LinkedIn is a business tool that offers plenty of different functions that can help users achieve their career goals, depending on how they want to leverage the platform. One of the many features LinkedIn offers is the ability to view other people’s profiles anonymously.
The default option shows users when somebody else has viewed their profile. This means if you are logged in to your profile and you visit someone’s account, they will be notified via their own LinkedIn updates and see that you were looking at their profile.
But what many LinkedIn users don’t know is that it is possible to view other people’s LinkedIn Profiles anonymously. This comes in handy for those who are just starting out on LinkedIn and just want to find their way around the site. It can give newer users an idea of how to write their own profile by viewing other people’s profiles without necessarily alerting them.
It is also useful for more advanced users who want to research their competition. The same goes for users who want to update their profile or researching potential clients and employers.
There is an option to browse LinkedIn profiles in a way that does not alert your connections or the LinkedIn profiles being viewed. For the owner of the profile, they will still be notified about the fact that someone is looking at their profile—but by changing your settings, they will not be able to see and identify you.
LinkedIn provides the following instructions to change your browsing mode:
Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
Select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown.
Click the Privacy tab at the top of the page.
Under the How others see your LinkedIn activity section, click Change next to Profile viewing options.
Select the mode you’d like to browse in. You have three options:
Your name and headline
Private profile characteristics (i.e. job title and current company)
When choosing to browse profiles anonymously, you will still appear in that person’s account as part of their “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section, except LinkedIn, will list you as “LinkedIn Member”. The user will also see that this “LinkedIn Member” chose to be shown as anonymous.
Private and Semi-Private Modes
There are private and semi-private modes for users who want to view profiles anonymously. In private mode, you will still appear in that person’s Who’s Viewed Your Profile section as “LinkedIn Member – This person is viewing profiles in private mode.”
No other information about you will be shared with the member whose profile you viewed.
When you choose semi-private mode, your profile characteristics like your job title, company, school, and industry will be shown to the member you are visiting.
Do take note that with a Premium LinkedIn account, users are able to browse in private mode and still see the list of people who viewed their profile in the last 90 days. This is not possible with a Basic (free) account.
However, even with a Premium account, you are not able to view the names of private mode viewers of your own profile. This is because LinkedIn respects a member’s privacy settings.