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    I’m Active on LinkedIn. Will My Boss Know I’m Looking?”

    I teach a weekly LinkedIn class, and I hear all sorts of questions and concerns. Occasionally, currently employed job seeking attendees wonder whether being on LinkedIn will set off any alarms with their employer. Let’s explore that topic today.

    People have differing reasons for being on LinkedIn. Job hunting is far from the only one. Some other reasons people create a page and engage with others are below.

    #1.  A sense of community. Some people want to be in the know – like  Facebook on a professional level.  They like, share and comment on items of interest. They engage in the social aspects of LinkedIn and may or may not be an active job seeker.

    #2.  A marketing tool. Having a robust personal page allows recruiters and customers to find them.  A good profile is a great first impression for when a potential client checks someone’s background is investigated prior to hiring or doing business with them.

    #3.  Sales tool.  This one is used to selg products or services. Recruiters, entrepreneurs, sales people, and others fall into this category.  I fall into this category as well as category #2.  Our Goodwill services are entirely free, so I’m not selling services to end users but instead creating awareness that I’m the go-to guy for professionals in a job hunt. If someone visits my page to vet me, they’ll see a good LinkedIn page.

    Now that you know the various reasons people are on LinkedIn, here are a few tips for managing who knows what about your activities.

    #1.  Under Setting and Privacy, turn off the option to have your network be notified when you make profile changes.

    #2.  If you join job hunting groups, you can keep those groups from being visible on your page.

    #3.  Turn off the setting that let other LinkedIn members see whether you’re on LinkedIn at any particular moment. That’s what the green dot or green circle indicates.

    #4.  Make your connections visible to only you, not your connections.  The downside is you’d ideally want your connections to view your people so you can do the same with theirs as you expand your network.

    LinkedIn can be a powerful tool.  I hope today gave you a better understanding of why and how people use it.  Good luck!

    Randy Wooden
    Randy Wooden is Director of the Professional Center by Goodwill of Northwest NC. Randy launched The Professional Center by Goodwill of Northwest NC, the first program of its type for any Goodwill®, in 2012. His experiences in career coaching, executive recruiting, business ownership, as a hiring manager and as a job seeker have afforded him the opportunity to view the hiring process from all angles. He developed and provided on-air talent for the Internet’s first daily, live television program targeted toward job hunters. He shares job search tips through a bi-weekly newspaper column; regular appearances on television, radio; and frequent public speaking appearances. Contact information: rwooden@goodwillnwnc.org, (336) 464-0516
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