Unemployed LinkedIn Strategies

LinkedIn Strategies That Keep You Unemployed

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Mingling around in the hundreds of LinkedIn groups is a great way to network, get yourself noticed, and increase your chances of finding a job or getting a new job. Without a doubt, LinkedIn is a huge resource for job seekers. However, there are wrong ways to use LinkedIn. Ways that, without a doubt, will cause more damage to your personal brand then you might ever imagine.

With so many people unemployed or in search of a different job, lots of people are congregating to job search or industry-related groups on LinkedIn. In these groups (and even many other type of groups) people are telling their story. When I read through the content in these groups, I am often shocked at what some people are saying, on a public website, that many employers use to find candidates for their open positions.

I understand it is frustrating to be out of work or in desperate need of a new job, but so many people are displaying their anger and frustration in these LinkedIn groups – a place where hiring managers are also present. In addition, potential employers who Google you may also have access to this content.

Joining a LinkedIn group and participating, is not something to take lightly. The content you put out there should reflect you in a very positive light – one that shows you are a high energy, self-motivated, positive individual who possesses skills and talents that are desired by employers.

While some groups require you to join and subsequently be accepted, that does not mean it is a private group where you are safe to vent amongst your peers. Many recruiters and hiring managers are also members of these groups! Just click on the members tab and you will see who all is reading your content. And many groups are completely open, now for anyone to read. Your posts can be found very easily by anyone who is reading through the group or wants to learn more about you.

LinkedIn Strategies That Keep You Unemployed

People disclosing their age as the reason they do not believe they are being hired.

  • “I am only 23 so I have no real job experience.”
  • “I am 58 years old and all I see is age discrimination.”

People! Employers can’t ask for your birth date and age, so why offer it up and then follow it up with a non-selling statement about yourself? I do not feel any person should mention their age in these groups – especially if you are in an age group that you feel has perceived disadvantages. Yes, in the United States, it is unlawful to discriminate against people based on their age.

Do employers do it?

Yes.

Sadly, some of them do. Even if it’s just a silent notation that a hiring manager makes when coming across your post. I do not believe employers should ever discriminate based on age, but since it can be reality of life, don’t disclose it (and other personal details about your life), no matter what age you are.

Disclosing all the reasons they have heard so far as to why they were not offered a job.

  • “I have been told I am overqualified so many times.”
  • “I have been told I just don’t have the skills needed.”
  • “I make too much money.”
  • “I have been told I have a lack of focus.”
  • “I am competing against people who have much better experience than I do.”

Statements like these should never be said on LinkedIn! Maybe this is your reality, as there will always be reasons why people don’t get hired. But, if I am hiring and reading something like this that you wrote? You just gave me a reason to pass right by you.

Derogatory statements about HR professionals, recruiters, and hiring managers.

  • “They don’t make wise decisions.”
  • “They discriminate.”
  • “They don’t even bother reading all the resumes.”
  • “They just want cheap workers, not skilled ones.”

Aren’t these the people they are trying to target? I would never consider a candidate who wrote something like that on LinkedIn. Not only has that person insulted the very people they are targeting (at minimum that shows really bad judgment!), but they are also coming off as a negative person. And who wants to hire a negative person – a complainer who makes a blanket statement against their target audience?

Some of the very people who made statements like I described above also made statements like, “I have been unemployed for 18 months.” It’s not hard to figure out why that might be the case!

There are many job seekers using LinkedIn to their advantage. I have also seen many people state things such as, “I have great skills, I know I have a lot to offer but the job market is very tight. But, I will keep plugging along, I know it’s just a matter of time before I land the right job!” Isn’t that much better?

As frustrating as a job search might be, if you are posting on a public website (especially the biggest business networking website out there!) you must present yourself in a professional manner. You need to make an effort to show that you have all the great qualities that employers seek – every time you start typing.

The facts are, some of the people who are posting on LinkedIn are still unemployed because of what they write on LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn to your advantage – do not sabotage yourself in the process!

If you are reading this and you recognize you might have said some of these things in your groups, please, do yourself a favor and go back to your posts and delete them.

