If you're looking for a new job, LinkedIn offers plenty of exposure to recruiters and others who will be helpful to your search. According to the professional social network, more than 45 million profiles are viewed each day. But not all exposure is good. Updating your profile, joining new groups and following potential employers -- actions many job seekers take -- can pose problems if you're not careful.
Here's a look at five privacy settings you should consider tweaking while you job hunt.
1. Turn Off Activity Broadcasts
Every time you update your LinkedIn profile -- whether it's changing your summary, editing your past experience or following new companies -- the social network broadcasts the activity to your connections. If you're beginning a new job hunt, you may not want your current employer to see your latest activities. Luckily, LinkedIn gives you the option to mute your activity broadcasts so your changes are kept private.
To turn off your LinkedIn activity broadcasts, navigate to your Privacy & Settings page. You can find this by clicking the drop-down menu below the profile picture in the top-right corner. (You may be asked to submit your login credentials.) On your privacy and settings page, click "Turn on/off your activity broadcasts." This option is found in the Profile tab at the bottom. Then uncheck the box.
2. Customize Your Public Profile
When people you're not connected with search for you -- either on LinkedIn or via a search engine -- they see your public LinkedIn profile. Your public profile can include the same information as what your connections see, or you can choose which sections are visible and which aren't.
To find this option, navigate to your Privacy and Settings page. Under the "Helpful Links" subhead within the Profile tab, select "Edit your public profile." The following page lets you either make your public profile visible to no one -- which is not recommended if you're looking for a job -- or visible to everyone.
If you choose the latter, which is the default, you can customize the information that is public. This includes your headline, summary, past positions, honors and awards, groups, education, skills and more. If you're in the market for a new job, you may prefer to keep some of this information private. By default, your name, industry, location and number of recommendations are public.
3. View Profiles Anonymously
Every time you browse a LinkedIn member's profile, that person receives an alert with details about who's looking. How much information the person sees about you -- whether it's a vague description such as "IT manager at Microsoft" or your name -- is up to you.
If you wish to remain anonymous in your LinkedIn browsing activities during your job hunt, it's recommended you change this setting. Navigate to your Privacy and Settings page and click "Select what others see when you've viewed their profile" under the "Privacy Controls" subhead in the Profile tab.
You can choose to have your name and headline displayed, agree to anonymous profile characteristics such as industry and title, or choose to remain completely anonymous. When you've made your selection, click "Save changes."
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