Among the perks of a LinkedIn membership is the chance to build a professional presence on the Internet for everyone to see.
Over the past few years, a LinkedIn profile has become an online résumé that details sought-after skills and provides recruiters a way to search for job candidates across the world.
Even so, some LinkedIn members, especially those people currently working for a certain company, want their job search to remain private.
Fortunately, the world’s largest professional social networking site provided privacy settings that will not hinder the job search and still draw attention, tap into the network, and connect with managers and recruiters on the platform.
How to Hide Activity Updates
Adding relevant keywords and key phrases about the job you seek in your LinkedIn profile helps improve your visibility among recruiters.
As a result, ample or regular changes to your profile may suggest to other people that you are thinking of making big career changes.
To lessen the chances that your connections will see changes on your LinkedIn profile, especially your current employers, here’s how to hide your activity updates.
1. Hover the mouse over your profile picture or headshot at the top right corner of the LinkedIn toolbar.
2. Click Privacy & Settings from the dropdown list.
3. Click “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.”
4. Uncheck the box that pops up to turn off the option if you are looking for a job and you do not want your connections to see new changes on your profile, such as posts in LinkedIn Groups.
Disabling the option keeps activity updates private but still allows visibility to contacts from your network and recruiters.
To draw attention positively and maintain a private job search, regularly post status updates. Post thought-provoking and educational articles in your industry if you are looking for jobs in your current line of work. Post updates and articles about broad topics – communication, technology, leadership, and so on – if you want a change in career.
How to View LinkedIn Profiles Privately
Find and explore the LinkedIn profiles of people you personally look up to, whether you are on a private or public job hunt. Search for LinkedIn profiles that provide ideas and reveal beneficial skills, experiences, and groups to your career.
If you bump into someone whom you have a high regard for — someone without connections to your present employer in particular — you may message that person using InMail to convey how you appreciate his or her work. The person may even be eager to give you some career advice.
If you are concerned with the profiles you often view, especially of those people connected to your current employer, and fear you will be discovered, you have options to avoid the worst from happening.
1. In the Privacy & Settings field, click “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.”
2. You may make changes on the way you appear in other people’s “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” field to hide parts of your identity or be totally anonymous.
Note: Only Job Seeker Premium subscribers can track who has viewed their profile and their own profile stats when switching to an anonymous status. Take the option into proper consideration and change it again after your research.
How to Hide Memberships in LinkedIn Groups
An effective way to generate connections and run into your next gig is through LinkedIn Groups, such as industry networks and university alumni groups.
If you are not careful enough, you may see red flags with your present colleagues and employer, especially if you join too many LinkedIn Groups in an industry you want to hop into.
Thankfully, LinkedIn has provided an option to hide new memberships as you join groups relevant to your new career interests.
If you enable the option and join groups or networks, the activity will not appear on your Profile and your future activities within those groups will not circulate on your personal network.
1. Activate Edit Profile mode, scroll down the page and click on the pencil icon next to “Groups,” after “Connections” and before “Following.”
2. Every group name has a visibility status of “Visible” or “Hidden.” Change the visibility on your profile to Hidden by moving the mouse pointer on top of the group’s “Visible” caption and click the “Change” link once it appears.
3. Uncheck the box before the “Display the group logo on your profile” setting to hide it from the public.
Your fellow group members will still see your posts within the group. Thus, the most efficient method to make the most of group membership and to keep the job search private is to reach out to fellow group members in private.
If you want to comment on a group discussion — a question posted by a recruiter about your field of expertise — you can do either of the following.
1. Click the group discussion and, rather than post a comment for the group, click “Reply privately” to respond only to the person who started the discussion or posted the comment.
2. Use InMail to message your fellow group member and provide reference to the group discussion.
How to Network with People Privately
Sharing ideas, views, articles, and questions about your job search with your network can generate conversations that enhance knowledge and improve professional advancement.
While most public job seekers use status updates to reveal interest in finding jobs on LinkedIn, private job seekers look for help from your LinkedIn contacts. For that reason, it is wiser to reach out to your connections through individual messages or InMail so as to reach new contacts.
Always remember to personalize your messages for each recipient, and do it in positive, light tone. The key is to seek for advice, not a job.
How to Use the Premium LinkedIn Badge for Privacy
LinkedIn users who have a Job Seeker Premium may include the Job Seeker Premium briefcase badge on their profile to show they are searching for a new job. It helps recruiters find them more easily in searches.
It is wiser to turn on the Job Seeker Premium briefcase badge for public job searches, but the same is not applicable for job seekers who want privacy.
If you want a private job search, do either of the following.
1. Go to the Premium Badge area of the Settings page to choose the general premium “in” badge.
2. You may choose OpenLink, the small circular icon, to show you allow messages sent from any LinkedIn user. It makes sure you will not miss out a message that may lead to a job opportunity.