LinkedIn for Stealth Job Seekers

Updating your LinkedIn profile without looking like you’re launching a job search is tricky. Colleagues, bosses and other connections often react to a profile update as, “Oh, she must be looking for a new job.” But when you take the right precautionary steps, it becomes much easier to take a proactive approach to your career. Today, we’re going to discuss just how to do this.

The other trick to crafting a summary that doesn’t make you look like an obvious job seeker is to incorporate marketing messaging from your current employer. The summary below demonstrates that for a fictitious marketing agency whose message was about how they move people. Not literally move them, but get people to take action.

Fictitious LinkedIn summary for a business development professional.
Fictitious LinkedIn summary for a business development professional.

In case you’re still feeling stuck on how to position yourself without looking like you’re ready to jump ship, here are some sentence starters to spark your creativity.

Opening paragraph ideas:

  • As head of global marketing at ___________, my team and I ____________.
  • Many of the world’s ___________ rely on __________ for ______________.
  • Since 20xx, _________________.

Internal paragraph ideas:

  • With a career centering on direct response marketing …
  • My time at ___________ …
  • Known for __________ …

Closing paragraph ideas:

  • Outside the office …
  • In my spare time, I enjoy …
  • Interested in joining a team that ________ …
  • I always like to hear from _________ …

For your final closing paragraph of your summary, I always recommend having a call to action. Your LinkedIn profile is a marketing tool, and your goal is to drive interest in your company. Then if someone does ask why you’ve recently updated your profile (they may happen to notice despite not alerting your connections) you can always fall back on, you were testing out another lead generation tactic.

Buzzwords to Avoid

For the past few years, LinkedIn has published a list of the most often used words in people’s profiles. Their latest list even broke down the words by profession, including marketing.

Top 10 Buzzwords to Avoid on LinkedInNow I won’t go as far as to say you should never ever use these words, but if you do, proceed with caution. Make sure you are not just telling how strategic you are, but actually showing how strategic you are. Did you implement a marketing strategy that turned around an underperforming product? Did you lead a strategy that drove significant revenue?

Experience and Other Important Sections

Always remember that LinkedIn is a marketing tool, and not just your online resume. Your experience section should complement your resume, not repeat it. Use the first person and tell why you were hired and show your accomplishments.

As a stealth job seeker, really any job seeker, you do want to be careful about what specific numbers or information you’re allowed to reveal publicly. Leverage the experience section by adding links to relevant videos or PDFs of your work. This helps make your profile more visual too.

Other sections, like projects, publications and volunteering, can be filled out to enhance your profile and call attention to larger team projects. Make sure everything you’re putting in these sections is relevant to your primary audience and you’re not just adding information because you can.

Finally ,one last section I like to call attention to is the Additional Info section. It includes the “Interests,” “Personal Details” and “Advice for Contacting” fields. Here is your opportunity to add more keywords and show your human side in the Interests field. I advise clients to write both personal and professional interests. As a marketer, you definitely need to take advantage of the “Advice for Contacting” section. It’s yet another place to put a call to action and promote the benefits of your current employer.

LinkedIn is not just a platform for finding a job. It’s a platform for finding new customers and clients, and as it matures, I believe the stigma of you’ve just updated your profile so you must be job searching will subside. Until then, happy stealth job seeking!

Author: Michelle Robin

The toughest marketing challenge of all is marketing you, and the purpose of this blog is to help marketing superstars, like you, conquer that challenge and excel in your career.

Passionate about direct marketing and helping people find jobs, Michelle Robin has translated her extensive B-to-B marketing background into a career focused on her true love: creating powerful career marketing documents that lead to interviews at her clients’ target organizations. As Chief Career Brand Officer at Brand Your Career, she works with executive-level sales and marketing professionals across the U.S., and helps them discover their personal brand and fast track their job search.

An award-winning and dual-certified resume writer (NCRW and PARW), Michelle’s work has been published in the book, Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed...Get Hired.

Need help discovering your personal brand? Download Michelle’s free Personal Branding Workbook. Just launching your job search? Get 26 action-packed tips to accelerate your marketing job search. You can also connect with Michelle on Twitter, LinkedIn, or email.

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