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Are you thinking of making a job switch, but you don't want to let the whole world (especially your boss) know it?

Obviously, you don’t want to use words like seeking, pursuing or looking in your LinkedIn profile—that’s the quickest way to the unemployment line. But sprucing up your profile, adjusting a few of your settings, and creating targeted search alerts are a few of the easy steps you can take when looking for a new job under the radar.

For those who are officially (and unofficially) looking for new jobs, I've created a new, two-hour, virtual workshop Leverage LinkedIn for Your Job Search During the Pandemic: Get noticed. Get past the gatekeeper. Get hired.

I invite you to attend on Monday, April 19, from noon-2:00PM CT. And no worries if you're busy, because all registrants will receive a recording of the session. In the workshop, I'll be presenting loads of specific strategies for all types of job seekers.

Here are some specific steps you can take if you want to keep your job search on the down low (but many of these tips are perfect for general job seekers as well).
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Spruce up your profile

If you have used your LinkedIn account sparingly and all of a sudden there’s a flurry of activity, this might be a red flag to your boss. Therefore, if you plan to make edits to your profile, be sure that the Share with network button is toggled over to "No." Then your network won't receive notifications about the profile changes you're making.

Keywords. Use plenty of the keywords hiring managers and recruiters might use to find people with your specialties and skills (e.g., job duties, titles, industry certifications, software expertise, etc.).

For help on this, download my worksheet Keywords: The Key to Being Found on LinkedIn by clicking here.

About (formerly titled Summary). This is tricky. You need to look like a happy employee while at the same time touting your expertise and accomplishments. Keywords are definitely important. For example, you might try, “Johnson Company always puts the customer first, and my attention to detail and ability to provide excellent customer service make me a good fit at Johnson.”

Experience. Include a detailed description of your accomplishments for every job entry you include in this section. You’re trying to differentiate yourself from other job applicants, so don’t skimp here.

Headline. You only get one shot at a first impression. Make it a good one. It’s been expanded recently to 220 characters—so be creative.

For additional help on this critical section of your profile, download my free worksheet The Definitive Worksheet to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline by clicking here.

Skills. LinkedIn members will give you endorsements for your skills, and you’ll want to focus on including the skills you hope to use in your new job.

Completing this profile section correctly is critical, but it can be a bit confusing. Check out my article Have You Revisited Your LinkedIn Skills Section? for a detailed discussion.

Accomplishments special profile sections. Options include Publications, Certifications, Patents, Courses, Projects, Honors & Awards, Test Scores, Languages, and Organizations. These are a terrific way to impress readers of your profile and differentiate yourself from other candidates.

Education. In addition to your general educational background, include any specialized courses you’ve completed. Describe them in detail and use lots of keywords.

Recommendations. Outside corroboration of the information on your profile is extremely important. Your two most recent recommendations will be prominently displayed on your profile, so try to get at least two current, impactful recommendations. You probably don’t want to ask your boss for a recommendation, but customers, vendors, and college professors (for recent grads) are great options.
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Be proactive

Once your profile is in tip-top shape, you’re ready to start actively looking for a job.

Jobs tab. Use the job search function here to laser focus your search for job postings that fit your desired positions. You can set up to ten job search alerts in the Jobs tab. It’s like having a 24/7 virtual assistant. LinkedIn will alert you when jobs are posted that meet your criteria.

Create search alerts. With a free LinkedIn account, you can create up to three Advanced People Search alerts. Use these for your target companies—the places you’d most like to work.

Alumni. Access this by clicking the name of one of the schools you attended on your profile. Then click the Alumni tab on that university's LinkedIn page. Use the available filters to find out if any fellow alumni work at the companies where you're interested in exploring a new opportunity.

“Follow” companies. Go to the company page of your target companies and “follow” them. You'll then be notified of job postings and employment changes at the company.

If you follow this advice, HR professionals and recruiters will start discovering your profile. But don’t just sit around and wait for a job offer. Be an active part of the almost 750 million member LinkedIn community, and before you know it you’ll have landed the job of your dreams.

If you'd like more winning strategies for finding a terrific new job, whether in stealth mode or not, be sure to register soon for my workshop Leverage LinkedIn for Your Job Search During the Pandemic on April 19 by clicking here.