O C F I T B L O G Business Opportunity What you should and shouldn’t post on LinkedIn after your layoff

What you should and shouldn’t post on LinkedIn after your layoff

What you should and shouldn’t post on LinkedIn after your layoff post thumbnail image

The worst case scenario has happened—you’ve become part of the layoffs sweeping tech, media, and countless other industries.

If your first impulse is to make a public LinkedIn announcement, wait just a minute. Experts say posting your layoff is a delicate dance you’ll want to be strategic about—and you may not even want to post at all.

Besides, there are other ways to leverage your network to transform a layoff into your next career opportunity. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t be doing on LinkedIn post-layoff.

Optimize your profile 

First things first, update your profile with new skills, experiences, and certifications—anything that “reflects your professional identity and aspirations,” says career coach Marlo Lyons.

“Your LinkedIn profile should show why you’re great,” says Nolan Church, CEO of FairComp who has over a decade of experience recruiting for companies like Google and DoorDash. Highlight your promotion history and feature strong recommendations from a manager or executive leader—the two best signals Church says a recruiter can have.

He advises running job descriptions that appeal to you through ChatGPT and asking for common keywords, which you should weave into your profile. “These are the words recruiters will be using in sourcing efforts,” he says.

Indicate you’re open to work

Turn on LinkedIn’s open to work banner that’s visible to recruiters only—not the green open to work banner that everyone sees. “It’s like a scarlet letter for employees impacted by layoffs,” Church says. “Recruiters love it because they know you’re out of a job—but the first question is ‘What happened here?’ You’re starting on the negative as opposed to the positive.”

Take a beat

Wait up to a few weeks before posting to LinkedIn so you can reflect on your achievements, seek support, and move into a more positive headspace, Lyons says. This also gives you time to weigh the pros and cons of posting, which she says depends on your circumstance, preferences, and objectives.

She points to a few advantages: Posting empowers you to shape the narrative of your departure and can foster networking opportunities and advice.

On the other hand, Church says you may not stand out since LinkedIn is flooded with layoff posts. And while the stigma of being laid off is weakening, he says that some hiring managers still view layoffs negatively. Plus, he adds, these posts tend to be highly emotional.

He thinks posting your layoff on LinkedIn is best for very sought after individuals with specific experience, such as an AI engineer. “The rules don’t apply to them,” he says.

Frame it strategically

If you do post, “consider it the starting point for a broader conversation,” Lyons says. Beyond sharing the news, strategically outline your career goals, highlight your skills and accomplishments, and express what you want in your next role. This will “transform your post from a simple farewell into a powerful networking tool.”

Do not state desperation for “any job,” which Lyons says may imply that you’re uncertain about your career goals and that you’ll leave a company when you find something better. She notes that including a question, such as What is the best advice you can offer me from your experience? can engage your connections and increase reach. Most importantly, she says, keep it short—“crisp, clear, and forward looking.”

Church takes a more subtle approach—he suggests reframing your layoff as a career break or that you’re open to exploring new opportunities to signal self-reflection and personal growth.

Engage with your audience

“Failing to engage with your audience beyond the initial announcement can limit your visibility and reach,” says Lyons, who encourages inviting connections to share your post, connect you to others, offer advice, share job leads, and provide recommendations. “Actively participating in the ensuing dialogue not only expands your network, but demonstrates your proactive approach to networking and career advancement.”

Find referrals

Church is a fan of a more direct approach than posting that involves reaching out to connections individually. Referrals are a top source of hiring, he says: “When I was at Google in 2012, 50% of our hires came from a referral channel.”

He advises messaging your strong network connections to let them know you’re job hunting. With weaker connections, go to their company’s job board to see if there’s a role that interests you and then ask if they can refer you. Referrals “have a fast lane process, and almost every single time they’ll get back to you,” he says.

Get your story in order

Whether online or off, be prepared to talk about being laid off in an objective and non-emotional manner. The best layoff stories explain what happened, that you were impacted, and that your former manager is a reference, Church says: “In today’s market, even if it’s not true, [prospective employers] are thinking you got laid off for underperforming.”

And stay positive, optimistic, and enthusiastic—even if you feel drained emotionally. “People can feel and read that energy when you are talking to them,” he adds. “If you’re complaining about how hard your job search has been, it gives a negative signal.”

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