More than half a billion people are members of LinkedIn, the professional networking site, and the chances are good that you’re one of them. LinkedIn is a fantastic way to stay up to date with key contacts in your industry, to archive and publicize your skill set, and to evangelize yourself for both project and regular employment. It’s the Internet’s number one professional networking tool, and just about everyone who is actively working in any even slightly technical field keeps their LinkedIn profile current. In fact, a 2014 Jobvite survey reported that 94% of recruiters surveyed used LinkedIn to vet potential candidates. What’s more, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner recently stated that there were more than 6.5 million jobs listed on the site, making it the new ground zero for any successful job hunt.
Also see our article What is LinkedIn? How can you get the best out of it?
There’s only one problem…
Using LinkedIn For the Job Hunt Can Put Your Intentions On Blast
Many LinkedIn users don’t realize that most of their key profile changes are broadcast to all of their connections. At best, this is annoying – if you’re constantly fiddling with your LinkedIn profile, then your connections are constantly getting notifications and, while visibility is generally good when it comes to networking, there can be too much of a good thing. Nobody wants to read about the seventeen successive one-word changes you made to your work history.
At worst, however, this could put your job in jeopardy. Let’s say you’re not satisfied with your current position and you want to discreetly reach out to some recruiters or contacts and see what your options are. First thing on the agenda is to make sure your profile is up to date. In particular, you’ll want to update your work history. You’re probably connected on LinkedIn with your boss and all of your coworkers, and as soon as they see you start fiddling with your work history, their immediate assumption is going to be that you are planning a move. Even if you’re just updating your information to stay current, all kinds of destructive rumors and assumptions could start floating around your company. What kind of message do you think this is sending your boss? Here’s a hint: it’s not one he or she wants to receive, or that you want to send.
What Notifications Go Out
Your connections will receive notifications for nearly anything of note that you change on your profile, including changes to your job title, education, and profile picture. However, your connects will also be notified if you follow a company on LinkedIn or when you make recommendations. Thankfully, all of this sharing can be turned on and off with one simple change to your settings.
It’s important to note that the following directions will not prevent connections from seeing your endorsements or your connections with other people. If you’d like to keep those things private, you’ll need to do so separately.
Update Your Profile Without Notifying Connections
The following simple steps are up to date as of Summer 2018.
1. Click on your photo icon in the toolbar at the top of the LinkedIn homepage. If you have not uploaded a photo, it will look like this:
2. Click Settings & Privacy under Account.
3. Click the Privacy tab.
4. Scroll down to Sharing Profile Edits under the Profile Privacy section. Click on it.
5. Click on the toggle that appears. After you click it, it should be gray and say No to the left.
Now you can make all the changes you need for that perfect job without having to worry about who is watching! Note that after you have everything up to date, you may want to turn sharing back on, it’s up to you.