Ask the Coach #7: LinkedIn Privacy Expectations?

October 20th, 2017

This question is from the client of one of our coaches… Perry Newman asked me to share it amongst the group to see what everyone thought. Perry’s client, Grant, asks:

My question for you was about LinkedIn and the “letting recruiters knows your open” feature. Does this put anything on your profile for your connections to see? I saw it said we try to keep it private, but cannot guarantee. I have seen profiles in the past where it says “open to new opportunities”… for obvious reasons at this point I don’t want that on there for my colleagues to see and because I deal with some of our biggest customers day in day out whom I have connections with this could cause concern on their side too (if they even see it).

This is a really good, and very important, question.  Since I wrote a book on LinkedIn, and have done a gabillion trainings on LinkedIn (the most current is in the JibberJobber Video Library), I’m going to chime in.

jason-alba-125Jason Alba, author of I’m on LinkedIn – Now What, creator of the video course LinkedIn for Job Seekers, and CEO of

Here’s the bottom line: Assume that anything you ever do, or put, on any website, including social media, and LinkedIn, is visible to anyone. Period.

Seriously, there are no guarantees of privacy. Want multiple extreme examples? There are too many private pictures that people have shared on Snapchat (that website who’s promise was to not allow anyone to share or keep pictures) online. How is it that Snapchat has implied a promise that they would keep these private things private, but they are out in the public?

There is no guarantee, ever, of privacy or security online. Ever.

Even the biggest companies with the best security teams have had problems with privacy and security. Think Equifax (oops!), and many others (click the orange slideshow button to be depressed about this whole topic).

Here’s my bottom line: do not trust that any company will or can protect your private stuff, including your private status of looking for a job. No matter what LinkedIn says (you already said they cannot guarantee it, so there’s your answer from them), you should keep your private stuff offline if you are worried that it might get out.

Let’s assume, though, that they guaranteed it. Imagine the following scenario: Your best friend sees your status as being open to a new gig, and he immediately screenshots it and emails it to his local recruiter contacts to “help” you.  So much for privacy.

No site can plug the loophole that security professionals call “social engineering.”

atc_3_headshot_craig_toadtman_125Craig B Toedtman, Job Search Consultant, Career Adviser, Coach, Executive Search Consultant

As the LinkedIn fine print indicates, privacy can’t be guaranteed. My advice would be to refrain from turning the signal on. More importantly, make certain your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and separates you from your competition through your work experience, recommendations, and all avenues available through LinkedIn. A good recruiter will search for all qualified candidates without regard to whether the “open for opportunities” switch is on. If you are the right person for the specific job, you will be found, and the recruiter will reach out to you. At that point, you should stress the importance of maintaining confidentiality as long as possible.

atc_headshot_john_sattler_125John Sattler, Certified Personnel Consultant and Certified Professional Resume Writer

The feature merely prompts the software to allow your profile to show up in relevant searches run only by those with LinkedIn’s Premium Talent Solution Subscription. This is an expensive subscription, running between $1200 – $12,000 annually, per person, which pretty much means only serious recruiters are involved.

NO, enabling LinkedIn’s recruiter alert does not flag your profile in any visible way.

This link gives step-by-step instructions on how to find, enable, and use the “share career interests with recruiters” prompt:!

This link shows exactly what will be shared with recruiters:

On the privacy issue, what LinkedIn seems to be saying is, ‘although the software is designed NOT to allow your profile to appear in searches run by a representative of your company, we can’t guarantee it.’

This link explains how LinkedIn protects your privacy with the recruiter alert enabled:

I believe this is a reasonable caveat on Linkedin’s part. The software has millions of lines of code handling millions of searches a day. I doubt anyone would guarantee there never will be a snafu.

Should this stop you from using the feature? It’s your call but my opinion is absolutely not. I know the feature can work well.

When you see “open to new opportunities,” or something similar on a profile, the profile owner did this themselves. LinkedIn used to offer a ”Job Seeker Badge,” though it has been discontinued.

This video shows how LinkedIn “Premium Job Seeker” works:

This link shows how to find LinkedIn Groups that will help with your job search:

atc_headshot_sonia_cerezo_125Sonia Cerezo, Certified Professional Career Coach

Dear Grant,

I would suggest you make sure your LinkedIn profile is spot on. Be sure you use all the space available in the summary section, and use industry keywords several times through your profile. It is also important to have recommendations and endorsements. When updating your profile be sure to turn off your notification button, once you are done then turn it back on.

The next step is to contribute, share or like something daily. This increases your opportunities to be found quicker.

The most important thing to remember, whether actively or passively looking for a job, you are in the driver’s seat don’t assume others will find you. LinkedIn as a research tool, so make the most of it. Once you have identified recruiters connect with them outside of LinkedIn either by calling or emailing them and tell them you are conducting a confidential job search.

