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Beyond The Green Banner: From #OpenToWork to Super Hireable

Updated: 5 days ago

A guest post by Kailey Trussel, UX Researcher & Content Designer, and creator of the "Super Hireable" social media post template!




 


After almost two years of ongoing mass layoffs in tech, a sea of green "open to work" banners continues to flood our LinkedIn feeds. More green banners appear seemingly every time we scroll or refresh. They are SOS signals from thousands of our colleagues and connections who have lost their livelihoods and were thrown into the tightest tech job market in over a decade. 


To show support, we comment, react, and reach out to offer assistance or an ear.  But most of the burden remains on each person to somehow make their own way in this market, often by going above and beyond what a job search looked like a couple of years ago.


If you’re one of the unlucky ones who have been laid off, it’s easy to feel like your own pleas for help are being drowned and swallowed up in the depths of the algorithm.


My name is Kailey Trussel, and I happen to be in the same boat.


Image of the top of Kailey Trussel's Linkedin Profile, which shows a photo of Kailey, a colorful background, her professional title/headline, and other information.

In 2022, I lost not ONE, but TWO jobs, in less than six months! Finding myself jarringly back on the job search, my initial strategy was that I had no strategy. I doom-scrolled on LinkedIn for hours, I stalked connections of connections to see if there was anyone I knew who I could quietly message to inquire about job postings. I did everything to try to bring a job to me as subtly as possible.


After eight months of unemployment, I took the plunge and dove deeper into murky waters. I publicly announced on LinkedIn that I was "open to work" and turned on the green profile banner. 


Thinking outside the circle


But why stop at just the green banner and a basic post about my job search? Was there anything I could do to make myself stand out in a more engaging way to build connections and increase my job prospects? It was time to get creative with my approach.


As Missy Elliot puts it, I put the thing down, flipped it and reversed it. I began by creating a detailed post about me and what I'm looking for in a role. Then I turned it up to 11 by pairing the text post with a complimentary visual carousel (see below - it's basically a set of interactive slides) to uniquely position myself as a Super Hireable user experience professional and bring opportunities my way. 


Here's what I ended up with! Due to the length of the post I had to break it into two screen shots for this article. You can also click through to the original post here.


The text from the first half of Kailey's post reads: LinkedIn, I need your help because (surprise!) 𝗜 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗮 𝗷𝗼𝗯!  I've been keeping my head up, while also keeping my head down, working hard on applying to jobs, interviewing, networking, and skill-building in the field of UX Research.  One thing I haven't done is broaden my reach...which leads us to this post!  To make my post more "fun" for you, I put together a short and sweet presentation on me, Kailey, a 𝗦𝗨𝗣𝗘𝗥 𝗛𝗜𝗥𝗔𝗕𝗟𝗘 person, which you can check out below (there is a small token of appreciation from me at the end 👀).  𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜'𝗺 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿:  💼 𝗔 𝗨𝗫 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵, 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁/𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀, 𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝗖𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗿𝗼𝗹𝗲 If the responsibilities involve learning about, advocating for, and improving the user/customer/team's experience, I'm interested!  📈 𝗔 𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻-𝗱𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝘃𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗲𝘀 𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗼𝘆𝗲𝗲𝘀' 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘄𝘁𝗵 Salary isn't everything to me. I want to work on a product/service with a good and clear "why" behind the "what." I'd love to hear about how your team supports the growth and well-being of their employees.  💻 𝗙𝘂𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗲 𝗢𝗥 𝗵𝘆𝗯𝗿𝗶𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗣𝗡𝗪 I can be available to work immediately in the Pacific time zone, Seattle or Portland area. Definitely open to relocating for the right opportunity!  𝟱 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗲 𝗠𝗲:  🎵 Spotify 🎨 Canva 💡 Miro 😴 Calm 👩🏻‍🍳 HelloFresh  𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽:  👟 𝗞𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗜 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗯𝗲 𝗮 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗳𝗶𝘁? 𝗗𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗱𝗶𝗴 𝗺𝗲? Tell me about them! I'd love to be introduced.  🤝 𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘄𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗱/𝗼𝗿 𝗱𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗮𝘆 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗺𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝘆 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗴𝘁𝗵𝘀? I'd be grateful for a recommendation on my LinkedIn.
The text from the first half of Kailey's post reads: 🗣 𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗼𝗻 𝗺𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗲/𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗼/𝘄𝗲𝗯𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲? I'm all ears!  👍 𝗔𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗲𝗻𝗷𝗼𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝗼 𝘀𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 #𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗧𝗼𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁? Like, comment, share my post for reach please!  You can find a lot more about me, including my resume, portfolio, pictures, and random questions I have about the world, online at 𝘄𝘄𝘄.𝗸𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗲𝘆𝘁𝗿𝘂𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗹.𝗰𝗼𝗺.  If you just feel like talking, please don't hesitate to reach out! Unemployment has been lonely and it would be great to just chat 😊.  Thank you in advance for your support, fellow professionals! You are so very appreciated. Peace and blessings to all 💖! It also shows an image of the carousel on the original post.


