I work in a non-client-facing role and only occasionally interact with suppliers/vendors and consultants. Generally I feel that my professional network is very small and thus I want to get to know more people, to discuss and interact, etc. even to keep up-to-date. I want to be known by the rest of the industry for my areas of expertise, and thought to use LI as one channel.

However, I got the impression that many people who have great and detailed LI profiles have them either because they are in heavily client-facing roles, entrepreneurs or - especially - are looking for new career opportunities. I don't want to give the impression of the latter to anyone reading my profile, most importantly not my employers.

What are good cues and clues on one's LI profile that could reassure an employer that one is not using the profile to attract recruiters and future job opportunities?

I am aware that there are settings to show/hide "Contact me for new job opportunities" but I thought there might be more subtle things, e.g. why would someone so satisfied with their job spend ages to write thorough details under each part of the profile? Plus, would someone satisfied with the company place more focus on describing/promoting the company rather than their own skills? Just asking.


You're overthinking the situation. You don't need to signal your current employer that you aren't looking for opportunities. The fact that your LinkedIn profile is relatively complete simply indicates that you're interested in networking. There are many reasons that people would be interested in networking other than hoping that a recruiter is going to contact them.

Beyond that, though, being active in your industry and getting to know people in the industry is inevitably going to lead to people talking with you about job opportunities. Reasonable companies recognize that this sort of passive recruiting is going on constantly and are not in the habit of punishing employees for it. They accept that sort of thing is the price you pay for the knowledge and skills you get from networking with others in your industry. There is a huge difference between an employee that is actively looking because they're disgruntled in their current position and someone that is talking with other people in the industry and happens to come across an interesting opportunity.

If you're really happy in your current position, your writing will naturally reflect that. As long as what you're doing reflects positively on your employer (you're not bashing the employer's policies or getting into flame wars with other folks), being active on LinkedIn isn't likely to create a lot of issues for you.

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  • +1 for overthinking; completely agree. Your profile can also reflect how much you love your work, that will also give your profile much more punch, than the regular "i do, did and have a passion for x" – Luceos Aug 28 '14 at 8:34
  • The way to show your commitment is by being committed to the job, not worrying about what you show on LinkedIn. If you don't entertain offers from recruiters, and focus on being great at work, your job will figure it out. – bethlakshmi Aug 29 '14 at 21:53

It can work both ways. A higher profile makes you a potential candidate for outside recruiters, but also makes your company more attractive to job candidates as well. Your increased connections on LinkedIn along with all the interesting work you're doing, are selling points for your company for future candidates. People will want to work with you and do the things you're doing.

Talk to someone in your company and see what they are comfortable having you talk about. Maybe you're testing a new technology or learning a new language. Even something like upgrading to a newer version of an existing application. When a current employee is talking about doing interesting things, it is more believable than what is mentioned in job postings.

This isn't going to prevent recruiters coming after you. Good employees are hard to find and many are currently employed. If you're company wants to take it too far to keep you "hidden" away, you may not want to stay with them anyway.

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