Need to update LinkedIn for a stealth job search – while still employed?
How can you make it look like you don’t have a foot out the door?
Maybe you don’t want the boss to think you’re looking around, but you’d like to promote your skills for a next-level opportunity.
In 7 Must Know LinkedIn Tips for Executives, I cover ways you can put yourself “out there” at the start of your job search.
Keep these other things in mind when updating LinkedIn on the down low:
Your boss is probably updating their LinkedIn profile, too.
There’s now more than 10 million C-suite executives on LinkedIn, according to these LinkedIn demographics, with more joining every day.
In short, if you’re on LinkedIn, so is your boss – and they’re updating their Profile continually or considering it.
Your colleagues are also likely combing LinkedIn to see what co-workers are doing, and wondering how to properly adjust their own profiles while employed. (There’s nothing stopping you from joining them by looking at how they’ve described their own backgrounds.)
Your first step, as shown in 5 Steps to a Best-in-Class Executive LinkedIn Profile, is to add more content. You can do this while keeping an eye on whether your executive team and colleagues are doing the same – and you’ll quickly realize you are NOT alone.
Your LinkedIn update can promote your employer as well as your own career.
If you fear the boss looking over your shoulder, relax. Your LinkedIn profile can tout your expertise and the company’s reputation at the same time, to everyone’s benefit.
First, think about how to market your employer’s value proposition and your role in it. Start by answering these questions:
- What product or service does your employer deliver, and what type of positive reputation do they have for doing it?
- How has your work helped them stay competitive or innovative in the field?
- If you met someone at an industry conference, what would you tell them about your employer?
- How would you describe your impact or legacy in the industry? In your team?
Then, turn these answers into a synopsis (for your About or Experience sections) that benefits both YOU and YOUR EMPLOYER, such as this example:
As Chief Revenue Officer for XYZ Company, I work behind the scenes to ensure our sales teams completely understand the B2B market for sheet metal components.
By partnering with suppliers on steel and fabrication requirements, we’ve created trend-setting, innovative products. Our sales and revenue metrics reflect a #1 ranking among major residential and commercial customers.
My role as CRO demands an insider’s view of product strategy, growth opportunities, lead generation, and marketing, enabling me to collaborate with senior executives and build a data-driven organization.
We strive to create a positive customer experience with the right talent, sales enablement, and integrity that has positioned XYZ as the premier source for quality building and roofing products.
This About section for a Chief Revenue Officer describes a company-focused and driven leader with the right skills to take the company forward – and to satisfy the needs of prospective employers.
Note the keywords judiciously added throughout the text – strengthening LinkedIn SEO on terms relevant to a job search.
Your LinkedIn Profile should contain a toned-down version of your achievements.
Your resume and LinkedIn Profile are used differently: you can distribute your resume confidentially, but you can’t take back company secrets after they’re published on LinkedIn.
So, it’s best to tune your Profile to avoid disclosing confidential details on LinkedIn (even if you’re adding the same data to your resume).
Think about it: if you’re describing extensive turnarounds or transformation projects, this could imply that your employer is struggling. Showing how you’ve improved productivity might also show that your company doesn’t hire strong teams.
To decide how to update your LinkedIn Profile without giving away corporate secrets, consider the following:
- Are there sensitive projects (such as a restructuring) you shouldn’t mention online?
- Do your achievements contain metrics, such as revenue or new customer volume, that are only known to company insiders?
- Would any of your accomplishments tip off competitors and give them an unfair advantage?
- Have you participated in “undercover” growth initiatives or M&A strategies not yet announced?
If any of these are true, consider removing the details or referencing them in a more “general” manner.
Your company email address should be changed to ensure access to your LinkedIn account.
You may have provided your company email address when signing up for LinkedIn, but if you haven’t changed it, now’s the time.
Your employer can not only see any email coming into your account (including any messages related to your job search), but could also take ownership of your account, making it inaccessible to you!
So switch over to a different address while your job search is just getting underway. This guide will help you change your primary LinkedIn email address.
Your future self (who may soon be employed elsewhere) will thank you.
To summarize, updating your LinkedIn Profile while you’re still employed is a great idea – and a common step for many leaders in today’s job market.
Take a moment to ensure you’ve portrayed BOTH you and your employer in the best light, even while searching for a perfect-fit new job.