And here's a gallery of images from the carousel slideshow (click to expand view).





As of the publishing of this article, my post has resulted in some exciting outcomes:


  • 116,208 post impressions

  • 1,218 reactions

  • 1200+ followers

  • 30+ informational interviews with fellow UX professionals

  • 24 Super Hireable posts shared by job seekers on LinkedIn

  • 1 contract UX Research role!

  • And some other surprises revealed later in the article! 😁


If you’re wondering what you can do to go beyond the norm of the typical "open to work" LinkedIn post, consider giving this idea a shot. You never know where it might lead, and you have nothing to lose and everything to gain in putting yourself out there. To quote my girl Missy once again, you just might want to “Ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gnaht ym tup i” your job search.


Here’s the story and process behind my “Super Hireable” post, the impact it’s had on my job search, what I’ve learned along the way, and why I’m no longer a LinkedIn Skeptic.


 


Long time lurker, first time poster


Prior to my Super Hireable post, I’d never really shared anything on LinkedIn before. I was a LinkedIn Lurker, scrolling and spectating and passively “liking” posts on the sidelines.


The idea of publicly telling people I needed a job and opening myself up to judgment about my successive job losses was deeply mortifying. Self-promotion can feel uncomfortable. On LinkedIn, it can seem superficial and cringey.


Image of a sinking boat called "No worries". Caption reads People: Hows your job search? Me: All good!"

I was determined to find a new job without drawing any attention to myself, doing whatever it took to avoid putting myself out there so publicly so no one would know how desperate I was to find a job. But as the months went by and I received rejection after rejection, I realized that as the stakes got higher, holding back wasn’t doing me any good. Something had to change and I needed to cast a wider net.


Putting UX into practice to design my post


After going through yet another interview process for a job I was really excited about, I found out that I didn’t get it. I was devastated, but my frustration pushed me to finally share about my job search on LinkedIn. I harnessed that energy and began crafting my Super Hireable post for LinkedIn. 


To start, I asked myself some questions that would help me craft an effective positioning message.


  • What’s the story I want to tell?

  • What information is most important for people to know about me?

  • What’s the best order in which to present this information?

  • How do I make it simple and succinct? 

  • How can I showcase my personality?

  • What’s the best format or medium to use?


We've all seen hundreds of "open to work" posts throughout the tech job downturn—they’ve become a new normal. I wanted to be intentional with my post and make it stand out, so I considered several important storytelling factors. I thought about what kind of posts generally seem to “pop out” on LinkedIn due to the content and presentation, and how I could stand out and be memorable.


Who is my audience?

  • My connections, who would be likely to engage with my post. 

  • Recruiters, who need a quick summary to gauge my experience and skills. 

  • Hiring managers and what information would best give them a sense of what it’s like to work with me. 


Optimizing efficacy and impact

  • A post from Mark America Smith discusses the importance of specificity and context in requests for help, and proactively giving people the information they need about my background, skills, interests, and goals.


