Great Careers Groups Career White-Collar? Optimize LinkedIn for The Big Stay

White-Collar? Optimize LinkedIn for The Big Stay

Many job seekers report a tough job market despite economic indicators suggesting otherwise. The reports are coming mainly from white-collar job seekers making close to or over six-digit figures.

Vanguard’s report on hiring reveals a disparity in hiring rates between low-income (under $55K) and high-income (over $96K) earners. White-collar hiring has significantly slowed, while there is a boom in the blue-collar sector.

Possible reasons for this hiring slowdown include fewer corporate job resignations, struggling industries like tech and finance, and cost-cutting measures to minimize and manage the “corporate bloat.”

Due to limited hiring options, white-collar professionals may be feeling stuck in unsatisfactory or deteriorating jobs and experience the “trapped in place” economy, which has been dubbed as “The Big Stay” or “The Great Stay.”

The phenomenon coined “vibecession” reflects the disconnect between perceived and actual economic conditions. 

According to Business Insider, unemployment is at a half-century low, and college degree unemployment is at 2.1%. The layoff rate is less than before the pandemic. 

In Pennsylvania, the unemployment rate was 3.4% as of March 2024. while the United States was 3.8%

According to NBC News, some white-collar jobs are not affected as much for professionals with advanced degrees (Master’s and Doctoral degrees). They are experiencing a slight uptick in unemployment, along with those in the healthcare industry.

The reversal of fortunes, with high earners now facing job market challenges, is causing confusion and discontent.

Prolonged white-collar hiring lulls could lead to widespread dissatisfaction and low morale in corporate America. 

Folks need to become digital learners and adopt AI to be more productive and not be left behind. 

In addition, six-figure earners need to optimize their LinkedIn profile with keywords and build a personal brand to differentiate themselves from colleagues.

Below is a great starter checklist of “to-do” items for your LinkedIn profile!

  • Customize your URL 
  • Create a custom banner – this is your billboard advertisement
  • Professional photograph and ensure you check your settings so it’s visible
  • Analyze your headline and incorporate a key title, keywords, and create a memorable unique selling proposition (USP) within 220 characters
  • Complete your contact info including phone number & email and duplicate this info at the bottom of the About section to make it easy for anyone to reach out
  • Change your location to your closest metropolitan city (Greater Philadelphia and not the city in which you live or work)
  • Get to over 500+ connections
  • Consider hashtags like #opentowork or #ONO for job seekers OR #openforbusiness #opentobusiness for entrepreneurs
  • Make your About section skimmable and scannable with emojis and bullet points rather than showcasing dense text in paragraphs that most people will not read, and especially optimize your first line
  • Between bullet points, create white space so the text is easy to read and the metrics stand out
  • Be consistent with the use of Oxford commas
  • Unicode on your profile is not a good idea if you are a job seeker because it’s code 
  • Post content in the Featured section to stand out
  • Be active and engage with comments on others’ content to share your thought leadership and post your own content at least one to three times a week 
  • Embellish your job titles in the Experience section up to 100 characters using your real job title before keywords
  • Add up to 100 skills, making sure your top two have been reordered and are visible, and then also connect your skills under your About and Experience sections
  • Add company page logos to your employment, self-employment, and education
  • Add at least one education institution to reach All-Star status
  • Join up to 100 groups
  • Follow target companies of interest 
  • Give and receive recommendations
  • Add honors and awards, languages, licenses and certifications, projects, patents, and volunteering (as applicable)
  • Check your public profile settings and turn the button on and off monthly to refresh
  • Add media to your experience 
  • Verify your account as a real person with biometrics 
  • Add emojis to your About section for a pop of color
  • Use the scheduler to schedule your posts
  • Add a Linktree link of links or another hyperlink as your custom button

If you don’t know what to do or how to do it, participate in LinkedIn workshops you will find on the event page.



Lynne M. Williams is the Executive Director of the Great Careers Groups, a volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career development and networking connections for 1) job seekers in career transition, including veterans, and 2) employed and self-employed for career management.

Aside from writing keyword-focused content for ATS resumes and LinkedIn™ profiles, Lynne is writing her doctoral dissertation on LinkedIn™ for Job Seekers. She is a contributing author on “Applying to Positions” in Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love, along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?, and is also a speaker on career topics.