I don’t want to spread fear about LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great tool that can be used safely even in a “stealth job search.”
However, too many job seekers think that setting the “Notify Your Network” switch to “No” means none of their activities will be announced to their contacts.
Yes, you can prevent certain updates from being sent to your contacts, but there are important exceptions – which could result in rumors that you’re searching for greener pastures in your career.
The following will generate updates to your contacts regardless of your activity settings:
- Connecting with other LinkedIn members. However, you can prevent this by updating “Select who can see your connections” in Privacy and Settings. Set it to “Only You.” (Access Privacy and Settings via the dropdown in the upper right corner of your LinkedIn screen. Explore this page – it’s important!)
- Group activity – but you can turn this off under Privacy and Settings.
- Sharing content.
- Following a University Page.
- Following an Influencer, Channel or Publisher.
- “Liking” shared content.
- Upgrading to Premium (doesn’t apply to the Job Seeker version).
One more thing about Job Seeker premium: While most people won’t be able to see what version you have, if one of your company’s recruiters is using LinkedIn Recruiter and happens to come across your profile, it will be labeled as a Job Seeker profile.
Don’t let any of this stop you from being an active LinkedIn user.
Just know what you can, and can’t, discreetly do on LinkedIn. When in doubt, Use LinkedIn Help. If you can’t find answers in the self-help sections, click the tiny “Contact Us” link on the Help Center toolbar. I use LinkedIn Help often, and I usually get a clear, helpful response from LinkedIn within a day or two. Sometimes I have to ask follow-up questions to clarify their answers, but that’s not hard to do.
Don’t run away from LinkedIn. Like any powerful tool, it should be handled with reasonable care. Used correctly, it can open doors.