Being specific about my experience

  • In her presentation titled “I’m not your typical candidate, and that’s ok”, Jiaorui Jiang observes that her mentees can get trapped in unhelpful thought patterns based on common experiences they shared with her. She provides inspiration for how to describe previous work experience and how to write a compelling story to really stand out.


Serious self-reflection

  • I took some time to seriously think about what a company wants from me as a candidate, and more importantly, what I want from a company! Documenting work values, accomplishments, skills, and vision for the future gave me some much needed clarity on my ideal role.


On LinkedIn, you can create posts using text, video, a single image, or a visual carousel. I decided on a hybrid format of a detailed text post plus a carousel. My thinking for using both formats was to give folks an option on how they’d like to read what I had to share. Having a detailed text post also gave me the option to tag the companies that inspired me, with hopes that they may see it (which some of them did!).


Launch time!


After several iterations and valuable feedback from trusted peers, I composed the draft and clicked “Post”. To quell my anxiety, I stepped away from LinkedIn for 30 minutes before checking on it. To my relief and surprise, it was getting quite a response.


For the next few days, I was glued to my feed as comments, reposts, connection requests, and messages came pouring in. It felt like the entire internet came to support me in my search. 


It felt so great to have my efforts validated by peers, hiring managers, recruiters, community leaders, and so many others.


LinkedIn comment from Lauren McGoodwin. Comment reads "Now THIS is how you ask your network for help with your job search! Kailey Trussel thanks for sharing this on LinkedIn to help inspire others. But mostly I hope you get a few phone interviews lined up!

LinkedIn Comment from Noam Segal. The comment reads "I wish I had an open role on my team because I would 100% interview you for it based on this terrific post.  You did a superb job putting yourself out there like this, and I'm wishing you the best of luck in your search. I'm guessing it won't be long!"

LinkedIn comment from Sarah Kasch. Comment reads "Hi Kailey, check us out at MongoDB!" and includes a link for a MongoDB job posting

LinkedIn comment from Louie Bergna. Comment reads "Kailey Trussel this post combines creativity, skill, and innovation in an incredible way! As a fellow laid-off job seeker, this piece of art is inspirational and extremely uplifting. Sending you the best of wishes for finding your dream role."

One of the most meaningful comments I got was one from Canva, the app I used to create the carousel!


LinkedIn comment from Canva. Hi Kailey! Feel free to take a look at all our available career opportunities that we have here (Canva careers link). We wish you the best of luck! ^cn

Brittney is a Senior Staff UX Researcher at Miro who was kind enough to reach out. She offered some help with my resume and gave me some specific and insightful feedback.


LinkedIn comment from Brittney Reyes. Comment reads: "Hey Kailey! Great post. I’m on the UXR team at Miro. Unfortunately, we don’t have any open UXR roles, but I would be happy to review your resume, chat interviews, or discuss anything else you’d find helpful or interesting. Let’s connect!"

The Ripple Effect


Overwhelmed with appreciation, I wanted to contribute some value back to the community and support other job seekers. I created free templates in Canva and Figma (with help from my friend Jonathan Wilcox) so others could easily tailor the template for their own post. 


Screenshot of Figma #OpenToWork LinkedIn Carousel Post Template

In the past 8 months, at least 24 job seekers have posted their customized Super Hireable posts using the template! I’ve linked them at the bottom of this article. 


4 screenshots of different slides from others who made their own "Super Hirable" post.

After sharing her own version of a Super Hireable post, Savannah Buswell got 4 interviews and 2 job offers! One of the offers was from someone she knew, while the other was from someone with whom, by several degrees, she had no connections. In both instances, the owner of the company saw her post and reached out directly. One said they were drawn to her design, having never seen anything like it before, and were impressed by everything in it.


 

   

Takeaways from going beyond the green banner to Super Hireable


Becoming more active on LinkedIn and putting myself out there with my Super Hireable post has shown me the power of engaging with the community and letting people know I am open to work.


  1. LinkedIn is an incredible community if you want it to be: So many people view LinkedIn as a cesspool of competition and comparison (no lies detected!). But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you get intentional with how you engage and curate your feed, it can be a valuable tool for your job search and professional development, and a way to find and build a supportive and helpful community full of interesting conversation. Having a broad social reach can help you be in the right place at the right time and increase the chance of making your way in the feed of a person looking for someone just like you. And it feels less cringey and more natural over time.


