10 LinkedIn Tips for the Unemployed

10 LinkedIn Tips for the Unemployed

1. STOP! Take a breath. Know that everything is going to be OK. Trust me, I speak from experience when I say, “When one door closes, another door opens.”

2. Time to take a self assessment. What do you want to do with your life? What is your dream job? What is the next logical step on your career path? What is the next illogical step? Get yourself a goal, you need to have a point to strive toward, otherwise you are just treading water.

3. Determine your keywords. Now you should have an idea of what you want to do and you should have a JOB TITLE in mind. Open up Google and search for your desired job title with the words: JOB DESCRIPTION. Go through the results. It doesn’t matter if they are outside your geographical area or already filled positions. Print out the job descriptions and highlight the words you see repeated. These are your keywords… words a recruiter would type into a search engine trying to fill that position. Aim for 5 – 7 keywords. More is fine but don’t go too crazy. Hold on to this list… you are going to use it in step 7.

Donna, Your LinkedIn Writer for Hire
See! I got a professionally taken photograph!

4. Say Cheese! Call up a local photographer and book an appointment. Put on your best business suit, get your hair done, and make this your greatest picture ever! I like a white background… it really makes your LinkedIn profile picture POP! This should go without saying but look directly into the camera and SMILE!

5. Create a “personal” business card. It should contain your name, desired business title, direct phone number, mailing address, AND the link to your LinkedIn profile! Heck, you can even get fancy and add a QRCODE!. You’re gonna use this in the next step.

6. Connect with everyone you know, knew, slightly knew, met a couple times, etc… You want to grow that LinkedIn Network! Connect with recruiters and hiring managers and HR professionals. PERSONALIZE the LinkedIn Invitation to connect.

Personalized LinkedIn Invitation to Connect on LinkedIn

Once people start accepting your invitations to connect, call them! Okay, if that makes you freak out, email them. Be friendly! Be nice! Ask them questions. Casually mention you are looking for an opportunity to impact a new organization. Does this feel really weird? Get over it. What’s the worse that could happen? People want to help you. Let them.

Don’t keep this to just online networking… get out of the house and start mingling! Go to networking events. Go to events where people in your desired profession attend. Hand out your “personal” business card.

7. Now it’s time to UPDATE and optimize your profile. You could try to do it yourself. Upload that new profile picture. Take those keywords and pepper them throughout your profile in a keyword stuffing yet non-obnoxious way. Make sure your summary and headline are engaging, compelling, interesting (and not copied and pasted from your resume). Make sure there is a clear call to action. Make sure you include your contact information so if someone falls in love with you they can easily reach out and offer you a job.

If this seems a bit intimidating, you could either buy my book OR hire me to optimize your LinkedIn profile for you. My book walks you through optimizing your LinkedIn profile step by step and provides you with TONS of EXAMPLES! When you work directly with me, one on one, together we formulate a goal and strategy and then you watch as I write your profile right there before your eyes (if you aren’t local, we do this on Skype so you can see my screen). It’s a fun, low-pressure session and at the end, you have a LinkedIn profile you can immediately market!


(sorry for the out and out self promotion, but I gotta eat and pizza isn’t free)

It’s also time to take an assessment of your resume. Does it need professional help? We can help you if it does.

8. Drip Feeding. Now that your profile is optimized, it’s time to stay at the top of your connections’ minds! Push out intelligent and thoughtful status updates. Comment on other people’s LinkedIn status updates. Ask and answer questions on LinkedIn Answers. Get involved in LinkedIn Groups. Show the world that you are an expert in your field!

Recommend people on LinkedIn9. Recommend people! Recommendations ripple through your network and the other person’s network. This is a great way to be seen by people outside your network PLUS it’s good for karma. Make sure when you recommend others, you state who YOU are and how you HELP OTHERS! ex. “As a LinkedIn Profile Writer who helps professionals achieve a polished LinkedIn profile that builds their professional brand and leads to potential business opportunities, I realized how important it was to have a good accountant. That’s why I hired Dick! He is a fantastic accountant who has….You should also ask for LinkedIn recommendations! Make sure you provide the person with what you’d like said to make it easier for them.

10. Keep on Keepin’ on! Stay positive! Remind yourself that you are having FUN! Keep your goal in mind. VISUALIZE WHAT YOU WANT! Play it in your head like a movie. It may take time but you will find a job. I know it! You do too.


If you have any additional LinkedIn tips for job seekers, please post in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!


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  1. Arthur Hiemstra says:

    Thanks for the tips Donna I found them very useful being a person that is about to embark on a job search. The photographer is booked and am working on the business card.

    Much appreciated,

    Arthur H.

  2. Mark Lantieri says:

    Donna……you’re great tips are all “must haves” for a strong LinkedIn presence. I have done all the things you suggest but I am a young 56 year old looking for full time work for almost two years.

  3. Donna….I see this website hasn’t been updated in a long time. Are these LinkedIn tips still good for today’s job searching? I’ve been looking for work after my position was eliminated after 12 years. I’m really rusty at the job searching thing and am afraid to try LinkedIn and wonder if business cards will work or if it’s just a “gimmick”. I’m 58 years old with a lot of office/clerical experience and have excellent work ethics, but I’m finding that when an employer discovers how old I am, I am getting passed by. How many people really find jobs using LinkedIn?

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