I recently answered this question on a job seekers’ discussion site:
Job Seeker: “I need to announce my availability on LinkedIn but my boss will see my status. He added me so I had no choice but to accept. What do I do?”
ResuMAYDAY: You don’t need to announce it. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t. If you’re a great candidate, recruiters will find you and talk to you whether you’re employed or not. Recruiters don’t care about your employment status, they care about your qualifications, skills and experience. That means that it’s your responsibility to make sure that your LI profile is up-to-date and uses all the right keywords that makes you visible to the people searching for those keywords.
Recruiters know that the smartest candidates are always open to better opportunities, so seeing that you are currently employed will never be a reason that they don’t reach out to you. There’s no ‘professional courtesy’ among recruiters, employers and candidates and there’s no harm in simply reaching out to you to see if you are open other opportunities.
One other thing – I never recommend that ANYONE puts their unemployment status on LI, even if they are. The unemployed are quickly becoming one of the most discriminated-against demographic. (Some) Employers specifically tell their recruiters NOT to bring anyone into an interview who is not currently employed. If you are unemployed, make yourself available for project work through a consultancy. On LinkedIn, you are ALWAYS employed. And while you’re adding keywords to your LinkedIn profile, now is a good time to go in and update your password, in light of recent LI events.