If they only way to connect is via LinkedIn, send them an invitation to connect but don’t connect with them yet. Inform them about your discreet job search and include your email so you can connect offline, then send your resume and take it from there.

Remember recruiters are working on many positions they need to fill, so don’t feel bad about following up with them. Also, be sure to keep a list of the recruiters, with follow-up dates. Once again, this is your job search, so don’t be shy about touching base.

Wishing you the very best!

Thanks to the coaches who chimed in! To see past Ask the Coach questions and responses, click here!

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How Many Elephants Have You Eaten?

October 19th, 2017

I started JibberJobber almost twelve years ago to help people organize a job search and do follow-up better. Today I spent time working on the Log Entry redesign (for the umpteenth time)… the process of redesigning this includes a written document, images, and in this case, a ten minute video.   Here’s an image I put in my specs document:


Does this make any sense to you?

Without any context it might make some sense, but I’d bet you don’t know what I really want. My programmers could only assume what I’d want, if I just sent them this image.  Hence, the written doc and video.

As I’m working on the specs for this relatively small project I feel a sense of being overwhelmed. This is one of dozens of high priority projects that I’m making specs for. It takes a lot of time to create these specs, but I’ve learned that I can either take the time on the front end (before I give it to my developers) or spend more than five times the amount it should take fixing, recommunicating, redefining, changing, etc.

Like I said, overwhelming.

But I do this, one project at a time, one detail at a time.

And that’s how you eat an elephant: one bite at a time.

Imagine a 12,000 pound elephant in front of you. For perspective, that’s about five times the weight of my car.  You have a fork, a pile of napkins, and a limitless supply of water (to wash it down, of course).

Your task: eat the elephant.

Overwhelming, for sure.

One bite at a time.

So here I am, working on my elephant. Down in the depths of details… lots and lots of details. Lots of features, lots of specs, lots of projects.


Then I remembered: you eat an elephant one bite at a time, and I can spec this massive amount of work one feature at a time.

This advice, one bite at a time, has been given to me many times throughout my life.  And I started to think: I’ve done a lot of big projects. Indeed, I’ve eaten a lot of elephants.

I know that you, in your job search, feels like you are eating an elephant.  It’s overwhelming. There are many things to do. It’s foreign. It’s confusing, humiliating, tiring, and an emotional roller coaster.

You already know that you eat it, or do it, one bite at a time.

What I want to remind you of is that this is not your first time. You have previously taken on huge, massive projects. You have successfully eaten other elephants, and you can successfully eat this one.

Intimidating, I know.

Overwhelming, I know.

I also know that YOU CAN DO THIS.

Go for it. Now. One bite at a time.


Are Mom Skills Transferable? From Mom To Employee…

October 17th, 2017

nick_corcodilos2My friend Nick Corcodilos has an excellent post titled Mom wants a new career, where he counsels a woman who spent a lot of time raising seven kids, and now is two years in the workforce and looking for something bigger.

Go read it now: Mom wants a new career.

The comments on this one should be great… the first one is.

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Exporting Contacts for Use In Outlook, etc.

October 16th, 2017

Barbara asks:

“Is there a way to down load the contacts in jobber jobber and upload them to my Microsoft Outlook? I can do individual items, not sure how to do bulk.”

Yes, definitely.  Mouse over Contacts from the top menu, then click on Import/Export. OR, right above it, click Get Contact List (that’s the shortcut!).


If you click Import/Export you’ll see the import dialog on the left, and the other options (including export options) on the right.  Click on the one to Export Contacts (this is where Get Contact List takes you):


Now, you are on the export Contacts page… we default this to exporting to a csv file, but you can change it to html, or just emails… then go through the rest of this page and you can filter down to just what you want… in no time you should have a csv file of all the contacts you want to import into Outlook or whatever.


Good luck!


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See How To Use The JibberJobber Chrome Widget to Save Many Jobs Quickly

October 13th, 2017

I was recently tasked with saving a lot of jobs in JibberJobber, and honestly my first thought was UGH.  Then I remembered the new Chrome Widget which allows us to save a Job, Company, or Contact from a website.  So I thought I’d give it a shot… and it was awesome! This was the easiest way I could imagine getting multiple jobs into JibberJobber quickly… watch the video below, to see how I did it.

Note: you can find a link (button) to get the widget from the bottom of any page… it’s for Chrome only.

You can see this in full-screen if you click the full screen icon in the video player.

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7 LinkedIn Tactics from Hannah Morgan

October 12th, 2017

Hannah Morgan, Career Sherpa, has a great article on LinkedIn titled 7 LinkedIn Secrets You Need To Know.

Definitely worth your time to hop over there, read it, and figure out which of those seven things you can and should put into your strategy today, and moving forward!


Your Job Search PROBLEM, Or Just Problems?

