How to Conduct a Covert Job Search Using LinkedIn

If you’re planning ahead for an executive job search, you might be concerned that cultivating a LinkedIn presence will announce your candidacy–and blow your cover.

Well, nothing could be further from the truth – but only if you use LinkedIn correctly and adjust your Privacy Settings in anticipation of a search.

Here are the 3 key steps to preserving some secrecy for your job hunt, while still getting the most out of LinkedIn:

1) Hide your activity through Profile Views.

Take a look at the Settings for your account (Settings can be found in the top right-hand corner of the page. After clicking on it, you’ll need to scroll down until you see Privacy Settings.

Under Privacy Settings, choose Profile Views. This setting deals with what is shown to other LinkedIn users when you click on their profiles. Select the last option that states “Nothing. I will be completed invisible to users I have viewed.”

Doing so will ensure that you can “surf” LinkedIn freely, reviewing others’ profiles without them being aware of your activity. So, if you want to find a recruiter, hiring executive, or HR manager in a target company, you can look to your heart’s content at their profiles–and they’ll never know!

2) Change how others see your Profile Updates.

To do this, go back to Privacy Settings, and click on Profile and Status Updates. Here, you can change your settings to ensure that no other users receive a notification for your updates.

When you select each “No, do not notify anyone” button, this essentially prevents those in your network from receiving an email blast that would “out” you to the world for changing your profile (which is a common step in the job search).

In fact, you’ll want to leave this setting closed down unless you have a good reason for issuing reminders to others about your personal LinkedIn activity.

3) Adjust your Connections Browse settings.

Here is where you can block others in your network from seeing your relationships.

If you plan to connect with recruiters or insiders at competing companies, it can be a good idea to hide these ties from those at your current employer.

Been too preoccupied to tune LinkedIn for a job search? I’ve begun offering FULL setup on LinkedIn Profiles, allowing you to present a confident digital identity to employers. 

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