You have a LinkedIn profile so people you know and people you don’t know can find you. But do you have a LinkedIn public profile?
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 a Public Linked Profile
To set up your public profile:
- Click “Me” in the top, horizontal rail of your profile.
- Then click “Settings & Privacy.”
- 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 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.
Edit Visibility — How to Make LinkedIn Profiles Public
Next, you can edit what’s publicly visible on your 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 of your profile 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 recruiters 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 to View LinkedIn Profiles as Public
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.
- Find your LinkedIn profile in the Google search results.
- Click through and you will see what recruiters see.
Another Reason to Have a Public LinkedIn Profile
This week, LinkedIn had a big, multi-day glitch where many people’s profiles didn’t come up in search results when members looked for them inside the network.
The glitch hit my profile. It gave me comfort to know that anyone looking for me could google my name and access my public profile.
A Redundant System
As you can see, activating your public profile creates a redundant system that can be useful in a variety 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.
Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn. The more I know about my readers, the more relevant I can make my blog.
Updated July 2019
© 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.