With its powerful job search board and a massive professional network of around 600 million — and rising by the day – LinkedIn gives you access to an almost unlimited supply of connections and job opportunities. This can be both a blessing and a curse, because you might get unwanted attention when looking for better jobs.
Why you need to job-search on LinkedIn
But before we get into those specifics, let’s start with the many good reasons to do your job search on LinkedIn. For a start, LinkedIn makes it easy for you to develop your professional brand and build a powerful business network online. With a well-written profile, you can showcase your knowledge, skills and experience to get noticed by employers and recruiters.
A good LinkedIn profile also makes it easier for you to rank on Google searches. This helps making it easier for hiring employers, recruiters and head-hunters to find you. And above all, LinkedIn allows you to extend your network, maintain your connections, research individuals and organisations and stay in touch with industry developments.
Overall, it’s a huge resource for any job seeker thanks to its freedom and flexibility.
How do I create a LinkedIn job search?
The foundation of an effective LinkedIn job search is an excellent profile. You need a profile that makes an impact on the reader. That means creating a strong headline and a description that’s optimised with relevant keywords. This helps your profile appear at the top of employer and recruiter searches.
But there’s more to a great profile than that. Getting all the elements right is never easy. You’ll often spend ages writing and tweaking to get your profile the way you want it.
4 Ways to Find Job Opportunities on LinkedIn
Applying for jobs on the job board isn’t the only way to find a new role on LinkedIn. In fact, working your network can be even more productive. Relationships make the world go round. This means developing responsive, collaborative and cooperative connections is always going to trump job ad responses when it comes to results.
Here are three ways to stay in touch and work your network:
Update Your Feed
Take time to scroll through your feed updates each day. Your updates give you a great way to find out about jobs from hiring managers and HR staff before they’re advertised. When searching through posts and updates, avoid missing crucial opportunities by using hashtags like #jobs, #hiring, #salesjobs (or any other term appropriate for your job search).
LinkedIn allows you to join up to 100 Groups at any one time – and there are plenty to choose from. Groups are smaller and more focused than what you’ll normally see in your feed. That makes them perfect for getting to know people better. Many groups help with job searches too, although it’s worth being part of specific groups just to expand your area of knowledge and expertise. Just make sure your boss isn’t in the group before you start actively searching!
Company pages are useful because they provide an insight into the organisation itself and also because they provide links to individual company employment pages and portals. Use LinkedIn’s features to see who posted a given job. Then you can seek out connections to that person and develop a relationship with them.
Understanding the different job application options
On your main page, you’ll see a Jobs icon in the top navigation bar. Click this to get a list of jobs. You can search based on a variety of parameters including Title, Skill, Company and location (City, State or Post code / Zip Code).
You can also save jobs you want to consider and keep a record of jobs you’ve applied for already. Try searching for a job title, skill or company to see what the results look like.
When you’re ready to apply, there are two options: Apply or Easy Apply. The Easy Apply button is a facility for jobs posted on LinkedIn and allows you to attach a message and your CV. The Apply button that takes you to the external web page where the job is listed (such as a job board, newspaper, and so on) where you can find the application details.
What do employers see when you apply on LinkedIn?
When a recruiter receives your “Easy Apply” application, they get a snapshot of your LinkedIn profile. That means your photo, headline, past and present job titles, education, and any skills you’ve listed. That’s it! Your CV is accessible, but it’s less obvious. That’s because LinkedIn wants your LinkedIn profile to be your CV. So don’t submit your LinkedIn application with the expectation that your CV will do the hard work for you. It’s your LinkedIn profile that has the biggest influence on the recruiter.
Now for potential privacy problems when you’re searching for a job on the site …
Can my employer see if I apply for a job on LinkedIn?
The simple answer is yes, but only if you make it easy for them. There are several things you can do to stay under the radar and still get noticed by recruiters. This means combining an intelligent use of privacy settings and LinkedIn behaviour.
How can I use LinkedIn without my employer knowing?