October 11th, 2017

As Senior Product Manager of JibberJobber, I have a lot of things I am working on. One of them is making sure my develops are working on the right things.

How do you figure out what they should work on, and when?

As Product Manager I have two Biggest Problems I’m working on: one is getting more people to sign up, the other is getting more of our users to upgrade.

As a a job seeker my two Biggest Problems are similar: one is getting more companies interested in me, the other is getting offers for the right jobs.

The PROBLEM for an business is more sales. But how do you get there?  You don’t just work on “more sales,” you break it down and figure out smaller problems to address, and sometimes break those down to smaller problems. Eventually you have a big list of things to work on and then get to choose where to put your time and team.

Choosing one problem means putting off other problems.  And that’s where it gets tricky. What if you put off the wrong problem for too long?

In JibberJobber we have broken down our PROBLEM and have identified smaller problems, and are strategically working on each of them. We’re methodologically working on what we think are the right ones, and then we’ll move to the next right ones, etc.

In your job search I know that your PROBLEM, not having a check, not having a job, or a title, is so big and distracting that it’s hard to think of anything else. You know you need to work on your LinkedIn Profile, or your resume, or prepare for an interview, etc., but the suffocating feeling of being a job seeker (who feels like you are spinning wheels) can overwhelm you to the point where you neglect the smaller problems… or the steps to solve your bigger problem.

Let me suggest that you break down your PROBLEM and then figure out what to focus on.  Here are some ideas, with sub-ideas. Some of you need to work on some of these, others need to work on others… it’s a pretty individual thing:

Soft Skills: Listening, phone skills, empathy, work ethic, teamwork, tenacity, attitude, etc. Any of these can be a lifelong pursuit, but if you know you need to work on certain skills, learn where to start and what to do to improve them. This is the 7th habit from Covey (sharpen your saw).

Hard Skills: What do you need to do or show to prove that you can actually do the job? Perhaps this is through a degree, certifications, licenses, hours logged, new skills (breadth), or improving current skills (depth). This is also the 7th habit from Covey (sharpen your saw).

Job Search Marketing Material: Creating a master resume, crafting resumes based on postings, business cards, making your LinkedIn Profile better, etc. Don’t get hung up on these things for weeks, and neglect other things you should be doing (like talking to people!)

Your Presentation: Maybe an updated wardrobe, or just getting a haircut or makeover or something. Not necessary for everyone, but first impressions count, right? I went to my first big interview in a much outdated suit (but I still got the job :))

Networking: find networking events you should go to, schedule them in your calendar, actually go to them, meet with individuals one-on-one, and please, please: following-up!

Interview Skills: create your response(s) to “tell me about yourself, create short stories you can use in response to interview questions, plan your closing remarks, and script out responses to any question you can come up with.

Personal Marketing: Does anyone know who you are, and what you want? Do they know your target companies and what titles you are applying to? Your job, as a job seeker, is to get your name out. This means you have to get out, meet people, and (tactfully) communicate these things. Sure, you can (and should) do things on LinkedIn and through email, but don’t neglect communicating your brand with individuals and groups.

Personal Branding: What is your brand? Can you communicate it in such a way that people can understand and repeat it (even if they aren’t in your industry)? Refine your tagline. Define the main parts of your “claim,” and then figure out how to communicate those so people get your brand. Your personal branding strategy is a big part of your answer to how you’ll tap into the “hidden job market.”

What do you need to work on? Do you need a coach to help you?

Notice my question isn’t what is most comfortable for you to work on… it is, in order to get a job, what do you need to get fixed or resolved?

Make your own list, with priorities, and even if it’s uncomfortable, make sure you work on the right things!


JibberJobber Video Library: How Business Owners Hire (Cheryl Snapp Conner, PR Firm)

October 9th, 2017

I interviewed Cheryl Snapp Conner for almost forty minutes, asking her how she hires, What do you look at, how do you find your people, what do you think about resumes and LinkedIn Profiles… what really matters?

This is one of many videos in the JibberJobber Video Library, which is included in the $60/year upgrade. Not only do you get great videos on how to use and optimize LinkedIn as a job seeker, but you get great interviews from hiring managers.  Confused on weird or conflicting advice about how to get a job? The buck stops here, with these interviews.

Cheryl has a rich career history, including running PR at one of the biggest firms in Utah (Novell), then starting her own very successful PR shop which has employed and trained many PR professionals. She is also a Forbes superstar, because of her own writings as well as mentoring other Forbes superstars (like Devin Thorpe and Josh Steimle). She is a regular at networking events, either as an attendee or a speaker. She’s a GIVER, and is always up for helping and offering advice or introductions.

So how does someone who is this busy, successful, and sharp hire people? What do they look for?  She has created an awesome company and culture, and this is someone you want to know and learn from. How do you get there?

