I have always admired the LinkedIn platform and all it has to offer. Owing to this, while having a conversation with a friend, he mentioned that I could view others’ LinkedIn profiles anonymously, then and there I set out to know how this works.
The outcome of this search has been very intriguing and enlightening. I will be sharing with you the various ways you can anonymously view LinkedIn profiles.
LinkedIn has proven to be an indispensable tool for business and career enthusiasts. Unlike other social media networks, a lot of its users experience difficulty in finding their way around the platform.
As a result of this, they get lost in the sea of features and options available for them to explore and therefore underutilize their presence on the platform.
We will be looking at basic LinkedIn functionalities and how maximizing these tools can help take you a step closer to your LinkedIn objective.
Viewing others’ LinkedIn profile anonymously comes with its own merits and if not properly understood and applied could turn out to be a disadvantage depending on what you set out to achieve with your LinkedIn account.
It is a good place to note that LinkedIn cherishes users’ preferences, therefore what you get to see when you visit people’s profiles on LinkedIn is subject to what the profile owner chooses to reveal. Let’s get into the various ways you can view others’ LinkedIn profiles anonymously.
Approaches to Viewing Others’ LinkedIn Profile Anonymously
How do I get to view others’ LinkedIn profiles anonymously? The response to this could be as direct as just following through a couple of steps, however, this can not be generalized.
Therefore, irrespective of the scenario and circumstance that warrants you viewing other people’s profiles anonymously, this read puts that into consideration as we will be looking at varying approaches to viewing others’ LinkedIn profiles anonymously.
Directly From Your Search Engine
This seems to be the easiest way to view someone else’s LinkedIn profile without LinkedIn notifying them that you did. Subject to what they chose to reveal about themselves on LinkedIn, the following few steps would enable you to view an individual’s Linkedin Profile directly from your search engine.
- Ensure you are not previously logged in on the LinkedIn platform using the same browser by visiting the webpage linkedin.com. Pay careful attention to the web result by looking out for the profile picture thumbnail on the right corner of the LinkedIn webpage. If none exists you can then execute your search, however, if the reverse is the case, ensure you are fully logged out to prevent unwanted outcomes.
- Once the initial step has been guaranteed, input the name of the individual whose profile you will like to view anonymously. To get specific search results, you can add the term ‘linked in’ to the search item. For example, if the individual whose profile you desire to view is James John, your search should then appear as James John: linked in.
NB: You might not need to go through the first step if you have not previously logged in to LinkedIn using your browser, however, if you had to, you can then go ahead to make use of the LinkedIn search box while you are logged out.
- You can now view their names, headlines, and other features of their LinkedIn profile.
This approach to viewing LinkedIn profiles is quite beneficial to individuals who do not have LinkedIn accounts or those with free LinkedIn accounts looking to get information about individuals who are 3rd-degree connections or aren’t a part of their network and experience restrictions on their quest for such information.
Using this method, you are however not privy to other information about such person activity on LinkedIn such as their connections or uploads.
Let’s take a look at the other approach to anonymously view others’ LinkedIn profiles.
Using Your LinkedIn Account
It is very much possible to view other people’s LinkedIn profiles anonymously while still logged in to your LinkedIn account on the web or by making use of your LinkedIn mobile app.
You execute this by either owning a basic or premium LinkedIn account.
Despite the similarity in the steps to anonymously view LinkedIn profiles irrespective of what account type you own, the impact it has on both account types varies.
Here are the steps to view others’ LinkedIn profiles while logged in to your LinkedIn account either on the mobile app or on your computer.
Several LinkedIn users like myself find it more comfortable using the LinkedIn mobile app rather than the web version. Irrespective of your preference, the mobile app might be all you have got in a bid to anonymously view someone else’s Linkedin profile, here is a guide on that.
- Launch the LinkedIn mobile application and locate the Profile icon which is available on the left corner of your screen. On locating the profile icon, tap on it. Doing this leads you to the settings option.
- Click on the Settings option and scroll through to locate the visibility menu.
- Select the Visibility menu which appears just before communications, and follow-through to spot the menu which states Profile viewing options.
- Select the profile viewing menu and choose your preferred visibility mode.
Three visibility modes exist, however, to edit what can be seen in each of these modes, you will have to make use of your computer. Steps to viewing LinkedIn profiles anonymously on your computer are similar to what is obtainable on the mobile app, differing in just a few command options.
