Are You Using LinkedIn for a Career Change, but Don’t Want Your Employer to Know?

career career change employer linkedin linkedin career linkedin for job search linkedin tips meller marketing new career Jun 17, 2022
Thinking about using LinkedIn for your next career change, but don’t want your employer to know?

Here are a few LinkedIn strategy tips for those of you seeking to use in “stealth mode” (so you don't alert your employer). 

No, it's not a new LinkedIn setting. It's my way of describing how to strategically use LinkedIn to increase your visibility and appeal to potential future employers without alerting your coworkers or current employer that you're considering making a move. 


FIRST: Consider who you really want to stay connected with at your current organization.

It may be poor form to disconnect from your boss and coworkers. However, your boss might not be active on LinkedIn nor even notice it.

Disconnect from coworkers if they're not a good long-term fit for your career strategically (but only if they're not active on LinkedIn and you have a good sense that they won't even notice). 

Back in 2008 when I was using LinkedIn to make a job change, I disconnected from the president of my company and my boss. Neither were active on LinkedIn so they probably didn't even notice. 

When you disconnect, they don’t get a notification. They just simply no longer see your posts in their homepage feed (unless a lot of people they are connected to are engaging with your posts).

And if they visit your profile, they would see they are now a 2nd level connection. 

PRO TIP on Disconnecting from Coworkers: 

  1. Change to private mode first (inside "Settings & Privacy") before visiting their profile so they don't see that you've visited their profile. 
  2. Visit their profile
  3. Click the "More" button
  4. Click "Remove Connection"
  5. Return to Settings & Privacy and return to full profile viewing visibility It's the first option showing your photo, name and headline. 


NEXT: Look at all of your LinkedIn activities as a way to demonstrate that you are a positive brand ambassador for your company. 


When you step up your LinkedIn activity to support your company, it makes you look like you are more (not less) engaged with the company. 

You are building brand visibility for your company – and thereby for yourself.


Think about this from the perspective of hiring managers and people who could refer you to new positions.

They see your activity, and the fact that you look like a rockstar for your company. 

If you’re hiring for your company, would you rather have somebody who is a positive brand ambassador (as can be seen by their current LinkedIn activity), or someone who is neutral or who seems desperate? 

I’d rather look at the Rockstar and try to lure them away, because if they are rocking for my competitor, they will rock for me too. 


Stop throwing off all those red flags.

The first thing I notice for someone who is considering a job search is a flurry of new received recommendations in a short amount of time. 

What I recommend to my clients is you are always giving and requesting recommendations, whether you’re job searching or not. Set a calendar reminder. Give 2-3 recommendations per quarter, and request 1-2 recommendations each quarter. By spreading out recommendations over time, you look like a great LinkedIn community member, not someone looking to jump ship. 


Don't Turn on "Open to Work" for "All LinkedIn Members" but DO consider selecting "Recruiters Only"

If you adjust your "Open to Work" settings and select "All LinkedIn Members," you will gain a green semi-circle on your headshot photo that says #OPENTOWORK.

If you're working and not in a situation where it's OK for your employer to know you're job searching, this looks really bad for you and your company.

If you select "Recruiters only," it will help to flag your profile to recruiters that you are open to conversations, but your interest isn't visible publicly to regular LinkedIn users. It's only visible to those using the paid version of LinkedIn called "LinkedIn Recruiter." 

PRO TIP on Using the "Open to Work" feature if you're working but looking for your next career:

  • Enable this feature on your profile. Here's how.
  • Fill in up to five job titles you're interested in
  • Select workplace types (on-site, hybrid, and/or remote) that you would consider
  • Select job locations that you would consider (city, etc.)
  • For "Start date," I recommend choosing "Flexible, I'm casually browsing" so you don't look desperate 
  • Select all Job types that you would consider (Full-time, contract, part-time, internship, or temporary)


Hopefully these tips help! What would you add to this list of "stealth" tips? Email me at [email protected] the the subject "Stealth Mode Tips" and let me know! 



Intrigued? Need help with YOUR career search using LinkedIn? Here are a few possible next steps.


  • Email me at  [email protected] if you have any further questions about using LinkedIn for a career change without your employer knowing.

  • Watch a replay of my 30-minute webinar,  "LinkedIn in "Stealth" Mode"

  • Keep in mind that I offer 1-to-1 LinkedIn coaching (confidentially, of course) if want my help using LinkedIn in "stealth mode" to support your career transition.

  • Share this blog with a friend or someone you know who is working but starting to consider making a career change. And tell them why you think my tips can help them. 😎 They can also "subscribe" to join my VIP email list. 

  • Contact me to learn more.