Why are you looking at me on LinkedIn? Cyber-stalking or just good business?

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

One of the functions within LinkedIn that is often misunderstood – and sometimes perceived negatively – is the ‘Who’s viewed your profile’ section. I often hear people remark that it’s uncomfortable – in a stalkerish sort of way – that someone has ‘Looked at me on LinkedIn’…

Here’s the thing, it’s actually a positive thing that can result in connections being made. It’s not simply about ‘checking someone out’ who’s appearance you find attractive (although undoubtedly there are people who use it for this indulgent purpose). LinkedIn is about finding and connecting with people and yes, this may involve clicking on someone’s profile and divulging your identity! Oh the pain!

If you are in job search mode and you notice a recruiter, talent acquisition specialist (or what used to be known as an ‘Internal recruiter’) or manager in your profession or industry ‘checking you out’, it’s actually a prompt for you to reach out to them if you wish. Call it reciprocity or quid pro quo or simply opening the door to an introduction but they have made the first move.

I have no problems in advising my clients to contact these folks, saying something like: ‘Hi John, I noticed you were viewing my profile on LinkedIn recently. You may have seen that I’ve left company X and am now looking for work as a…’. Now this may go somewhere, such as a meeting or phone call, or it may go nowhere, but you’ll never die wondering and it could be that proactive action that leads to your next great role.

One final piece of advice related to the above…

You have the option of ‘Selecting what others see when you view their profile’ in LinkedIn settings. Please, I beseech thee, select the ‘Recommended‘ option of showing your name and headline so that when you visit someone’s profile, they can see your details for all the reasons listed above. You want to be found right?

Is there an exception to the above…Of course! There are occasions where curiosity gets the better of you and you want to see what happened to the office bore or that horrific manager you had the misfortune to work for. Human beings are naturally curious beings, but we don’t always want to have our identities revealed! In this case, you have my permission to go undercover and become ‘totally anonymous’...

For help with LinkedIn profiles, you can contact me, Paul Di Michiel (The Career Medic) by clicking HERE.

The Career Medic – Taking the worry out of job search for the over 40s

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