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My team at Intero Advisory and I have worked with hundreds of career-changers throughout the last four years. While many who hired us were unemployed at the time of their search, others were seeking a new opportunity while still employed. For the professionals in the latter category, searching for a new job under the radar was of the utmost importance.

It goes without saying that all job seekers, regardless of searching publicly or privately, should use LinkedIn as a primary resource for new opportunities, right?

In this post I will focus on the top 3 ways to secretly search for your new career opportunity on LinkedIn.

TIP #1: Update Your Profile 

To kick off 2015, Intero Advisory is focusing on YOU: the way you look and how you are perceived online through your LinkedIn Profile. When you visit our blog library, you will see that January is full of tips for you to improve your presence on LinkedIn.

We are often asked by clients who are secretly on the job hunt, “How do I attract new employers to my profile?” Our initial response is consistently, “You need to update your Profile.”

Do you know what type of position you are interested in pursuing? If the answer is yes, look up other people on LinkedIn who are in your position-of-interest and see how they position themselves. How do they describe what they do? What keywords are they using? Please bear in mind that I am not suggesting that you falsely include skills and areas of expertise in your Profile that are untrue. I am suggesting that you consider the soft skills required for that career and ask yourself if you possess them too.

This can be challenging. I understand.

Let me share with you a specific example to help frame this idea. A telecommunications company I was working with a few years ago hired me to build out their team’s Profiles and Company Page on LinkedIn. One of the individuals on the team was the Administrative Assistant who had previously worked in the food service industry and had elected (at the time that I met her ) to omit that three years from her experience. I asked her if she would mind sharing with me what occurred during those three years so that I could better understand if we should include it in her story on LinkedIn. She had no problem including that she worked at a restaurant for three years, but had no idea how it related to her current position as an Administrative Assistant in a telecommunications company. So, I asked her a few questions:

  •  As a food server, you had to make a great impression and deliver good service to receive a tip, correct? (Yes) And as the Administrative Assistant, you are responsible for answering the phones and often being the first impression for your company, correct? (Yes)
  • As a food runner, you had to work with your teammates in order to accurately place and deliver orders to customers in the dining room, correct? (Yes) And as the Administrative Assistant, you work collaboratively with the executive leadership team to support your company’s customers, correct? (Yes)

Do you see where I am going with this? We took the soft skills she acquired from her previous role and applied them to her current role. Here is what we came up with.

Current position:

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Previous position:

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By intentionally speaking to her experience in this way, we are making her more marketable.

Don’t know what type of position you want to pursue? Update your profile anyway. Chances are you have not read through your entire Profile from top to bottom in a while. Here are a few places to help you make some updates and tweaks:

Remember that our Intero Advisory team has written hundreds of profiles, so please reach out to us if you would like professional help developing, writing and updating your LinkedIn profile.

Tip: If you ARE an active job seeker, tell your network! Use your headline, your summary, message people you know—otherwise, no one will know how to help you.

TIP #2: Update Your Email Address

It is a best practice to have two email addresses associated with your LinkedIn account. This allows you to log in with multiple usernames and not get locked out of your account. Only the primary email address is viewed by your first-degree LinkedIn connections; other email addresses are not visible, unless you have exchanged email(s) with Connections on them. We recommend your work email address to be the primary email address.

However, if you are a job seeker, we recommend changing your primary email address to be your personal email. You are likely aware that messages you receive on LinkedIn are also sent to your LinkedIn-designated primary email address. Changing your primary email to your personal email address will allow you to begin conversations with recruiters without fear that your messages will go to your work email account.

To update this setting, hover over your Profile picture in the top right corner of your LinkedIn account and click on the Privacy & Settings. Then, click Change/Add next to Primary Email. You may find that you have inactive email addresses currently associated with your LinkedIn account. Now is the time to remove them. When you select your personal email address to be your primary email, LinkedIn will send you an email notification that you must confirm in order to update the settings.

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TIP #3: Close Your Network + Connect with Recruiters

This is a two-for-one tip. Lucky you! We encourage professionals who are privately looking for their new career opportunity to Connect with and engage recruiters in conversation. Since you do not want to actively state on your LinkedIn profile that you are looking for a new job, you will need to make the extra effort to tell people privately (hence, updating your email address from Tip #2).

Before sending Connection Requests to recruiters, we recommend closing your LinkedIn network. This means that your first-degree LinkedIn connections will not be able to see your other first-degree connections. We usually recommend this to be open, but when taking a strategic approach to job seeking, we advise you to temporarily close your network so that others cannot see your Connections.

To update this setting, simply return to your Privacy Settings, click “Select who can see your connections,” change the setting to “Only you” and save the changes. You can go back and update this at any time.

job seeker scrnshot 4

We understand how important your reputation is and we understand that making a career move can be a daunting and sometimes scary transition. We are here to help. If you are a job seeker and want to stay under the radar, make sure you take action on these three tips and you will be on your way to finding your next best gig.

  1. Update your Profile
  2. Update your email address
  3. Close your network + Connect with recruiters

Stayed tuned to three more BONUS LinkedIn tips for job seekers on the secret job hunt.