If you’ve never been laid off, you’re lucky. You don’t know what it feels like to get that meeting invite with no agenda. To hear the ding of HR dialing in late as you realize this is going to be your last day. It’s the worst feeling in the world. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
So as much as I appreciate all the posts about “let me help you find a job” and advice on the job hunt, can we just give everyone a fucking minute? I know what it feels like to rush from feeling like a failure into the free fall of a new job. It’s not healthy. You have to grieve and let the shock settle. Figure out what makes you feel good. Remind yourself who you are.
Now, if you want help? I hope most of you know you can ask me. If you need a reminder that everything really will be ok and you are bad ass no matter what happens? This is it.
If you called me for help, that’s where we’ll start. I’ll just listen first. I think listening and letting out the shock, pain, and frustration is critical to a job search that leads to a job that’s good for you. I’ve seen it time and again. Someone on LinkedIn called it “the venom” and it’s something we sense but don’t say when someone interviews. It’s a mix of anger and frustration that stops people from getting jobs.
What Is A LinkedIn Profile Self Audit?
The next thing I’d offer is to take a look at your LinkedIn profile. During the first waves of layoffs in 2020, I turned the systems I use to write a great job posting into a live service where I rewrote LinkedIn profiles. We did a 30 minute intake session, then a 30 minute live writing session where I rewrote each critical part of their profile so it was ready for a recruiter to look.
I don’t have the bandwidth to bring back these sessions right now as I balance van life and a growing business. Instead, I would offer this advice – the advice I offered on each of those LinkedIn profile rewrites before. This way, you can complete your own LinkedIn profile self audit.
- What’s your headline? The headline is the line that shows up right below your profile picture. If you’re looking for a job, your headline should be the job title you want. But remember, job titles aren’t universal so use Google Trends to find the one that’s searched the most. More instructions on that here. Do this first – it impacts who can find you in the first place. If you update nothing else, start with this.
- Review your About section. This is the paragraph that people will read if they see your headline and say “ok, tell me more.” In this paragraph, answer a few questions your recruiter needs to know to get you in the right job. Write for people, not machines. What do you want to do next? What are some of the impacts of your work to date? What should they remember about you? Answer questions that often come up for you in interviews.
- Work history. While it’s great to show your job titles, you can level up your LinkedIn by explaining the scope and scale of the work. How big was the company? Did you manage a team? Get into the details that would determine if you’re qualified for your next job, not just a list of projects. Try to limit the recap to 3 or 4 bullets so people can scan quickly.
Making these simple upgrades can upgrade the kinds of jobs that come to you.
And remember, a day of rest won’t ruin your life. Be sure to take the time you need to heal before hopping into your next job.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.