After that is done, start creating some new, fresh, and positive content that sells you and reflects you as the great person you are!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Jessica Simko

Jessica Simko is a senior-level HR Consultant and job search/career strategist. Please feel free to download her FREE report on "The Job Interview Game."

18 comments

  1. That’s why I agree with Number 7 – I just don’t talk much at all. It may not be fair to have to censor yourself, but that’s the way it is.

  2. Here’s a couple “philosophies” to apply re LI: 1) be generous with your info and advice to others – people like to help helpful people. this will tend to open up relationships with others who can help you. 2) put yourself in a “servant-frame-of-mind” – again always be thinking how I can help someone else…this tends to make people more willing to help you. 3) “hiring companies tend to be attracted to candidates who seem to have lot’s of job alternatives”…in other words scarcity breeds interest. No lying but always be presenting an optimistic and positive aura.

    If you really must complain and whine, best to do that with your close friends (not on fB , LI or Twitter).

  3. I have often had these same thoughts! As a career coach, I am a group member in a wide range of “career” focused groups — job search, HR, recruiters, career counselors, etc. It often shocks me what people choose to contribute – very negative statements about HR staff, specifics about past bad bosses, etc. I try to keep in mind what I would want a prospective employer/hiring manager to see if they saw my page (much like I think about what I would want my Great Aunt Janet to see on my Facebook page); and then choose my contributions carefully.

    It is easy to share a great story of a negative experience, either in the job search process or in a bad work environment, but is the shock factor worth it? People reading your posts do not know you. They don’t know if you truly worked for the worst boss ever or if you are just that person who always complains about their boss. And with the high cost of hiring, they may not be willing to take the chance on hiring you to find out.

  4. That’s why I rarely comment on LinkedIn. I havent much positive to say about my curent situation. I just read. Maybe no one will notice me but better than to be noticed in a negative light.

    • Reminds me of the old saying… it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. It is important to have a positive outlook, though. Being negative won’t change anything (and will probably end up making matters worse). Keep your head high. You have worth. Eventually someone will come along that will see that.

      • Last November I finally got out of the job situation I hated and into a job I love. I do post more on LinkedIn now when I remember to log in to the site. I don’t exactly give my opinion or post baby pictures of my cat. That is what Facebook is for. I don’t want to stir controversy on LinkedIn however, I share all sorts of professional articles. I have seen things on LinkedIn lately that are tantamount to photos of my cat and it makes me question the person who posted it (or reposted it). I may have a skewed or compartmentalized view of my life but 100000 likes to get this child surgery does not belong on LinkedIn anymore than my cat does. It shows poor use of Social Media.

  5. Great advice. Thanks for posting it. You’re absolutely correct. Use LinkedIn to promote you as a professional, not to whine.

  6. How bad do you want a job, on a scale from 1 to 10? How bad do you want to clock in at 8, and work and sweat all day? I think that he/she who wants a job, honestly and sincerely, and communicates same to prospective employers, and is able, available, and looking for work, will find same. Is that you, or are you going through the motions? You have to get Fuller Brush Man about things, and wear good, no-crush shoes. Print some (e-)copies of the old resume, there, and get busy. If you want it, you’ll find it.

  7. I agree with this fact that the personel freinds circle would help to find out the suitable work place where you can manage your skills and expertise, Linkedin is the good source to get the job but your profile should be sound
    A good alternative to Linkedin is http://www.parttimely.com

  8. “The facts are, some of the people who are posting on LinkedIn are still unemployed because of what they write on LinkedIn.”

    - do you actually have any evidence to support your hypothesis?

  9. I feel your pain, but at the same time, I will tell you that the only person that can help you out of a situation is yourself.  With enough conviction and personal drive, you will learn to use different methods to make better and more frequent job opportunity contacts that lead to interviews. 

