LinkedIn Job Seekers

5 Things Job Seekers Need To Know About LinkedIn


I just saw a great blog post on how LinkedIn can cause problems at work on Resume Bear, and it got me thinking that there are some things job seekers should be aware of in addition to the excellent points mentioned in that article:

1. Sudden flurry of updates tell your network something’s afoot.

Every time you update one area of your profile, everyone in your network is updated. So imagine if you really start tinkering with your profile in earnest… that means there’s activity going on… and that you are cleaning up your act, possibly preparing for some action.

Instead: take the profile off public visibility, update it with everything you intend to change, then make it visible again to avoid multiple updates. Better yet: regularly update your profile with one thing at a time, perhaps once per week. If updates are constant and regular, there are no red flags.

2. Reasons to be contacted.

If you include “Looking for job opportunities” or anything that implies an active job search, you could be informing your employer indirectly that you are anticipating a change. If you are employed, keep your reasons to be contacted business-related only.

3. Using your work email address to register.

So you have a robust network, lots of recommendations, and everything is humming along. Except you just lost your job as well as your company email address. Guess what? You could get locked out of your account if your employer decides to exploit this and changes the password on your LinkedIn account, too.

It would be a whole world of pain trying to get logged back in – so the point here is: Take your account registrations OFFLINE to a personal e-mail account. You won’t regret it as you will always have control of who logs in YOU!

4. If you are looking for work, use your personal phone number.

I cannot tell you how many times people have included a work number when conducting a job search. Don’t EVER use company resources to look for work elsewhere.

5. Space out your recommendations.

If you suddenly start going on a “binge,” asking everyone and their brother to recommend you, this can also set up some red flags for your employer who might be monitoring your profile. Instead of asking everyone all at once, instead try pacing them out – like one per month. That way, again, a flurry of activity doesn’t suggest that something is going on in the background.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Dawn Rasmussen

Dawn Rasmussen is president of Portland, Oregon-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, which provides resume, cover letter, and job searching assistance.


  1. It’s so easy to forget how your activity looks to others. “The flurry” is a dead giveaway that you’re actively seeking new employment. Great reminder to be considerate of your social persona when you’re actively seeking a new job. I especially like #5.

  2. Stacy Donovan Zapar

    Hi Dawn,

    Great post with great reminders! Just noticed that I wrote a blog post with the exact same title a week after this one came out… oops! So sorry. Never would have done that intentionally! :)

    Thanks for a great article. Sharing now!

    Stacy Donovan Zapar
    Most Connected Woman on LinkedIn
    CEO, Tenfold Social

  3. A good article, although the information in your first point is not 100% accurate. LinkedIn has an account setting that gives you the option to turn on/off your activity feed so your network will not be able to see when you update your profile. LinkedIn’s Help Center does note that certain things will always appear in your activity feed – “Joining a group, adding an application to your profile, or updating your photo generates an update that cannot be prevented by turning your activity broadcasts off”.

    • What kind of a moron would do #3 or #4?

      More to the point, why not be blunt with your employer? Openness affords the possibility to fix the problems that ail you. This improves your outlook, benefiting you. That, in turn, impacts your performance, benefiting your employer. Problem solved.

  4. Good article. I usually figure out which one of my friends who disdain LinkedIn are in the job market when they accept my and a flurry of other LinkedIn invites months after I have sent it. Ditto for consultant friends working on “secret” assignments. They are linking in to people at that company.

  5. Go to settings (arrow beside your name at top right of page) and you should see a list under the heading Privacy Controls. Here you can turn on/off activity broadcasts and also select who can see activity broadcast, Turn on/off your activity broadcasts, Select who can see your activity feed, Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile, Select who can see your connections,

    Change your profile photo & visibility »

    Show/hide “Viewers of this profile also viewed” box.

    I am using the new settings page, so some of what you see could be a little different.

    Hope this helps.

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