“Soandso just updated their profile” appears in my LinkedIn Updates feed. If I know them, I might click to see what’s new.

That’s the point of letting your network know you’ve updated your profile.  To get people to visit your profile and refamiliarize themselves with your skills, background, face.

That’s great if you want people to click through.  What if you don’t want to let your network know you’re updating your profile? Possible reasons for not wanting to let people get notifications of profile updates:

  • Your boss and colleagues may think you’re job hunting. Well, you are…but you don’t want to be forced out in case you don’t find something. So you just want to update your profile and if they see it, great, but you don’t want to alert them to the change.
  • You don’t know exactly what you want to say. Chances are then that you’ll be doing many edits and saves of profile information.  That means you’ll probably send a steady stream of “I just updated my profile” notifications. It looks unprofessional and could annoy connections.

Here are two easy ways to update your profile without notifying your network.

  1. Write your updates for each section in Word then upload them to LinkedIn at one time.  If you have a resume that correlates to LinkedIn’s format (as do my clients), you can easily upload the Summary, Skills, Experience, Education, Volunteer Activities, Honors/Awards, and more. This prevents having to edit on LinkedIn.
  2. Turn off notifications that you’re making changes to your profile, by going to the Settings tab (mouse over your name on upper right hand corner) and then going to Privacy Controls (middle column on bottom half of screen), clicking “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts,” and unchecking the box to “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies.”  That way you can make changes without telling the world.

Of course, if you want the world to know you are updating your profile, you can let them know. I suggest making all but one change to your profile in “stealth mode” and then clicking the “Let people know…” box in Privacy Controls/activity broadcasts before making that last change. The last change probably should be your Summary or Headline (the text that is right below your name on your Profile Page).  Those are important sections and people will be more curious to see what you changed in those places – more so than if you make a change in “Interests.”

These tips apply whether you are changing your entire profile, part of it, or adding a section. If you don’t want your network to know, turn off activity broadcasts.