If you have recently lost your job, you will want to make sure your online presence is up-to-date and optimised, especially your LinkedIn profile and any CVs you have posted on job sites. Being easily findable by potential employers, executive search firms, colleagues, and other contacts who can help you in your job search will make a massive impact on the timely success of your job search.

Come clean about your unemployment status

First, for the sake of honesty, list an end date for your most recent position. If you leave the end date as “present,” it will do two things. First, a potential employer will wonder why you want to leave your current job. In some cases that brings up questions about your loyalty or the possibility of a conflict of interest. Second, if you do get a call, you will immediately have to explain why the information on your profile is incorrect.

Both results will affect your credibility and detract from the little opportunity you have to sell yourself as a perfect match for the position. The last thing you want as a job seeker is to appear dishonest. Simply changing that end date will signal that you are readily available for new work, without having to use words like “unemployed” and “laid off” – they have negative connotations to readers.

Update your status

Another good strategy when dealing with unemployment is to incorporate the words “Available” or “Seeking” into your headings along with your desired job title. It’s a tip-off to recruiters that you are active in the job market without drawing intense focus on the unemployment aspect.

Being productive during your unemployment stage

Next, consider the length of time between your last position and the present. You don’t ever want your profile to reflect your time of unemployment of merely doing nothing. Taking the time to stay informed and engaged within your industry should be considered part of the job search process.

You can, for example, list a relevant volunteer position. Perhaps you serve as a Board member or perform freelance assignments. Indeed list these pursuits under your current employment, but again, be completely honest, as you will need to detail this experience within an interview.

Another great way to extend your hireability is to use your downtime for continuing education. Industry certifications and executive training courses such as Lean Six Sigma are a great way to boost your skills quickly. It would be best if you also were actively networking by attending networking events and participating in industry discussions. All of these items can be included in your online profile to make you more appealing to recruiters.

Use the right keywords

Finally, remember to weave relevant keywords throughout all of your text, but especially within your most recent position and your current pursuits (volunteering, freelance, education). These should be words that describe your expertise and your goal position, and that recruiters in your field use in search of candidates. It doesn’t hurt to call up a few recruiters or hiring managers and enquire as to their frequently used terms when you are evaluating the text of your online profile. Failure to incorporate appropriate terms will drag down your search ranking, and make it that much harder for your dream job to identify you as a highly qualified candidate.

Alternatively, getting a professional CV writer in New Zealand can help you craft both your CV and LinkedIn profiles so that the right keywords are used here. This has been one of the secrets of applicants that successfully get hired even after a long unemployment period.