If you are more comfortable navigating the LinkedIn platform on your computer either through the web browser or the desktop app, here is how to anonymously view LinkedIn profiles.
- Select the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Click on the dropdown arrow. This pops up several menus, select the Settings and Privacy menu.
- Select the Privacy menu and then select How others see your Linkedin Activity.
- Select from the available visibility that matches your intent.
To view others’ LinkedIn profiles anonymously you will need to select the private or semi-private visibility modes. Let’s take a look at various visibility modes on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Visibility Modes and What’s Revealed
Different visibility modes exist on LinkedIn which is dependent on what you are hoping to achieve on the platform.
Understanding these visibility modes and what is revealed whenever any of this is selected safeguards you from being identified in a bid to stealthily check out a LinkedIn profile.
It’s thoughtful of the LinkedIn team to have included this feature as the least activity you execute on LinkedIn notifies your connections.
These visibility modes thereby empower you to be in control when you want your identity revealed or discrete. Here are the three visibility modes that exist on LinkedIn and what’s revealed.
The Public Mode
This is the default mode that exists after setting up your LinkedIn account. Without prior knowledge of how the platform works, one might continue with this mode ignorant of the other possibilities that exist.
In this mode, whenever the individuals whose profiles you visited utilize the who viewed your profile feature on LinkedIn, they get to see your;
- LinkedIn headline
- Profile picture
They also get to see;
- The industry you function
- Where you are located
These are classified information about yourself you might not be willing to share with everyone, therefore you should have a rethink before embarking on multiple profile visits when in this mode.
The Semi-Private Mode
You can make this your preferred visibility mode if you are willing to share partial details of who you are while holding back on revealing your name. Only individuals who are familiar with you or whose identity is behind the job title can easily identify you when in this mode.
This takes you a step closer to anonymously viewing others’ LinkedIn profiles and staying unknown. When in this mode, here is what is revealed about you.
- The industry you operate in
- The company you work with
- Your job title
- Where you are located
You can choose to take a chance with this mode as only persons who can align those details can unmask your identity.
This is the ultimate visibility mode if you are looking to view LinkedIn profiles anonymously without the fear of being revealed.
That is not to say that the destination profile owner does not get notified of your visit, however, all they get to see is that a LinkedIn member viewed their profile.
Viewing LinkedIn Profiles Anonymously and Its Effect on Various Kinds of LinkedIn Accounts
When you choose to view LinkedIn profiles anonymously, you must be aware of the kind of LinkedIn account that you have and how viewing LinkedIn profiles anonymously affects such.
Having mastered switching your visibility mode to enable you to view profiles anonymously, there are consequences to this act. A good place to start is to know the nature of your LinkedIn account. You either have a;
Basic LinkedIn Account, or a;
Premium LinkedIn Account.
Now let’s take a look at how viewing LinkedIn profiles anonymously impacts each of those account types.
Basic LinkedIn Account
Basic Linkedin account owners can view others’ LinkedIn profiles anonymously however this comes at a cost. When profiles are viewed anonymously, individuals with basic accounts lose access to a list of the last 5 individuals who viewed their profiles.
Every time you toggle between the public and private visibility modes, the list is erased, and insight into who viewed your profile is lost.
Therefore if you find relevant the details of those who viewed your profile and you have a basic account you should consciously take note of those who viewed your profile before embarking on anonymous profile visits.
Premium LinkedIn Account
When you are a premium LinkedIn account owner, certain limitations that are binding on basic account owners such as limiting you to knowing just the last 5 individuals that visited your profile and being unable to access such details whenever you switch visibility modes are inexistent.
Premium account owners obtain unlimited details and insights on who viewed the profiles that enable them to enhance sales and advance their careers. Their decision to view profiles anonymously does not affect these details and they can access such irrespective of the visibility mode they are.
Irrespective of your account type, you can only access the details of those who viewed your profile in the last 90 days. The information you obtain on this is also subject to the visibility mode of the profile visitors.
When you choose to view profiles anonymously, the details of you the profile owner gets notified of remains subject to what you choose to reveal, and in this case, all they get to see is a LinkedIn member.
Why Should View Others’ LinkedIn Profiles Anonymously
Viewing others’ LinkedIn profiles comes with lots of benefits irrespective of who you are and what stage you are on the platform. Be you an advanced user who is purposeful with being anonymous or you are just being shy, here are reasons you should consider anonymity when searching others’ profiles.
