Guess What? A LinkedIn Hoodie just viewed my profile!

Posted on December 7, 2009. Filed under: linkedin advice, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

So who was this Hoodie? Well actually it was 25 different people today and I appeared in a search result 28 times! Yesterday it was 19 views and 23 searches but what does this all mean?

By now I am sure you will have figured that what I am talking about is that tiny section in the right hand panel of your LinkedIn home page entitled ‘Who’s viewed my profile’.

It may only be a small section but boy is it popular! When we see it we can’t help but click through to see who has been looking, human beings are just naturally very curious like that – we just HAVE to know! So we click through, excited by the prospect of seeing all these people who have found our profile interesting enough to want to read all the wonderful facts we have put about ourselves plus all those glowing recommendations (see previous post) but ALAS! all we get is a list like this;

  • Someone in the professional coaching industry from the Greater New York City Area
  • An Associate at Acme inc (which has 20,000 employees!)
  • Someone in the Leadership function at XYZ plc
  • Someone in the Leadership function in the Accounting industry from United Kingdom (well that narrows it down then!!)

When we click on one of the these all that occurs is a very wide search of the keywords mentioned in the description – normally giving us a list of thousands of potential users who may have been the one to view our profile.

How Frustrating!!

Is this some kind of strange LinkedIn game called ‘Guess the name of the user who viewed your profile’? I can just imagine the copy used to advertise this game “which of these 600 Associates at Acme was guilty of daring to click on your name and view your profile? – click here to start guessing”!

Well if you are equally frustrated by this rather pointless process then maybe you can help because every user has the opportunity to remove their ‘mask of anonymity’ – simply by changing their settings.

There are 3 settings you can use – the default is what you see above ‘Only show my anonymous profile characteristics, such as industry and title’ which is, quite frankly, pointless – the other 2 settings make much more sense (see below)

To get to the above page go to ‘Accounts & Settings’ and under ‘Privacy settings’ you will see ‘Profile Views’

Now I believe that visibility is a key factor in your success online – ensuring that your activity on LinkedIn is noticed is not just about how much you do but also by how open you are about it. Hiding your name from users whose profile you have viewed is simply wasting an opportunity to highlight who you are and what you do. There may be occasions where confidentiality is called for – in which case simply select the 3rd option (above) and then revert back the first option once you have viewed the profile (as I have done above).

Networking (on or offline) is not about secrecy – it’s all about sharing and helping each other. Users who hide information are like ‘LinkedIn Hoodies’ – they may be really honest, good people but the hood makes us suspicious!

So remove your Hood and start really networking!


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9 Responses to “Guess What? A LinkedIn Hoodie just viewed my profile!”

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There is a way to see who people that viewed you are if their job title at least is visible.

Copy and paste the title from the search results, then go to Google and type in:

Site: “paste in the title here” and click search,

This will then bring up the person’s name.

Thanks for your response Steve,
The technique you are referring to is a deep searching method that does work but not always (about 70% of the time in my experience) and is actually best utilised when trying to find someone outside of your network.
The Google technique simply searches public profiles for a specific phrase in a profile – this could be a job title but you can obviously get hundreds of ‘Account Managers’ in a large corporate so it is best to take the phrase used in the headline (provided it is reasonably unique). The point is why would someone bother going to all that trouble just to see who viewed their profile?
In this article I am simply encouraging users to adjust their settings to increase their visibility and make it very easy for people to see that they have been looking.

Hi Mark, yes, sorry, I did mean to say it was a good article as well!

You can run various searches through Google like this, especially on the ‘advanced search’ method to cut those percentages down.

I’m surprised people do hide their profiles considering what Linkedin is… Maybe they have something to hide themselves??

They mainly don’t realise they are hiding anything, the default setting is to remain anonymous. This is why I wanted to bring this to attention of those who wish to be more visible.

Hi Mark,
Great content as always and I am sure people just don’t realise that this is how they get noticed more! OK, you’re right, I checked mine….just because you said to!!

Nice info, I will share, thanks!

What a wonderful technique! I had always thought that showing your name was reserved for paying customers.

I have started making my name visible and seen a real difference. When a named person looks at my profile, I drop them a note of thanks and a suggestion to connect in case we can be of use to one another in the future.

I have always seen LinkedIn as a tool to allow me to visualise how best to use my real life network. More recently I find that is now fairly common to add new links with people I only know on LinkedIn – this technique is helpful for that.

Highly descriptive post, I liked that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

No follow up planned. What are you interested in knowing more about?

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