It’s the phone call every employee dreads, the email no member of staff wants to see in their inbox. You’ve been laid off, and no matter what promises your employer makes to help support you in a new role, the road ahead is still uncertain.
This has been the reality for tens of thousands of individuals for the past 12 months, with more layoffs being announced almost weekly.
Heartbroken members of staff have been going viral for sharing their stories on LinkedIn of how they lost their roles and what the impact was, while others have been de-stigmatizing layoffs by posting about it on TikTok. A mum-to-be posted to Twitter she found out she had lost her job working on the platform when she couldn’t log in to her computer.
Yet these moments of rage, panic or fear can’t mar the journey to finding your next role, experts have warned.
These are the red flags a potential employer might find from your social media posts about layoffs, and here’s what might work in your favor.
DON’T post in a rage
Jacqui Barrett, founder and CEO at Salt added: “It is a balancing act. If you are critical that could give the wrong impression even if valid. It’s best to own your own narrative and share your story honestly. Focus on your perspective and what you bring that employers and recruiters will be interested in.
“It is always worth noting that once something is posted, those words are out in the world. Take a moment to consider what you want to say, and if unsure run it by someone you trust.”
Shelley Crane, market director at Robert Half, echoed that the wrong message can be “detrimental” to future prospects, adding: “It’s absolutely vital to take your time and think about what you are going to say – don’t fall into the trap of posting anything negative about your previous employer or the intricate details of how you lost your job – even if the way in which it was done wasn’t ideal.”
DO focus on your achievements instead of your job loss
“What is most important is setting yourself up to be visible to recruiters by updating your LinkedIn profile. Whatever happens, this is always a good thing. Share your achievements, share what you were responsible for, and highlight the value you bring. That matters more than how you left the role,” said Jennifer Wood, global head of marketing at UK-based digital recruiters, Salt.
DON’T name drop former colleagues
Unless you’re saying thank you.
So many leads which can generate new work may come via former co-workers said Lewis Maleh, founder of executive recruitment firm Bentley Lewis –especially if you’re leaving a bigger company.
His message was simple: “Always leave gracefully. No matter how you might be feeling you never know when you’ll meet again. It’s tough, especially when you’ve got bills to pay but leave gracefully and it’ll pay you back a thousandfold.
“Don’t mention names, it’s so distasteful and is a really bad move. People always remember the bad behavior and so much work comes through people you know or might have worked with. If you are going to mention names, only do it to thank them for their help.”
DO get ready for follow-up conversations after you make your job search public
On a more positive note Crane, who is based in the UK, added: “It’s important that you are in a position to follow up with any potential leads you receive from your post, so timing really is key. It is certainly worth taking a step back, considering what you want from your next role, and when you are looking to start, so that when you do post on social media you are ready to follow up new opportunities.
“When it comes to the content, ensure you are clear and concise about your skills and experience, the types of jobs you are interested in, and crucially what you are asking your network for help with. Is it to highlight new positions, put you in touch with recruiters in your area of expertise, or for advice about next steps, for example.”
DON’T waste time while you’re not working
Not got a job? Prove you’re proactive and post about it.
Alistair Stirling, adviser at Stirling Careers Consultancy, said he always encourages his clients to do volunteer work and short courses while they’re on the hunt for their next role.
He explained that not only does it give people something to talk about –either on interviews or on platforms like LinkedIn– it shows you’re not just sitting around at home.
He warned that to seem authentic the style of the post must be in-keeping with your previous updates.
DO keep your profile updated, but curated
Profiles which come across as authentic to potential new employers are updated consistently with professional assets and achievements, said Doug Ebertowski, career expert at remote work specialist FlexJobs.
He added: “Maybe you finally completed a course for a new certification –this is a great addition to share on LinkedIn with a brief explanation about the accomplishment. Did you finish a passion project related to your career field? Post photos and a brief paragraph or two about it.”
However, he reminded candidates that professional profiles should be exactly that, adding: “Social media faux pas for job seekers include writing or sharing information about proprietary projects or confidential work assignments you’ve worked on for your current or past employers.
“Another is excessively posting status updates about every change in your personal and professional life, or sharing or being tagged in overly personal photos on professional platforms.”
Learn how to navigate and strengthen trust in your business with The Trust Factor, a weekly newsletter examining what leaders need to succeed. Sign up here.