When You Are New on the Platform
Persons like myself who like to tread softly always want to get it right from the get-go and where else is this characteristic needed than on a platform like LinkedIn so as not to ruin your chances at networking while it’s still early days. Anonymity gives you the privilege to understand the platform and how it works without being noticed.
Newcomers on the platform can fine-tune their profiles by visiting the profiles of individuals who are in similar industries or presently occupy roles they aspire to without alerting the profile owners.
Achieving such results require visits to multiple profiles before arriving at the profile that best fit. Creating an impression when your profile isn’t top-notch could ruin an opportunity at networking or sales.
In addition to this, you may not be new on the platform but embarking on a profile update, viewing others’ profiles anonymously while you fine-tune yours is recommended.
When You Want Your Activity Hidden From Your LinkedIn Connections
It’s a well-known fact that your Linkedin connections get notified of your various activities on the platform. If you are unwilling to disclose your latest or potential career moves courtesy of the information obtained on whose profile you are checking out to be disclosed to members of your network, you should consider changing your visibility mode.
If you are also looking to stay off being noticed on the platform, rather than deactivating or deleting your LinkedIn account, anonymity helps you remain unseen while you are in the background.
For Research Purposes
Researching on LinkedIn can be for various purposes and staying anonymous while at it is of great benefit.
Employees who are searching for new opportunities want to do this discreetly without leaving a trace of suspicion for their current employers, therefore while at this, staying anonymous is required.
Unemployed individuals wanting to gain an understanding of their potential employers should consider doing this under the cloak of anonymity. The information obtained guides your decision on when it’s best to unveil your identity after effecting necessary adjustments to your profile.
Recruiters as well find this beneficial when in a fix while trying to select the best candidates. Performing checks on candidates to select who is the best fit for a role should be done anonymously.
Otherwise, candidates might have their hopes dashed when not selected having seen you viewed their profiles. Your profile should only be visible when you are willing to reach out to such individuals.
When you are probing what someone else is up to without notifying them, you should do this while being anonymous. It could be former colleagues, an Ex or persons with similar skills and education as yours.
Sales representatives and business persons also search for prospects and potential clients for research purposes which then informs their strategies and methods, implementing the best fit when it’s time to reach out.
When all of this is perfected and you desire to contact them through the same platform, you can then unveil your identity.
Other reasons you should make you consider viewing LinkedIn profiles anonymously include; if you are looking to research rivals and competitors. Doing this helps you position yourself to have an edge as you do not want to be left behind in an evolving marketplace.
Law enforcement officials could also use this visibility mode to gather required information on an individual who is being investigated.
Conversations Around Viewing Others’ LinkedIn Profile Anonymously
Certain persons are unconcerned about the visibility mode employed in viewing their Linkedin profile, however, there are others with contrary views.
Such persons in the latter category are of the view that only the information you are willing to share about yourself should be disclosed to you about another.
This has been a controversial subject on LinkedIn as individuals who do not want their profiles viewed anonymously have created LinkedIn groups to launch a collective protest against the policy. They did not stop at this as online petitions were also created.
Both schools of thought are justifiable as the reasons highlighted earlier, justifies viewing anonymously while those against have stated reasons such as injustice, being paid Linkedin account owners, being owed the responsibility of knowing who viewed their profiles as owners data owners, fear of being stalked by criminals as the bedrock for their concern.
Linkedin could pride itself knowing that the option to see who viewed your profile is only possible on its platform when compared with other top social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
There is however a source of consolation for those who are afraid of being stalked by criminals as Linkedin retains the IP address and details of all who viewed your profile on their servers.
Credit card details of premium LinkedIn accounts are also retained and can be trailed when such is required. This however seems unsatisfactory still.
If you are not looking to stay unnoticed on LinkedIn for a while, always ensure your visibility is made public after achieving your objective for anonymity. This will enable you to actualize your networking aspirations on Linkedin.
While having your visibility made public, visiting others’ profiles could spike interest and earn you a profile visit in return. The more visits to strategic profiles, the more your chances at generating leads which in return convert to profit.
There’s a limit to the number of profiles you can visit as an individual as the forces of nature will always prevail. LinkedIn automation tools make this easier to visit these profiles on your behalf.
Liprospect, a cloud-based Linkedin automation tool helps handle these multiple profile visits on your behalf as it is humanized in its approach and aims at prospects. In addition to this, it helps grow your network, build smart message flows and generate more leads.