When advising my currently employed executive clients, I often encounter some resistance to and fear of using LinkedIn. I think that this arises from a misconception that LinkedIn is a job site versus a professional networking/marketing tool. Certainly LinkedIn is emerging as a powerful resource for connecting job seekers and recruiters, but that is really not its primary stated purpose.
With career management being an ongoing endeavor throughout a lifetime, resources such as LinkedIn are becoming an increasingly important part of career management strategy. But how can you use LinkedIn (either for professional networking or for job search) without drawing an unfavorable reaction from a current employer?
Firstly, you will want to develop the mindset that you are building connections on LinkedIn in order to build credibility in your profession and industry, and approach it as an aid to performing your job better and enhancing the reputation of your employer. Then, when and if your employer runs across your LinkedIn profile, you'll be able to calmly and convincingly tell them how valuable it is as a contact manager and developer that is providing substantial added value to the company.
All that being said, it would not be advisable to raise eyebrows by checking "Seeking New Opportunities" in the preferences and interests section of your profile. Incidentally, NOT checking that box could actually have a side benefit, as the most attractive candidates for recruiters are well-known to be those who are securely employed and not actively seeking new opportunities.
Posted by Laurie Smith