How To Update Your LinkedIn Profile (Without Setting Off Red Flags At Work)

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By: Michele Lando

Updating your LinkedIn profile can be a major stress point if you feel like it could cause red flags at work, however the truth of the matter is that you should never feel guilty about updating your professional profile. It’s common to feel like your boss might know or think that you’re are looking for a new job, but there are simple ways to get around that issue. Here are some tips to help you update your LinkedIn profile without setting off red flags at work.

Updating your profile doesn’t mean you’re unhappy at your job

The first thing to realize is that updating your LinkedIn profile or revamping your resume doesn’t automatically mean you’re unhappy in your current role. You might have recently taken on a big project that you want to acknowledge, or maybe it’s just been a while since you’ve freshened things up. Regardless of your reasoning, you have every right to update your professional documents and LinkedIn profile without feeling guilty or scared that a manager or boss might be unhappy.

If your boss gets that upset over a LinkedIn update, (updating your LinkedIn can be considered professional development) you probably aren’t working for someone who wants to see you succeed.

If you’re still concerned about updating your profile or giving off the wrong message about it, be transparent and acknowledge the update

If you’re concerned that a manager or boss might feel like you’re going behind their back, let them know that you’re updating your profile. By coming out and telling them that you’re planning on doing an update or revamp, there’s no way for them to feel like you were being dishonest or trying to hide it.

Swing by your boss’s desk or shoot them an email saying something along the lines of “I was looking at my LinkedIn profile, and I noticed that there are a lot of projects and responsibilities that I haven’t included, so I’m going to be adding some additional information in the next few days. I wanted to let you know because I don’t want any updates or changes to catch you by surprise.” This shows that you’re open and respecting your boss by giving them a head’s up for what they can expect.

Still feel like there could be tension about it? Frame it in a way that benefits your boss/company

If you still feel like the update might send off red flags to your boss, put it into perspective for them. A great way to phrase it is, “I always want our clients to have the most updated information on their LinkedIn profiles so I can learn more about them, therefore I feel like I need to do the same in order to reflect that standard."

This statement articulates that you want to hold yourself to the same standard that you hold others to, which is great. This highlights how it will benefit you as well as benefit your clients, candidates or partners, which will in turn benefit your boss and your company.

At the end of the day, you have control of the information you put out there, and you shouldn’t feel guilty or scared about updating your LinkedIn profile. If your superior is that upset about it, you may want to look into a new role where your boss/manager wants to actually see you succeed. If you are trying to update your LinkedIn profile without setting off red flags at work, be transparent about it, and frame it in a way that will benefit everyone. At that point you’ve made a conscious effort to be respectful of your peers and authority figures, and if they’re still upset, that’s on them.


A native San Franciscan, Michele Lando is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and founder of writestylesonline.com. She has a passion for helping others present the best version of themselves, both on paper and in person, and works to polish individuals' application package and personal style. Aiming to help create a perfect personal branding package, Write Styles presents tips to enhance your resume, style, and boost your confidence.

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