With many people I know through business relationships “connected” to me via LinkedIn, I occasionally use the service to see if I can track someone down via connections for diligence calls or to look up people’s backgrounds if I want some context for an upcoming conversation. And occasionally, I’ve been introduced to interesting entrepreneurs or others who have reached out to me through the service. In many circles, LinkedIn has become a standard way of keeping organized with and in touch of my business relationships.
However, recently I’ve noticed an interesting (presumably) unintended consequence of the service. When people are beginning the process of looking for a new job, they often update and enrich their LinkedIn profiles as they begin their search. When this happens, LinkedIn sends out e-mails to others in their network periodically letting people know that the profile has changed. (I assume that you can turn this function/”feature” off, but many people don’t.) Low and behold, anecdotally I’ve found there is a strong correlation between individuals updating their LinkedIn profile and announcing that they’ve moved on from their current positions a few weeks/months later. While obviously the fact that someone updates their profile doesn’t automatically mean they’re on the job hunt, I wonder if it’s going to increasingly become a tip-off to employers and current colleagues that someone is considering leaving. Or worse yet, will others misinterpret someone’s intentions if they do update their profile? Something to think about next time you dust off that virtual resume and touch it up.