What Can People See On Your LinkedIn Profile Before You Are Connected

Whether you are concerned about privacy or concerned that potential clients and hiring managers can’t see enough of your amazing LinkedIn profile before they request to connect, you get to be in control of what people can see. You can adjust the settings to control what people can see on your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn profile

On every social media platform, there are privacy settings that you can adjust, if you just know where to look. Today someone contacted me via email, asking me how they could adjust their LinkedIn profile so certain projects and accomplishments were highlighted or shown to people who were not yet connections. (I’m always grateful that people think of me when they have these questions, but find it amusing when they write, “I need someone to get back to me with this information” like we are LinkedIn or Facebook helpdesk!) I decided if I was going to play the role of LinkedIn’s helpdesk for one person, I should share that here with everyone.

So there are 4 steps you must take (and they are pretty hidden for some reason) to adjust what people can see on your LinkedIn profile before you are connected. This is also referred to as SEEN BY PUBLIC, versus SEEN BY CONNECTIONS.

STEP ONE: Select to View Your LinkedIn Profile as a Specified Audience

When you are logged into your LinkedIn profile, click on the blue, VIEW PROFILE AS, button.

What people can see on your Linkedin profile


STEP TWO: Switch your LinkedIn view to PUBLIC

To see your profile as the PUBLIC sees it, switch from CONNECTIONS to PUBLIC. While you are viewing your profile as your connections would see it, you cannot edit, you can only see the profile through their eyes. To edit you must go back to PROFILE – EDIT at the top. Once you switch to PUBLIC you will still be in VIEW ONLY mode but you will see a settings option to your right.

LinkedIn privacy settings


STEP THREE: Select Your Public Profile Settings

This will open up all of the LinkedIn profile sections that you may or may not viewed by those you are not yet connected with.

How to adjust your LinkedIn public viewing settings


STEP FOUR: What Will You Reveal and What Will You Keep Private?

Here you can decide to make your profile visible to NO ONE, or you can select specific parts to be viewable by people before they are connected with you. To decide which features you want to have open to the public, you might want to spend a few moments asking yourself why you are on LinkedIn to begin with. If you are hoping to be found and hired for services you can offer, be sure those services can be looked at before you are connected, or the person viewing your public profile may never send the request. If you are a job seeker, you may want to make sure your summary and skills are out in the open.

Of course, it’s up to you what you leave out in the open and what you keep behind closed doors, but give people enough information to entice them to want to know more, otherwise you could be missing opportunities that you are on LinkedIn to uncover.

And don’t forget to SAVE your changes before you leave.

What people can see on your Linkedin profile


If it’s time to give your LinkedIn profile a little TLC and get it attracting more connections as well, be sure to download our resource guide to create a ROCKIN’ LinkedIn Profile!

how to create a great linkedIn profile

I’d love to hear any of your questions or comments –remember, we are better than the LinkedIn or Facebook helpdesk!

You can connect with me on any social channel or leave me a comment here! We have a fabulous group for entrepreneurs who want a place to ask questions and get resources to grow their business. Come join in the fun–> DIY.social

Gina Schreck, social marketing


Gina Schreck is the president at SocialKNX, a digital marketing, and social media management company. She has been helping individuals and organizations use today’s tools to build their business since 1995! She is also the founder of the Business Growth Coaching program, DIY.social 

Follow Gina on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn…her profile is about as public as that name scribbled on the bathroom wall.