Controlling What's Displayed on Your Public LinkedIn Profile

How to Manage Your Privacy on LinkedIn

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It might seem odd to want to control privacy on a social network like LinkedIn, especially when your goal is to be known and promote your home business. However, there may be situations in which you want to limit the information shared particularly outside the network.

One positive aspect of social media is that your information can be found through Google searches. But maybe you don't want that. Or maybe you only want people you're connected with on LinkedIn to see your full profile, whereas no one else can.

 

LinkedIn makes controlling and protecting your privacy relatively simple when compared to Facebook. While those you connect with will be able to see your complete LinkedIn profile, you have considerable control over what portions of your profile are displayed to the public (people outside the network or through search engines).

Why Limit Access to Your Profile?

It seems counter-intuitive to limit who can see your profile if your goal is to expand your freelance career or home business. However, there maybe reasons you want to hide your profile or limit what people can see. The reasons can include:

  • You're moonlighting your home business, and you don't want your boss to know. 
  • You want to avoid a former boss from finding you and posting a bad reference.
  • Your goal in using LinkedIn is more for support and resources, not for business building and marketing.

You can control what people can and cannot see or be alerted to on your Linkedin Profile.

How to Hide Your LinkedIn Public Profile

If you don't want your profile to appear in Google or other search engines and don't want your profile visible to non-LinkedIn members, you can completely hide your profile. Here's how:

  1. Login to LinkedIn
  2. Hover your cursor over the Profile tab at the top of the page to see the drop down menu. Click on Edit Profile.
  1. Hover your cursor over your profile URL under your profile picture. The settings icon will appear next to the URL. Click it.
  2. On the right-hand side of the page, you'll see a section called Customize Your Public Profile. To hide your profile from search engines and non-LinkedIn members, click on Make my profile visible to no one.
  3. Click on Save

According to LinkedIn, if your profile has been visible, it might take a few weeks for it drop out of search engines. 

How to Control What Parts of Your LinkedIn Profile is Visible to the Public

If want your profile to be found in search engines and by non-LinkedIn users, but want to limit what they have access to viewing, you can do that through your profile as well. Here's how:

  1. Login to LinkedIn
  2. Hover your cursor over the Profile tab at the top of the page to see the drop down menu. Click on Edit Profile.
  3. Hover your cursor over your profile URL under your profile picture. The settings icon will appear next to the URL. Click it.
  4. On the right-hand side of the page, you'll see a section called Customize Your Public Profile
  5. Click on Make my public profile visible to everyone. All the basic items will be selected by default.
  6. To remove something you don't want to be seen on your profile, unclick the Basic box, at which point you can select and unselect what sections of your profile you'd like to display or hide from search engines and non-LinkedIn members. 
  1. Click Save.
  2. To see what your profile now looks like to the public, click the View My Public Profile as others see it link.

Remember, The controls offered here are designed to limit access to people who are not a part of the LinkedIn community. Your connections and other LinkedIn members will be privy to information you provide. 

Updated May 2016 Leslie Truex

This article is part of The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn.