How To Nab A Job Using LinkedIn's "Who's Viewed Your Profile"

If you're looking for new job opportunities, you already know how important it is to have eyes on your LinkedIn profile. Now the networking site's new redesign gives you the tools to attract even more.

If you look at the right side of your LinkedIn profile, you'll see an intriguing text box: Who's Viewed Your Profile, the networking equivalent of catching someone checking you out on the subway. And if you know how to use the feature right, it can land you business or a job.

When LinkedIn decided it was time to update their Who's Viewed Your Profile, Udi Milo, the product lead on the redesign, was faced with a riddle: how could he help LinkedIn's 277 million users make valuable connections happen?

The task required making casual users—who see the feature as a way of keeping score—act more like power users and use the feature to advance their work. For instance, some of the most fearsome of power users saw Who's Viewed Your Profile as a way to drum up sales leads—if they caught you looking at their info, they'd make an inquiry.

"What we saw in common was that viewing somebody's profile was like knocking on somebody's door," Milo says. "You view me, I view you, and then we have some common ground to talk about."

The predecessor to the current Who's Viewed Your Profile acted like a simple version of Google Analytics. Basic users got a peek at the last five people who looked at their profiles with a line graph illustrating profile views over the past few weeks and the percentage change of how much you showed up in searches over the last seven days. Premium subscribers got a bigger sample size.

The old Who's Viewed Your Profile

Now all that info is getting richer

With the redesign, you're not only seeing the number of people clicking on your name, but you're also getting demographic info about them. You can see what industry your viewers come from, where they live, and how they found you—through Google search, a LinkedIn keyword, the school you attended, or a company you worked for.

The new Who's Viewed Your Profile

"The actual why they searched for you I will never know, but what I can show you are proxies of that why," Milo says. "What I'm trying to give the viewer are a lot of dots and they have to connect the dots themselves."

Milo suggests connecting the dots when someone at a company with a presence on LinkedIn looks at your profile. This is a great opportunity to see if that company has an opportunity in your field that matches your skill set and reach out.

What do I do next?

Milo sought to address this question by using users' data to recommend actions they could take to attract more interest.

"We look at your profile—which is the number-one driver of engagement with your identity—how complete it is and then we look at what you've done so far and what we think you can do better," Milo says. "We look at 277 million members and project what the best thing is you can do based on everyone else in the system."

To make the value of taking actions obvious to the user, there's a predicted increase in interest percentage below every action: Add a skill, get a 15% bump in anticipated interest. Join a group, gain a 10% increase. Add a summary, nab another 15%.

The Recommendation Engine

Milo believes these tweaks drive interest, and that interest in turn drives opportunities. He says he saw this happen in his own circle of contacts: a friend of his used Who's Viewed My Profile to predict that his company was going to get bought.

"A month and a half later, the [acquisition] announcement came," he says. "These are the insights we want to give to members so they can see what's coming and they can actually guide the boat."

[Image: Flickr user William Brawley]

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43 Comments

  • William Cod

    Hi,

    This is pretty interesting, as far as i'm concern, i'm using a small piece of software called "Automated Profile Viewer" (what2code.com) .

    It allows to visit profile by itself, then most of the time people are viewing your profile back.

    Will

  • Miriam Pia

    I am very grateful for this article because it spells out for me what I did need to be told. I don't know it was not "intuitively clear" to me but it wasn't. So, thank you!

  • I often wondered about contacting someone who had viewed my profile to see if they were interested in me for career reasons. I never did because I wasn't sure if it was appropriate. Obviously it is!

  • Theresa Jean Smith

    I recently had a recruiter request to connect with me. I don't always accept those kinds of requests, but he personalized his invite, so I connected. I'm currently happily employed, but it is always good to know recruiters. Within 2 weeks he had sent me an in-mail message with an interview offer for a 6 month contract.

  • As more recruiters and hiring managers are scouring LinkedIn – either to identify new candidates or screen existing ones – it definitely pays to ensure your profile powerfully reflects your skills and accomplishments. Great observations you make Drake on leveraging “who’s viewed your profile” to do your own sort of “BI” work on “what’s out there”.

