A client wrote that she had gotten congratulations on her new job from a couple of people, after we updated her LinkedIn profile.  Apparently, even though we disabled the notices setting, logged off, then logged back on and turned on the notices, LinkedIn somehow registered the change in the previous session and broadcast it to my client’s network.   Apparently, LinkedIn is determined to tell people of any changes or action.
N. felt this was a disaster because why would people help her find a new job if they thought she’d just gotten one?
Au contraire! Far from a disaster, this is an opportunity. In fact, this is a classic “make lemonade out of lemons” moment.  And LinkedIn actually did N a favor. It’s like the saying that “there’s no such thing as bad PR.”
She now can use the opportunity to tell those people that she’s updated her LinkedIn profile because she’s embarking on a job search and in fact could use their advice and guidance.  She can follow that with her “intention statement” that lets people know what skills she wants to use to make what impact, in what kind of industry, company and role.
The reason I turned the alerts back on at all was to make N more visible to her network, so they start to have her “top of mind” and aren’t surprised when she is in touch asking for their assistance. It’s good news that people congratulated her because it means that people are noticing her, and she is now top of mind for them.
This past week, I saw two updates from a former colleague – one generated by LinkedIn that she was celebrating a year at a place and the other from her that she has a new job. I think  the “congratulations on the year” reminded her to update her LinkedIn profile.  Now I want to talk to her, catch up etc.
My advice to N is to use this situation to launch her job search in earnest. Being on LinkedIn 5-10 minutes a day is all that’s needed. Get visible by:
  • posting updates
  • sharing links to articles
  • commenting on other people’s posts/updates
  • “liking” articles featured on LinkedIn
  • participating in group discussions
  • making new connections
  • getting recommendations
  • giving some to people you admire and liked working with
  • endorsing people’s skills
 At least 3 recommendations are essential.  They serve as a “soft reference check” for people looking at your profile.
Of course, there are some situations where you really don’t want anyone to know that you updated your profile.  Perhaps you’re connected to people at work and it would be dangerous for anyone to see the notice of an updated profile.  Most people update their profile when they are on a job search, starting a new job, or starting a new business.  To preserve privacy, I will now have to try logging off, logging back in, logging off, and then on a new log-in, changing the privacy setting.  Hopefully, that will work.
However, if someone sees that you’ve changed your profile, simply say you have gotten a bunch of LinkedIn invites recently and it made you want to polish your profile.  And suggest they might want to do the same :-)