LinkedIn and the Secret Job Search

Photo by Souvik Banerjee on Unsplash

Why Always Updating Your LinkedIn Profile is Good for All

Like it or not, LinkedIn is an indispensable part of the job search. But let’s say that you’re currently employed and not quite ready to disclose to one and all (and especially to your employer) that you’re in the job market.

Conventional wisdom has often been to beware of making changes to your LinkedIn profile, because a sudden change can be a giveaway that you’re looking to move.

When taken as a stand-alone proposition, that may be true. A sudden change may well give rise to speculation about your career plans.

But that’s not the whole story. I think there’s a solution to the “LinkedIn will give away my secrets” problem.

My starting point is simple: LinkedIn, when used to its full potential, is not just for the job search.

In fact, LinkedIn is very much there to sustain and grow your career even if you’re staying put.

It’s there to extend your network in any direction you choose. Updating your LinkedIn profile should be part of your regular professional brand maintenance.

It gives you opportunities to share – and display – your knowledge and expertise.

It lets you create and burnish your professional identity for anyone who’s interested. And those benefits give the most when you bring your LinkedIn profile up to date on a regular basis, not just when you’re hoping to make a career change. The big things that LinkedIn offers work best when you stay current and connected.

Back of a person looking at a tablet screen displaying LinkedIn

To my mind, “Always be updating” is the mantra that leads to optimal LinkedIn results. And if you’re thinking of making some subtle changes that align your profile a little better with a job target, go for it. It won’t stand out as some kind of dramatic announcement if you’ve been updating all along.

So it comes down to this: If you’ve been regularly making changes to your profile, one more change will be just that: one more change, and not some major alteration that reveals your interest in finding greener pastures. And an updated profile, one that’s current, is a worthwhile investment in your career no matter what you’re planning.

That being said, two small but crucial points:

First, don’t change your status to indicate that you’ve entered the job market. Keep your existing title and existing employment situation in place.

Second, turn off the function that automatically notifies your contacts of any changes. Even if you’re treading carefully, there’s no need to call attention to your activities mid-search.

The bottom line: Keep up with LinkedIn not just when you’re hoping to move, but because it benefits your career in general – that’s reason enough – and you’ll never have to worry that an out-of-the-blue update is going to give away your plans.

I can help you craft a game plan with a resume and LinkedIn profile to get you to your career goal.


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