a place to get a job, shouldn’t you let everyone know you’re looking for a job?
Not really. In this article, I will give you three reasons why this LinkedIn header could work against you.
YOUR LINKEDIN HEADER IS ALWAYS VISIBLE
Three things that are always visible every time you do LinkedIn activity:
- your name
- your photo
- your LinkedIn headline
These three things build the first impression of you. It’s the LinkedIn headline that makes people click on it to find out more about you. Unfortunately, you only have about 5-10 seconds to get people to click on your profile – so every word counts.
The LinkedIn header also plays an important role in finding candidates on this platform. When someone searches for something on LinkedIn, your headline is one of the things the algorithm takes into account. This affects how high you will appear in search results.
Furthermore, the LinkedIn headline also appears in Google search results. Google takes this short description and displays it so people can quickly find out more about you.
The LinkedIn headline is also important as it informs your visitors what your main skills and strengths are. Gives a good reason to contact you. In a way, it is a “call to action” that, if used properly, can lead to a new job offer.
As you can see these several dozen characters that you can use in the headline build your image on the internet. That is why it is so important what you enter in it. Later in the article, I will suggest what to write in the headline, but before that, I would like you to realize what the consequences of using the words “I’m looking for a job” may be.
There are at least 3 good reasons to consider whether it would be beneficial for you to mention your job search in your headline:
1. LINKEDIN HEADER “LOOKING FOR JOB” SUGGESTS … DESPERATION
If you are actively looking for a job on LinkedIn, have you also been tempted to type “looking for a job” in the headline? Many people type this phrase believing it will help them find a new job quickly.
Nothing could be more wrong! Such information is often seen by others as… desperation. Recruiters and employers especially avoid candidates who are desperately looking for a job. Why? A candidate who is looking for any job is like a time bomb – he usually leaves as soon as he receives a better offer.
Recruitment, employment and training of a new employee is a huge cost for the employer. Therefore, neither the recruiter, nor the HR, nor the manager will risk hiring a candidate who will resign after a month, saying that he has received a better offer.
You can be determined in your job search but not desperate. This is a big difference, although the line can be easily crossed.
2. LINKEDIN HEADING “I LOOK FOR A JOB” SAYS THAT … YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A JOB
Candidates who are actively looking for a job often include in their LinkedIn headline:
- looking for a job
- open to new opportunities
- looking for new challenges
Take a look at these few examples below and think about which one would you click on if you were looking for a good candidate for your team?
Information that you are open to new opportunities, it says nothing but that you are looking for a new job. Even translating the phrase into English won’t change that.
Note that the recruiter does not learn anything about who you are, what you do or what job you are looking for. Nor is there any information about your key skills, not to mention your successes. In a word, you can’t see what you have to offer.
Remember that employers are not hiring based on whether you are immediately available, but based on the value you bring to their business. So use the Linkedin header to sell what may be of interest to your future employer.
3. LINKEDIN HEADING “LOOKING FOR A JOB” WEAKEN YOUR NEGOTIATING POSITION
Recruiters and employers are convinced that the best candidates are those who have a good job and do not look for a new one. Such a candidate knows his professional value, feels that he is an important part of the organization and is satisfied with his current job. Every employer dreams of such a candidate. That is why passive candidates are the favorite target of all recruiters and headhunters.
When you post a job search, the suggestion is that you may lack the skills to manage your own career. If you are looking for a job this way, the employer can guess that you are not getting great offers. As you can see, this headline determines how you are perceived by the employer. It makes your employer judge your professional value fairly quickly and often unfairly.
In this way, you weaken your position to negotiate contract terms and salaries. The employer, knowing that you do not have a job, will not offer you the most attractive rate.
RECRUITERS ARE LOOKING FOR SPECIFIC CANDIDATES
When you only enter “looking for a job” in your LinkedIn header, you are wasting one of the key places a recruiter or prospective employer can find you.
Nobody on LinkedIn searches for job candidates using the phrase “looking for a job” or “looking for new challenges”. A recruiter, HR or manager are looking for specific people for a position with specific skills.
So you have to include the relevant keywords in order to be found. There are several important places in your LinkedIn profile where you can use relevant keywords related to the job postings you want to be found for. Your headline is one of those places, so use it wisely and put in the right words to help recruiters reach you.
By the way – do you know how many people have “looking for a job” on LinkedIn? Almost 6000! Even if the recruiter searched for candidates by this phrase, you would have to fight an army of more than five thousand other candidates. Would it not be easier and faster to get a job when you distinguish yourself from them by showing your professional strengths?
WHAT TO INSERT IN THE LINKEDIN HEADER WHEN YOU LOOK FOR A JOB
Your headline is one of the few key places that LinkedIn’s algorithm takes into account when searching. You only have 220 characters to use, so use them to provide as much important professional information as possible about yourself. So what can you type in the LinkedIn headline when looking for a job? Below are 3 types of information you can use:
- keywords describing the position you are looking for
- additional positions or titles that are relevant to your job search
- basic skills a manager or recruiter would be looking for
This LinkedIn header will give you a bigger picture of who you are and what you can do for a potential employer.
Okay, but what to do when the situation is awful? What to do when you suddenly lost your job and you need to get a new one as soon as possible to protect your financial situation?
If, however, you want to write in your headline that you are looking for a job, combine it with information about who you are, what you are good at and what specific job you are looking for:
Social media specialist | PPC, SEM, Google Ads & Analytics | I help companies increase sales by managing social media
Here is a formula you can use when looking for a job:
[ TITLE / ROLE / POSITION YOU ARE LOOKING FOR ] + [ SKILLS ] + [ KEYWORDS ]
SHOW YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A JOB – THE RIGHT WAY
You can enable an option on your LinkedIn profile to show that you are open to new career opportunities. This is the best way to let the recruiter know that you are willing to discuss a job change.
You can set additional options that will give the recruiter and HR more information about your job change preferences. As a result, the recruiter will immediately see in the search results that you are open to new opportunities.
Notice that “actively looking for a job” in the summary section of your LinkedIn profile. This will allow you to still appear in LinkedIn searches, but won’t take up valuable headline space.
You have 2000 characters to use in your LinkedIn profile summary, so you can specify exactly what you are “looking for”. Add details of the type of job and industry you are looking for,
There is absolutely nothing wrong with looking for a job. We are all human and it can happen to anyone, especially in such troubled times. Sometimes we give up work ourselves to find better conditions and opportunities for ourselves. However, this does not mean that we have to diminish our own value to get a new job. On the contrary – each of us has some experience, strengths and skills that are needed and worth selling well.
LinkedIn was originally created as a recruiting tool and work platform. It is one of the most powerful tools for job seekers, so make good use of it and reach out to people who can offer it to you.
Statistics show that approximately 8-10% of applicants change jobs after receiving a job offer on LinkedIn. For comparison – only 3% get a job through advertising portals. Take your chance and create a headline where the job finds you.