To update your LinkedIn profile without your boss noticing, follow these steps:
- Under “Me” (Right side of the main menu bar at the top of the page), click on Settings & Privacy.
- Under Privacy, scroll to “Sharing profile edits” and turn off this option.
- Under Manage Active Status, switch to “No one”.
- Set your Job Seeking Preferences by letting recruiters know you’re open to opportunities.
- Change “Sharing your profile when you click apply” to No.
- In “Blocking and Hiding” consider blocking your boss or anyone else you want to hide your job search from. Also think about changing who can follow you.
Don’t alert your employer you’re looking for a job on LinkedIn
Keeping your digital footprint light while you’re networking and applying for jobs could mean the difference between success and failure. Here are three ways to avoid alerting your employer to your job search.
Assume somebody will notice
However unlikely it might seem, assume someone at your current company is watching what you do and will notice any changes in your behaviour. If you take on board that someone is watching, you’ll take more care about how and what you post. Your first task is to go through your privacy settings to ensure you avoid alerting your company and boss.
Add connections strategically
As you won’t be able to add new connections by the hundreds in the beginning, think about which connections could be of benefit in your current role first. You can then add connections that are more likely to help you with your search without drawing attention to yourself.
Don’t make sudden moves
Don’t start writing lots of articles, sharing posts or commenting. Any change in your behaviour is likely to make you stand out. Start slowly. First, look for reasons to share information within your company that might help other members of staff. If you write an article, make sure it’s one that could help your current colleagues, while also telling potential employers that you’re ready for a more senior role.
Be careful about recent activity
Another key point is that the Recent Activity section on your LinkedIn profile is where others can see what you’ve been doing. It sits under the Summary on the home page of your LinkedIn profile. Recent Activity stores details of the articles and posts you’ve published, while All activity also includes your likes, comments and shares.
Since this enables your employer to see what you’re writing and who you’re connecting with, here are four tips for keeping your activities under wraps.
4 Top Tips for concealing your job search from your employer
- Hide your profile updates –Any profile updates will show up in your activity feed and may be broadcast to your connections through the LinkedIn feed. These may signal you’re actively looking for a new role. Turn this off in your Settings & Privacy area by turning the ‘Sharing profile edits’ to No.
- Reduce the visibility of your LinkedIn feed posts –when sharing your own posts you can choose whether it’s just to your ‘Connections’, the ‘Public’ or the ‘Public + Twitter’. This is selected from a dropdown menu at the bottom with ‘Share’ next to the ‘Post’ button.
- Hide your connections – successful executive job searches mean building connections with people you don’t currently know. However, you need to do this without your boss finding out. First, make sure you’re not directly connected to your boss on LinkedIn, then change your privacy settings so only you can see when you add a new connection to your network. In your ‘Privacy’ settings switch “Who can see your connections” to “Only you”.
- Prevent updates when you join a group – groups are one of the best ways to build rapid visibility and connectivity with like-minded individuals. In ‘Settings & Privacy’, find the ‘Communications’ tab and then turn ‘Group notifications’ to ‘No’. Remove the visibility of groups on your profile by going to ‘Settings & Privacy’, ‘Privacy’ and ‘Edit your public profile’. In the ‘Customise Your Public Profile’ section untick ‘Groups’. The groups of which you’re a member will now be hidden from your profile.
Be aware of what you can’t hide
You can’t hide comments or shares so make sure you don’t like posts that have anything to do with job hunting. Similarly, commenting on or sharing content produced by senior decision makers in competitor organisations could gain you unwanted attention closer to home. Anything you like, comment on or share will be seen in your feed and as a rule of thumb assume that people reading content on your profile will assume you created it.
A final word on applying through LinkedIn
Think of LinkedIn as a networking site and spend your time building connections and relationships rather than just applying for jobs. That way, you’re likely to get better results. And by following the privacy tips we’ve outlined here, you can minimise the chances of attracting the wrong type of attention