    I also encourage folks to be active in areas surrounding their professional passions. For example, start (or join) LinkedIn groups to demonstrate your thought-leadership, meaningfully contribute to pertinent blog posts, maintain your own blog, and so forth. Then, when you do “reach out” to someone who viewed your profile in LinkedIn, you have even more relevance to back your game-changing skills.

    Anthony Gold @Anthonys_Desk http://anthonysdesk.com

  • Billy Bob

    i think your comment needs more buzzwords - you only have "thought-leadership" “reach out” "game-changing"

  • Ron Taylor

    A lot of companies are definitely looking to LinkedIn as a tool to find talent. I am an example of this. I received a call out of the blue one day from the company that I now work for. When asked they had found me on LinkedIn. I can not stress enough the importance of this tool to build your career in this day and age. This is the one place you can promote yourself for the business industry and they can see the relationships that you have built over your career. The relationships that you would not normally get to present.

  • Good article. I always look at who is viewing my profile. Recently someone I didn't know looked at me, and when I took a look at their company and noticed they were looking for a senior Director of Bus Dev in my region. The position was a perfect match for my background, perhaps that is what that person looked at my profile in the first case. We did only have 3 people in common in our contacts. I have applied for the position on the company website, and reached out to the person via LinkedIn...stay tuned, I'll let you know how it turns out...

  • Sheryl Heiss

    Good luck! I'm looking for Bus Dev/Sales in Raleigh, NC area if you hear of any! I received a job from someone doing a Linked In search last year, and they said they Liked my background/profile. The job was great until they eliminated the position! I hope it's a stable company that found you!

  • Carol Sosalla

    This is a great article Drake. I don't think a lot of people realize how powerful LinkedIn is. I know of several stories of people locating the perfect new position from having the right connections. If you have a complete profile with the right keywords and utilize all of the features to market yourself, the opportunities are endless.

  • Paul Stregevsky

    LinkedIn's cloaking setting appears to be a glaring security flaw: Your identity is masked when I glance at "Who's Viewed Your Profile." But days later, I learn who you are when LinkedIn sends me an email showing me the name, title, company, and photo of recent viewers.

  • The email should respect the same settings as on the site. Have you noticed a specific case where a person on the site was masked but was fully shown in the email?

  • Paul Stregevsky

    Well, I can't prove it; I'm inferring this breach by process of elimination. My profile is viewed by about 1 person a day, and I check out who's viewed it at least once a day. Usually, only 1 viewer out of the past 5 or 6 is incognito, so I infer that that person has been outed when I see their face and name for the first time in the weekly summary.

  • Fred Swan

    I've got the basic LinkedIn program.

    Great article. I am currently looking for employment I have seen viewers from applications I've submitted the next day.

    This empowered me to email the company to followup my application and direct it towards the contact who viewed me.

    Getting former co-workers signed connected to me has resulted in 3 interviews.
    One co-worker from 20 years ago.

    As a salesperson, when I start working again, I'll use the tool to build trust with my new customers and get referral business.

  • Great post..

    This is extremerly valuable to take a look at who is looking at you.. Have not scored a job off this yet but would love to hear stories of other people..

    Keep up the innovative (screenshot based) posts

    Jef

    My Career Crusader

  • Martin Ateh Atayo

    Whereas the latest structural redesign that raises -stronger user appeal to social media Networks, using online displayed profiles may be a terrible administrative mistake. This is because most profiles are best described as bogus, or cosmetic, and hardly reflect practical reality. Humanity has very hiddened trait of profile embellishment that portrays superlative persona of self to the public. And behind the screen, with an illusion of not being observed, exaggeration runs without limit. In my company, running online profile is only an added step into an overall evaluation, leading to employeebhiring decision making process.

  • Some very good points here. LinkedIn is making it easier to find common interests and start looking for new opportunities. You really can make LinkedIn work for you, plus it's one of the best social media platforms where to brand yourself online as it offers many opportunities though influencers, followers, interest and groups.