Because it would suck to lose your current job before finding a new job.
This is a guest post by Chris Perry. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.
There is a lot of great advice out there for job seekers on how to use LinkedIn to build their personal brands and find new career opportunities.
Some of these tips include maintaining a 100% complete LinkedIn profile, building your network of connections, getting recommendations, sharing valuable and relevant content to enhance your personal brand, joining and contributing to industry-specific and job search LinkedIn groups, following companies, applying for opportunities via LinkedIn Jobs, and more.
However, I am often asked how professionals who are currently employed can leverage LinkedIn effectively, yet discreetly, without compromising their current job security.
Here are 5 critical steps to ensure your LinkedIn job search efforts are successful, yet go undetected by your current employers:
Whether you’re already active on LinkedIn with a 100% complete profile or you’re just getting started, the first thing to do is to change your privacy settings so that your activity is not automatically broadcast to your network in the news feed and so your network cannot see your activity feed on your profile. Here’s how:
Note: This doesn’t hurt your overall visibility on LinkedIn, but just helps make your activity related to job searching more discreet to help protect you and your current job.
Hiding your activity from the news feed doesn’t make all of your LinkedIn activity totally undetectable. While this may seem obvious, be very careful not to openly advertise your job search. Here are some examples to consider:
While you don’t want current co-workers to see your job search activity, you do want potential employers, recruiters and hiring managers to be able to find you, see your profile and consider you for new jobs.
Therefore, you will first want to ensure your public profile is fully visible in LinkedIn and search engine results. Here’s how:
Second, because other LinkedIn users can see who has viewed their profile, you need to consider how you show up here depending on whose profiles you are viewing. If you’re viewing your current co-workers’ profiles to see how they look, you might want to make yourself show up anonymous; however, if you are looking up recruiters or managers at target companies, you may want to make yourself show up with full information to prompt them to look at your profile. Either way, here’s how:
In addition to being found and seen by the right career stakeholders, you will want to make it easy for them to reach out to you.
First, you will want to ensure you modify your contact settings to make it easier for people to find you and to see what types of contact you would welcome. Here’s how:
Note: Some professionals further increase their accessibility by including their email address and/or phone number in their profile. You can do this by either simply including them in your profile summary, or by clicking on “Edit Contact Info” when editing your profile and adding them there.
Second, don’t forget to allow your fellow group members the opportunity to send you direct messages about new opportunities. Go to the group’s page, click on the “More” tab and click on “Your Settings” in the dropdown menu. Under “Contact Settings,” check “Allow members of this group to send me messages via LinkedIn.”
Lastly, as mentioned above, if you choose to pay for one of the several types of premium LinkedIn accounts, you can leverage OpenLink, a premium feature that allows anyone on LinkedIn to send you a message or job opportunity for free, without an introduction or InMail. There is an OpenLink icon that you can choose to display on your profile which lets others know they can reach out to you directly.
Again, while this may seem obvious, doing or talking about your job search at work can quickly compromise your current employment. Many employers are monitoring more than you think, including your email, your voicemail and your internet activity. Here are a few more things to consider:
Ultimately, there are many ways to launch a thorough and successful job search on LinkedIn without compromising your current employment. However, it is imperative that you follow all of these steps, as neglecting just one of them could result in content being seen by the wrong eyes. A little extra caution and attention to detail will ensure your career success.
Chris Perry, MBA, is a Gen Y brand and marketing generator, brand marketing manager, career search and personal branding expert, professional speaker, entrepreneur and brand consultant. Chris is the founder of Career Rocketeer, the Career Search and Personal Branding Network, MBA Highway, the MBA Job Search and Career Network and multiple other ventures.
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Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.