She shares this, and more, in our interview. Just upgrade on JibberJobber for $60 for the year and you can watch it now (and get access to other interviews, and the JibberJobber Premium features):


What else is in the JibberJobber Video Library?

Here’s the write-up I did about the tech recruiter Robert Merrill.

Here’s the write-up on hiring manager Kristi Broom.

The insights in the videos are amazing!


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When You Have Found “THE JOB!!” #dreamJob

October 6th, 2017

I got an email from Sarah last night, here’s part of it:

“Any last thoughts on the resume or cover letter? … I really want this job.”

I also really want certain jobs.  Here’s my advice when you find THE ONE that you really want. THE ONE that is just perfect for you. The one that would make all of your wildest dreams come true:

Find, and apply to, more jobs!

The lowest point of my job search was when I found THE ONE, and was convinced that I had the job. I started to prepare my 90 day plan, and even had a dream about my first days there!  It was so exciting, so invigorating!

And then I found out I didn’t get the job.

It was the lowest point in my job search… at a time when I had already though I’d seen “low.”

If I could go back and coach myself, it would be with the same advice that salespeople get when they make a great sale: sure, celebrate, but get right back on the phone and call some prospects.


So you can take advantage of the high of the sale.

My advice is a little because of that, but also because (a) there is no sure thing, even if you are perfect for the job, until you have the job! And, (b) the timing of the job search and hiring cycle is such that you might fixate on a job that you aren’t going to get, and waste valuable days and weeks as if you had the job.

So, did you find the right job? Great! Do everything you can to earn it! But keep looking… don’t stop looking and working it until you have landed what you want!


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Who Is Helping You Build Your Career?

October 5th, 2017

Yesterday I talked about your career foundation, and compared it to my chicken coop. I think it’s a pretty good comparison… check it out here: What Is Your Career Foundation?

There’s another part to this chicken coop experience that I want to bring in.

I’m a fairly smart guy. Between Youtube, some blogs, and even shed plans that I bought online, I figured I could figure out how to build this chicken coop. How hard could it be, really?

To make a long story short, it was pretty hard. There was lots of heavy lifting and uncomfortable positions. You might remember that just a few months earlier I had broken my ankle and was kind of recovering from ankle surgery. My balance wasn’t very good, and my strength had deteriorated quite a bit from laying in bed for a long, long time.

Aside from physical help I needed know-how help, and the right tools. I tapped into my friend network and got some tools from one guy, and other tools from someone else. I didn’t have one know-how expert helping me, rather I had a small handful that would help me figure things out when I got to them. For example, my next door neighbor was super helpful in getting the foundation in and making sure it was square (who knew that would be important? Or harder than you would think?).

Another neighbor helped put the floor in and get the walls up. No big deal, right? Actually, there was a lot of heavy lifting. More importantly, this guy was a building genius and knew how to tackle every challenge we came up against. When it came time for the roof I had a couple of friends help get it up and shingled.

Don’t get me wrong, I did a bunch of work myself, but having those people help was critical to building something that will last.

As I thought about this I wondered who are the right experts to help you in your career.  The obvious people, hopefully, are professors and counselors at school. I didn’t get much guidance or help from those people, with the exception of Dr. Beard, who was awesome in that way. But you might not have gone to school, or you might be decades away from school, and you need mentors, helpers, and experts right now.

Here is my list of people who can be really helpful in your job search and career management:

Parents of other loved ones: I hope you have this in your life. My parents and in-laws have been a great support to me in my career, helping me with advice (solicited and unsolicited). My brother gave me great advice (which I didn’t take, but I repeat it to others regularly). A lot of times parents have been there, done that, even if they have never told us about it. What we are looking for is wisdom, and hopefully they have earned that.

People who have, or have had, the job titles we want: Why not go to someone who has what you want and ask them how they got it? Perhaps not with those words, but you could start a conversation and learn from them… learn what path they took, what education or certifications they needed, what companies and roles were important and which to stay away from, etc. Ask enough people and you’ll likely learn there are various ways to get to the end goal, all of them valid. But some might be easier than others. Most of these people should be able to give you good advice for where you are at now.

People who are “in the trenches” of a job search:  This might include career coaches or people who volunteer at job clubs. They have worked with multiple job seekers, sometimes over many years, and have seen a lot. They’ve seen things that work and things that should, but don’t. These people should be in touch with current job search tactics and strategies, and help you avoid pitfalls.  Note that sometimes their advice will be different than what you might hear from people who have not been in a job search for a long time.

Who else? I’m sure there are other types of people who you should get mentoring from.

Ultimately, my chicken coop was mine. I had to go to bed at night feeling comfortable with what we did, which means that sometimes someone suggested something and I overrode it, to have a different design. Your career is yours… no matter who you listen to and learn from, you are the one who is ultimately responsible for making the right decisions and doing the work.

But going it alone is not something I would recommend.


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