Lets talk about a controversial setting in LinkedIn called, “Who’s Viewed My Profile?”  This setting controls what  is shown to LinkedIn users whose profile you have viewed.  Let’s take a look at the options you have under this setting.

Go to Settings>Profile Settings>Profile Views.  You can find the Settings link by clicking on the arrow next to your name in the upper right corner of your LinkedIn home page:

Here are your options under Settings>Profile Settings>Profile Views:

You can determine what, if anything is shown to LinkedIn users whose profile you have viewed.

The default setting is the second choice: Show my anonymous profile characteristics, such as industry and title.  For a long time I stuck with this setting.  Maybe I was concerned what others would think if they saw that I had viewed their profile.

Recently, I changed my setting to the first option: Show my name and headline.  I encourage you to switch to this option.  Why?

Increase Your Connections

First and foremost, it is a great way to expand your network.  When people look to see who has viewed their profile (and we all do it, don’t we?!), they will see your name and headline.  In essence, you are no longer hiding in the shadows.  If you found that person’s profile of interest, guess what?  There is a good chance they will find yours interesting as well.  This is a good thing and may likely lead to a connection request by one party or the other.

Increase Your Profile Views

Second, it is a great way to increase the number of times your profile has been viewed.  Now that you can be seen, again, it is likely that your profile will be viewed in return.  If you are in job search mode, you might want to research recruiters.  As you look at these profiles, you will start to see increased profile views of your own.  In job search mode it is a great thing to have recruiters looking at your profile!  The same process goes for industry leaders.  If you view their profile, they may return the favor.

Measure Your Influence/Gain Insights

Third, by seeing these profiles, you can gain insights into the industries, regions and interests of the people that are viewing your profile.  You’ll also be able to measure your influence by seeing how popular your profile is.  Not getting many views?  This may be an indication that your profile needs tweaking, for example, as I have done to mine.

For these reasons, you will be increasing your brand recognition in your area of expertise.

Keep in mind that a paid LinkedIn account provides for expanded “Who’s viewed my profile?” content.  Here’s a screen shot of my paid account view (I’ve blurred out personal information, the regular view is clear, of course).

If you have a basic (free) account, you won’t see any names, unless you change your setting to “visible.”  Also, you’ll only be able to see the last five people that viewed your profile, while a paid account holder can see everyone that has viewed their profile.  However, what they see is determined by that person’s setting (visible/anonymous/invisible).    The good news – if you want to increase your profile views – is that many recruiters and power connectors (highly networked individuals in your industry/function) have a paid account and therefore will be able to see that you have looked at their profile…as long as you are set to “visible.”

So, are you ready to jump out of the shadows by changing your setting to “visible?”  If you are in job search mode, I highly recommend it.  You may just get an interview or land your next job by adjusting this setting!

Just remember, since you will be driving up your profile views, make sure you have a fully optimized profile.

Have a different point of view?  Add a comment below.  Our readership would appreciate your perspective.