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Who's Viewed Your LinkedIn Profile and Why?


1/31/2012 3:13:11 PM

Who's Viewed Your LinkedIn Profile and Why? By Laura Smith-Proulx, Executive Resume Writer

Scroll down the sidebar of your LinkedIn Home Page, and you’ll eventually notice the blurb that asks “Who’s Viewed Your Profile?”

If you click on it, you’ll see a page entitled Profile Stats, which is designed to show you other users that have looked at your information.

To get a glimpse of who is searching for you, you’ll want to leverage Profile Stats.

Start by changing LinkedIn Profile Settings (hover the mouse near your name at the top of the page to click on Settings).

Click on “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile” and choose Your Name and Headline (recommended) to allow others to see YOUR information when you review THEIR profiles.

Now, on to the good stuff: there are common categories of users who are surfing your Profile (right now!). Go to Profile Stats to see the types of LinkedIn users who are looking for you – and why:

1 – HR Professionals or Recruiters.

If you’re finding these users among your Profile Stats, then congratulate yourself for providing sufficient information for a strong digital identity.

Your Profile may be drawing in recruiters or HR reps if they find something in it that they need, such as a particular skill or past job experience.

However, you’ll undoubtedly notice that some of the users who view your Profile as listed as Anonymous LinkedIn User, which means that they’ve protected their name, headline, occupation, and industry from view (using one of the Settings described above).

It’s much more likely that recruiters and HR professionals would fall into this category, which allows them to check you out without revealing their identity.

2 – Current Co-Workers or Managers.

Colleagues at your current place of employment will often check out a colleague’s LinkedIn Profile to see if anything has changed, which can lead them to assume that you’re job hunting.

Public Relations Manager or Human Resource personnel often browse LinkedIn Profiles to control the type of information that is broadcast online about the company—as well as to ascertain your intent in looking for another job.

Still others may want to copy your Profile content, especially if they hold a similar position. Many people are confused about LinkedIn Profile writing, and look to others’ information as a template for their own data.

3 – Former Co-Workers.

If you’ve made a job change in the past several years, your former co-workers might be checking to see where you’ve landed.

This can be part of a plan to reach out to you as an inside contact at your employer, where you could be asked to refer them for a new job.

Of course, many former colleagues will simply browse your Profile out of curiosity, especially to compare your record of promotion or career ascent to their own path.

4 – New Networkers or Employer Contacts.

Others who work in your field could be taking the advice of career professionals who advise them to find a company insider for networking. Therefore, one of these contacts might reach out to you as a means of getting their foot in the door.

In addition, colleagues at prospective employers will often check you out before the interview, which enables them to gain a glimpse of your background and areas of competency.

Job hunters who aren’t sure of their own career moves might also check you out as a model for their own career strategy. As an example, career changers can perform an Advanced People Search to identify past professionals in the same field – which gives them an idea of how to transfer their specific skills to other industries.

Bottom Line:

LinkedIn's Profile Stats Pro can give you a valuable glimpse of activity within your industry and field, both pertaining to your career and to your potential as a valuable networking contact.

So, take a few moments to regularly gauge who might be looking for you, and think about whether you’ve given them enough information on your stellar credentials.

About the Author

Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume is an executive resume writer and former recruiter who partners with CEO, CIO, COO, CFO, CTO, SVP, and Director candidates to win interviews at major corporations. A certified Professional Resume Writer, Online Professional Networking Strategist, Career Management Coach, Interview Coach, and Microblogging Career Strategist, she is a multiple award-winning resume writer and author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips & Resources to Access the Hidden Job Market.

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - February 2, 2012.

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