Looking at Who’s Looked at You

One of my favorite features on LinkedIn is that box on the home page that says “Who’s Viewed Your Profile.” It’s an incredibly important and frequently missed feature – a treasure trove of useful leads for people who are trying to grow their business or land a job.

The theory is that if you know who is paying attention to you on LinkedIn, you can use that information to make your case – to reach out with new information, or to follow up on an earlier pitch. It lets you strike while the iron is hot.

So it’s important to note when LinkedIn changes this feature, as they’re doing now.

In a new blog post, LinkedIn says it is streamlining Who’s Viewed Your Profile “to make it easier for you to get a snapshot of who, what, and how you are being discovered on LinkedIn.” Some of the changes are merely cosmetic. Others, like the ability to view information in weekly chunks, provide real value. And across the board, they seem intended to upsell LinkedIn premium accounts, which offer deeper information in a timely manner.

The fully robust Who’s Viewed My Profile is actually one of the best features of a LinkedIn premium account. It allows you to look at 90 days’ worth of data, and it updates in real time, to let you know not only who looked at your profile, but also what keywords people used to find you and what industries your viewers are from.

The free account offers less information, listing only five people who have looked at your profile, and foregoing the keyword and industry insights.

In both cases, it appears that LinkedIn will continue to allow people to be “anonymous” when looking at others. Anonymous users have traditionally given up the ability to get viewer data on their own accounts, and this is sure to continue.

The changes will roll out to LinkedIn members over time, so you may not see them right away. But as you’re waiting, think about these tips for making the most of Who’s Viewed Your Profile:

  • Don’t be anonymous. LinkedIn is a visibility game, and you want people to see you. When your name and face show up on Who’s Viewed Your Profile, you let people know you’re paying attention to them.
  • Check it. Every day. Knowing who’s looked at your profile can give you important information about timing your follow-ups – and about new people to reach out to. Members with premium accounts can always look back over 90 days’ worth of data. But people with free accounts may miss important information if they don’t look every day.
  • Look at others. Taking a look at someone else’s profile is a great way to get them to think about you, and (sometimes) to look at yours. This can be especially useful before an interview, or if you’re waiting a long time for a response.
  • Practice good networking. When people appear on Who’s Viewed Your Profile, you’ll see how many shared connections and groups you have. Use those shared connections for introductions to and information about the people who have looked at you — you never know what you might learn.

How often do you use Who’s Viewed Your Profile? Has it ever helped you with a networking or job-hunting situation?