From the mailbag: "I’m job hunting. How can I ensure that LinkedIn doesn’t tip off my employer?"
Great question. And it’s a dilemma many unhappy employers face: How can I pursue another job or career without my current boss catching wind?
Before you starting seeking new employment, be aware there isn’t a 100 percent guarantee you won’t be caught. Even if you really try to cover your tracks on LinkedIn, there's always a small chance you'll be found it. That said, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the risk.
Here are a half-dozen tips to hiding your intentions:
• Go to your Settings in LinkedIn and ensure you’re not using your corporate email. If you haven’t done so already, change it to your own personal email account (e.g. Yahoo!, Outlook, Gmail, etc.)
• Also under Settings, go to “Privacy Controls” and uncheck where it says “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies.” It’s under “Activity Broadcasts.”
• Click “Select Who Can See Your Activity Feed,” and change it to “Only You.” Save changes.
• Even if your boss knows you’re on LinkedIn, be sure not to post that you are looking for new employment, nor should you allude to it in your Status Update, Group or Answers areas. On a related note, don’t check the box that says you’re open to career opportunities.
• Don’t take calls from headhunters/recruiters or prospective employers while at your other company. Even if your boss doesn’t overhear the conversation, a nosy (and perhaps opportunistic) colleague might spill the beans. Oh you just know who it would be, right (there's one in every office).
• Just in case you’re called out by your boss, have some reasons handy why you’re on LinkedIn – without revealing your plans to quit. For example, isn’t it plausible to be on LinkedIn for networking? Competitive analysis? (Cough).
Have any other good tips you can share, on hiding your tracks while seeking employment over LinkedIn?