I wanna ask you about LinkedIn. What’s the best practice to fill out the CURRENT POSITION Field when you are not working and looking for a job?
A very interesting question, one that I thought would be interesting to forward along to two expert friends of mine, Liz Ryan and Lori Ruff. Liz runs the employment Q&A site Ask Liz Ryan, and Lori is involved with Integrated Alliances, where she’s known as the LinkedIn Diva.
“Use your own name in the field, plus the word Consulting. So it would be “Dave Taylor Consulting” or “Liz Ryan Consulting.” The time since you left your last job falls under “Your Name Consulting” on your resume, whether you currently have consulting clients or not. You could create a website for your church or do some volunteer work for a local not-for-profit. It’s all consulting, whether you’re being paid for the work or not.”
Lori explains your choices in more detail:
There are a few options for you.
First, if you haven’t been out of work for very long, you can leave the current position field blank. If you have a paid “Jobseeker” account, we recommend that you use the briefcase icon to indicate to hiring managers and recruiters that you are looking for a position.
Second, if you volunteer in the community, especially in an area related to your expertise, list that as your current position. It will show potential hiring managers that you are staying active and current with your skills.
Third, if you’ve been out of work for a while, what are you doing to bring income in the door? Consulting? Include that as your current position. Indicate the skills you are using to maintain a sharp focus on your professional value.
Finally, what are you passionate about? Any of these options work if you feel comfortable and can “sell it”. Being in the marketplace without a current position, although not as much of a problem as it has been in the past, can still cause issues. Whatever you choose, do it wholeheartedly.
It’s much easier to sell what you believe in than not.
Don’t forget your contact information! Include it right in your summary. When someone wants YOU, you want to make it easy for them to reach you.
On a final note, we don’t recommend that you list your current position as Unemployed at Unemployed. That never sends a positive message. Don’t look desperate even if you feel that way. There are a lot of people in your position and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, yet you want to portray a positive energy and a willingness to make the most of a less than desirable situation.
Need more help? Find free resources at www.RockLinkedIn.com.
My thanks to Lori and Liz for their help with this all-too-relevant question for current job seekers.