Ever been surprised when a friend announces a new job and you didn’t even know they were looking? You can use networking even when you’re quietly searching for a new position. However, be aware that the more people who know you’re looking for a new job, the more likely your current employer is to find out about it.
One way to avoid this is to build your network even when you’re not searching for a new job. Remember Harvey Mackey’s admonition to “dig your well before you’re thirsty.” Having a robust network can also help you be more effective in your current position, by giving you access to people who can help you solve the problems you face in your daily work.
Contact members of your network individually about your job search instead of through mass messages or social media updates. Let your contact know that you are conducting your job search quietly, and ask for their help in keeping your search confidential.
If your primary purpose for networking is your job search, don’t network on company time or use company resources. And never use your company email to send emails to your networking contacts.
Confidential networking with LinkedIn
When you are updating your LinkedIn profile as part of your job search, turn on LinkedIn’s privacy setting about sharing notifications before you change your profile or add a bunch of new contacts.
- In your LinkedIn account, in the upper right-hand corner of the page, access the drop-down menu under your name and choose the “Settings” option.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts” under the Privacy Controls section.
- On the “Activity broadcasts” pop-up, make sure that the box is UNCHECKED for “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies.
When conducting a confidential job search, this will ensure that your network of connections isn’t alerted when you make changes to your LinkedIn profile. Remember, this doesn’t make your profile content invisible. It just doesn’t broadcast notifications about your activity to everyone in the universe.
If you are worried about keeping your job search confidential or have been disappointed with the results of your current job search, contact me to talk about how we can improve your ability to find a job you will love for a long time.