Welcome to “Dear Dana,” our Friday column to give you career coaching workplace advice and coaching. Please write in and tell me about a frustration you’re facing at the office and I’ll publish my answer in an upcoming column. We’re also discussing these topics on our Tuesday Coffee Break talkshow with our guests. I can’t wait to hear from you! – Dana Theus
Dear Dana: When you are actively seeking a new job and your current employer is aware of this (because they’re the ones laying you off), do you recommend posting something like “seeking new opportunities” in your headline or only in your summary? – Not Bitter in Boise
Not Bitter – Regardless of whether your employer knows or not, it’s not a good idea to put “seeking new opportunities” in there because it makes you look desperate. You can use a more generic title like “Operations Specialist” or “Strategic Marketer” to signal your expertise and job category as your “title.” For recruiters this usually is a signal that you’re open to being an operations specialist or strategic marketer for an organization other than the one you’re currently working with.
Other things that will tip off recruiters to the fact that you would be open to an inquiry include using action words like “excited to grow” or “expanding my expertise into,” which are code for “looking for a new job.” Of course, when you communicate with people individually you can tell them the situation more directly.
Finally, LinkedIn profiles include the opportunity for you to indicate to the search algorithm what kind of inquiries you are open to receiving. (This feature moves around. It’s currently under “message preferences” and “messages from members.”
The point is that you want to own your professional identity and show that you’re open to new possibilities without making it look like you’re an active job seeker. The reason is that “passive job seekers” are usually already employed and thought to be more valuable as a result. This, of course, reflects an unfair negative stereotype of active job seekers, that there must be some “reason” they’re unemployed. Recruiters know that there’s not always a negative reason, and they will certainly talk to active job seekers, but if you’re a perfect fit but not looking desperate, you’re right in their sweet spot.
Good luck in Boise!
P.S. – Have a question you’d like anonymous support on? Write me!