There’s been a plethora of people calling themselves consultants on LinkedIn, when in point of fact, they’re not consultants—they’re just currently unemployed! Somehow, rightly or wrongly, word got out that being unemployed was a bad thing and that recruiters would look askance at anyone who’s title says that they are indeed unemployed. I’m not s recruiter and I’m not looking for a job. I actually am a consultant. I consult with individuals and businesses who want to learn how to leverage LinkedIn to grow their networks, sales, and their businesses. So, you can see that I have a vested interest in there not being a lot of “false positives” when it comes to consultants! Not only that, but I know a thing or two, or three or four or twenty, about LinkedIn, and I’d like to address this whole issue.
First off, if you’re a consultant, say so! This is your job, after all, right? And, you do want clients to hire you, and how are they going to find you on LinkedIn, if they’re looking for a consultant, unless you announce that you’re a consultant!
Having said that, as far as the unemployed job seeker, I can see no reason why you’d want to call yourself a consultant. It’s sort of a code-word now for unemployed. A kind of placeholder. You don’t need a placeholder! Recruiters that I personally know all say that they’d rather see your most previous job title as your headline on your LinkedIn profile instead of consultant or “Seeking A Position”, which sounds incredibly lame! Look, be who you are and be open about who you are. Don’t start your next job or career based on a lie, albeit a small one. Openness and honestly are always the best policy. Besides, the profiles of all these unemployed, non-consultants are obviously faking it. You’re pushing away, as opposed to attracting the right jobs!