My clients often have questions about the visibility of their LinkedIn profiles.
For instance, they ask:
- Is my LinkedIn profile public?
- Can anyone see my profile on LinkedIn?
- How can I get a LinkedIn public profile?
I answer those questions and more below.
About LinkedIn Public Profiles
In case you don’t know, LinkedIn lets you design a public profile that people who aren’t logged into LinkedIn and non-LinkedIn users can see via search engines like Google.
It can be almost as complete as your full profile, or you can limit the information you share.
How to Set Up, View, and Change Your Linked Public Profile
To manage your LinkedIn public profile:
- Click “Me” on the top, horizontal rail of your profile.
- Next, click “Settings & Privacy.”
- Then, click “Visibility.”
- Then, click “Edit your public profile.”
In the left column of the page, you can see how your public profile displays. The right column gives you several display options.
Edit Your URL
The first option involves editing your profile’s URL. It’s important (and easy) to customize it to fit your needs.
How to Make LinkedIn Profiles Public
Next, you can edit what’s publicly visible on your profile (this is how you “get” a public profile):
- First, click the button to make your profile visible, i.e., public.
- Second, decide who can see your photo — hopefully everyone.
- Third, decide which sections of your profile to show; everything is best.
Avoid hiding information unless you have a compelling reason to do so because your public profile might be the only version a viewer sees.
Many Recruiters Search LinkedIn via Google
If you want to know why I’m advocating for complete, public LinkedIn profiles, it’s because many recruiters only search the network from the outside.
LinkedIn charges them buckets of money to search inside the network, so many of them source candidates from LinkedIn via Google.
Thus, if you’re a job seeker and want to make recruiters’ lives easy (always a good idea), you’ll include everything LinkedIn allows in your public profile.
You’ll also add your email address to your LinkedIn “About” section. That way, recruiters can see it and contact you without ever having to log in to LinkedIn.
How Can I View My LinkedIn Public Profile?
If you want to see what recruiters see when they view your public LinkedIn profile, it’s easy:
- Log out of LinkedIn.
- Google: [your name] AND LinkedIn.
- Find your LinkedIn profile in the Google search results.
- Click through, and you will see what recruiters see.
Another Reason to Have a Public Profile
Earlier this week, LinkedIn had a global outage.
Over the years, it has had other glitches where people’s profiles didn’t appear in search results on the platform for hours or days.
If you have a public profile, Google will have it cached and show recruiters results even when LinkedIn isn’t working.
A Redundant System
As you can see, activating your public profile creates a redundant system that can be useful in a couple of ways. So yes, if you use LinkedIn to be found, you need one.
If I’ve missed describing other good reasons to have a public profile, I hope you’ll share them in the comments below.
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Updated February 2021
© 2019 – 2021, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, and Business News Daily.
Let her expertise inform your job search strategy and decision making.
Contact Donna here to learn more about her resume and LinkedIn profile services and fee structure.