In Stealth Job Search Mode? Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Safely
Have you been wanting to improve your LinkedIn Profile without tipping off your employer, boss or peers that you are looking? A number of people I talk to are reluctant to fully utilize the potential of LinkedIn for job search for fear of getting questioned or fired by their employer. It's a legitimate concern. Some companies do keep an eye on changes employees make to their profiles and may view them as red flags.
So what do you do? Here are some strategies:
1. Before your make any changes to your profile, go into Settings and under Privacy Controls turn OFF your activity broadcasts. Then, when you are finished, go into Privacy Controls again and turn it back on.
2. Make changes only incrementally. One week you may punch up the accomplishments under one job. And do that for each job title only once a week.
3. Let the dust settle, then tackle your Professional Headline. To optimize for job search, get your keywords in there: your target title and industry, and your value proposition - all in under 120 characters! :)
4. Then here comes the trickiest part - the Summary. Here is where employers most likely will be able to see if someone is suddenly looking for a job. So handle your profile diplomatically. There is a way to do this that does not scream, "I'm looking for a job!" Write it from the point of view of someone who is happy and contributing at their current employer. Use the name of the company right from the start: "At Neptune Associates Universal I proactively align technology with business requirements. My own passion for providing superior customer service is a good match for Neptune's commitment to overdelivering on every promise."
5. The following week complete your Skills & Expertise Section - paying close attention to including the keywords that people are likely to be searching for in your space.
6. Continuing to space your changes, build out the rest of your profile. You are aiming for 100% complete (LinkedIn will tell you when you get there.) Request new testimonials, list interests and books read, consider using available apps to show a PowerPoint presentation you created or a video of you speaking as a thought leader in your field, etc.
7. Once you have your Profile complete, start to expand your activity on LinkedIn by sending out invitations to connect with people on an ongoing basis - including with folks in your function and people at companies where you would like to work. Join groups where thought leaders, recruiters for your function and/or industry, and your target companies hang out.
8. Exercise care in sending invitations to connect with recruiters and hiring managers. Also, use caution about joining job search groups. Since people can see the groups you are in as part of your profile, stick to professional groups with a focus on increasing knowledge in your space.
9. If you tweet, join your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts - again, after an interval of time has passed.
If you follow these steps, you will be changing your LinkedIn content so gradually that, although at some point people may say to themselves "What a great LinkedIn profile!" - they will not be able to pinpoint exactly when the changes happened. What they will see is a loyal employee who has the good sense to build out his/her profile in a rich, highly professional way.
Recruiters and hiring managers will see the same things - and that will work for you too! The biggest mistake you can make is holding off on the process of optimizing your profile for job search. Your LIP is where everyone will go when considering you for a position. Good luck!
Have you been wanting to improve your LinkedIn Profile so employers and recruiters can find you without tipping off ? Here's how:
How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Job Search Under the Radar