LinkedIn is a great social media tool and should be an integral part of your professional branding strategy. I absolutely love it and embrace all the rich opportunity it presents. But from a usability standpoint, it kinda sucks. It’s tough to find and reply to messages, the interface isn’t intuitive, and the default settings do some really wacky stuff. And one of those default settings, my friends, can be your undoing!
Unbeknownst to most readers, LinkedIn automatically blasts out updates every time you make an change to your profile – and prompts your connections to congratulate you accordingly. This is wonderful if you actually have a new job or get a promotion. This is less-than-wonderful if you’re polishing up your profile in preparation to launch a job search. Or adding in your side business. Or modifying your title to be more versatile and focused on your target market. I found this out the hard way when I changed my headline from Career Counselor to Career Coach… and people started congratulating me on the new gig. Ack!
Do not make this mistake! If you’re not sure about it, drop whatever you are doing and check your settings immediately. Unless someone is on fire or choking on a muffin. Deal with real emergencies first.
Here’s how to change the setting:
1. Hover over your profile pic in the top right hand corner of the site. A drop-down menu will appear. Click on “Privacy & Settings.”
2. You’ll be taken to a new screen and will have to re-enter your password.
3. In the middle of your screen, under the header “Privacy Controls,” you’ll see the phrase, “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.” It’s quite unassuming. Hard to imagine that little snippet of text has so much power. Click on it.
4. A window called “Activity Broadcasts” will pop up. Make sure the box is unchecked.
5. Tell your friends, colleagues, and heck – even your mortal enemies – to do the same.