    Before applying the three steps you mentioned at the end of your last discussion, conduct some research that will enable you to approach each step with a different perspective.  I would offer a few examples.  Next time you go online,  type in jobfox.com.  They offer a free  resume analysis.  Of course, they also want to convince you that they are definitely the answer to your problems, and for a specified price will present you with a resume that greatly increase your chances of becoming employed once again.  I did just this.  The critique came to my email, and I read it over a few times.  Not being able to afford their service did not stop me.  I carefully digested everything that was pointed out either good or bad about every aspect of my then current resume.  I then began to carefully reshape every feature that received negative comments.  This process took me nearly two weeks – my resume is “condensed” to a full two pages. 

    Next, I sought help from local employment counselors, the same kind found at the agencies you can apply for jobs through.  Part of their job is to present you in a postivie manner, thereby increasing the chances of you being hired.  Since they view so many different types of resumes, they would probably be in the best position to offer you advice as to the type and style of resume best suited for your type of work and experience.  If you have never heard of “the 30 second elevator speech”, then your next research project should find a local JOBSEEKERS organization or other bureau that will gladly give you handouts covering the importance of a short, brief, concise, yet mind-grabbing introduction that will make the employer want to immediately know more about you.

    The new trend of today just does happen to be that employers prefer to hire individuals who are already working, rather than one who is and has been unemployed.  My guess is that the company’s experience with employees in the past only use the position as a stepping stone, and in a year or two, leave to take a better, higher paying job.  They therefore would rather just employ someone who they do not feel will require the initial break-in period, orientation, or on-the-job training and forego the layout of the company’s funds.  I am not saying this is fair, just the way I think business is operating these days.

    As for your second point, volunteer work can and should be used on your resume.  It may take a little extra effort to present it well, but this also shows the reader and perspective employer that you have not just been sitting like a bump on the log.  The inclusion of this volunteer work may also build your marketability.  Never underestimate the power of accomplishments.

    Lastly, I have just become aware of “survival jobs”.  Basically, these positions are low-paying jobs, but will help or cover those daily necessity expenses.  These types of jobs offer no future career.  They are only intended to make the current situation one is facing through a smoother transition. 

    The very next step is up to you.  If you truly are tired of not working, you must convince yourself to commit to working probably more than 40 hours per week on obtaining useful information from the research done, compiling it, then deciding on its best presentation mode.  Motivation will be the most important feature duriong this process.  If you truly want something bad enough, you must first ask yourself – what am I willing to do to attain the goal I have in mind?

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

    • Really ? I found that since I took this crap job I get no calls. When I was officially unemployed I got some callbacks. Now it’s nothing. I never stopped looking because I knew this was a mistake on day one but I have only gotten one call and that was on an older résumé without the new job on it. It’s been 4 months of nothing. I wonder if the very different industry I’m temporarily employed in is weeding out my résumé in the software my former industry uses to screen resumes.

  10. Thanks, Shannon! Yes.. this applies to anywhere you post content, I just focused on LinkedIn for this article but people are still posting all sorts of unprofessional language and pictures and such on Facebook and are leaving their page wide open for the world to see.  These are easy things to fix.  I think some people are just not aware that employers DO Google them.

    • Remember once you have the job, your boss will most likely watch your posts as part of daily routine. I have known a few people to get fired from companies where I worked due to this.

      I have also witnessed people who, trying to promote events, badmouth a vidal resource to promote that event. Then they wonder why they have a low turn out and a lack of respect in their field.

      Thank you for posting this advice.

  11. Excellent post.  There is lots of advice out there about what to do on LinkedIn, but not so much about what NOT to do.  I think these same tips should be used for FB and Twitter as well, obviously.  

  12. This is great advice! So many people on Linkedin (and other sites) forget that it’s all out there for public viewing, that everything you type leaves a trail. Now that I think about it, I’m going back to check my group discussions and make sure I haven’t said anything I shouldn’t have. Thanks for the tips.

    • Thanks, David!  Everyone should check their public content!  I actually said some of this to the people who were saying it on LinkedIn, “just as a friendly suggestion, there are recruiters and hiring managers in these groups and… ” but yet people continued on because the topic was “Why do you think you aren’t getting hired?” That’s a topic that is clearly best to skip entirely but yet there are probably thousands of posts on it now.

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