  1. Have your professional materials in order before ramping up your LinkedIn presence and content. You want to have your resume, portfolio/website, and LinkedIn profile taken care of first. People who see your post will want to know more about you, so you want to have a clear and compelling story, and accurate, solid materials, ready to go at any moment. If I could do one thing differently, this would be it. 


  1. Try not to get caught up in the metrics: There is a great podcast episode by Dr. Andrew Huberman which talks about embracing a growth mindset. He shares the science behind how focusing on the effort you put into something will actually make you perform better, rather than just focusing on your results. It’s easy to focus on the number of views, likes, shares, and comments. And don’t get me wrong, these are definitely a signal of strength and value! But it’s also important to  experiment and stay consistent with sharing on LinkedIn and learn as you go along, rather than hyperfocusing on the performance of each post. They aren’t all winners, even for people with large followings.


So did it work? The Most Valuable Lesson


I wish I could tell you that if you made your own Super Hireable post, that you will get a job offer within a week from your dream company, and you will live happily ever after. 


The truth is, 8 months after my post, I am still open to work! Which is ok—and here’s why. 


After my post, several folks reached out telling me they didn’t have any openings at the moment, but they would love to keep me in mind if anything did come up. I applied to a couple of job leads, got to a second interview with one of them, but haven’t yet landed anything. Like so many others, I’m going through the doldrums of a tight job market.


I want to be completely honest when I say that once the momentum started to die down after my post, I felt the dopamine rush turn into a crash, and I was disappointed that I didn’t immediately have a new job. I never expected someone to just hand me a job, but hey! A girl can hope!


You might be thinking, “Ok…so your post didn’t work.” If your goal is to get a job tomorrow from doing a Super Hireable post today, then yes, this is a total failure. But that’s not really the point, and I consider it a great success as indicated by several measures, including everything I mentioned above. I’m also playing the long-game here, which is the most effective way to think about networking.  


Going outside my comfort zone: personal and professional benefits


My post also “worked” because that very same day, it caught the eye of a fellow job-seeker and new friend Julie Christen. She connected me with a contract role at User Research International a few months later, where I joined for a short-term project, working with some outstanding individuals on exciting new tech with some big clients.


Not only did I get some temporary employment through my post, but it helped me grow in ways that put me out of my comfort zone.


  1. Understanding myself and my core values helped me adapt to a chaotic and unpredictable job market and world. 

  2. Creating the post and template gave me an opportunity to put my UX skills into action.

  3. With a bit of effort, I captured the attention of thousands of people and connected with wonderful folks who I deeply admire, expanding my network and community which will reap dividends in the future. I’ve built more professional relationships in this last year than I have in the last five.

  4. I feel a strong sense of fulfillment having inspired others to become more proactive in their job search. 


If there is one lesson I have learned from this entire experience it is this: Be intentional with your job search and how you spend your limited time and energy. Get clear on what it is you really want from a job. Reach out and cultivate authentic connections with others. Be your own best advocate to land a job with a company you like and get what you deserve from your career.


There is so much we can’t control about the current job market and economic climate. By getting strategic, vocal, and vulnerable with my job search, this rollercoaster of an experience has been not only a little more manageable but a little more empowering as well, and also kind of fun! 


And lastly, a special thanks to Amy Santee for inviting me to reflect on the small but mighty Super Hireable movement. You gave me the nudge I needed to put myself out here on LinkedIn, so having a guest post on your super awesome blog almost a year later is special for me. Thank you Amy for helping make this happen!


 

Now it’s your turn!


If you are still on your job search, why not give a Super Hireable post a try? If you do, please let me know! 



Check out these other fantastic Super Hireable posts!


UX/Design/Research


Marketing


Project Management


Communications


Operations Management, Art Director/Junior Designer, Executive Assistant


Medical Communications


People & Culture


Customer Success


Sales

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