Lesson 1: Updating Your Privacy Settings

LESSON LENGTH: About 5 Minutes

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What do you think optimizing your profile means?

Optimizing your profile simply means improving your LinkedIn profile’s visibility in online searches. We're talking about visibility in both Google and LinkedIn searches because LinkedIn is already a search engine optimized platform. If you were to Google search my name, Steph Cartwright, my LinkedIn profile is the second search result that appears because it is a search engine optimized platform.

Who is Looking for Your Profile?

If you've recently applied for a job or have an interview lined up, the interviewer may search for your name on Google to try to find your online presence. If they do this, your LinkedIn profile will likely be one of the top search results. Corporate recruiters, hiring managers, or even small business owners who don't have a designated hiring manager may use LinkedIn to search for candidates by searching for position titles, skill sets, or affiliations with certain organizations.

This is one of the reasons why it's very important to have your profile optimized for these search results.

Updating Your Privacy Settings

The first step to optimizing your profile is to update your privacy settings. There are certain sections on your LinkedIn profile that need to be visible to everyone. I'm not just talking about people who are already on LinkedIn but also people who find your LinkedIn profile in search results on Google but may not have a LinkedIn account. These searchers should still be able to see certain details on your LinkedIn profile without having to log in, sign up, or send you a Connection Request.

For example, if a recruiter happens to find your profile based on certain search terms on LinkedIn but they have to take the extra step to send you a Connection Request in order to see those details, they may go ahead and move on to another profile that's easier to view; so make sure that your privacy settings have these specific sections visible to everyone.

Which Sections Should Be Public?

The first two sections of your LinkedIn profile that need to be visible to everyone are your profile photo and your headline. LinkedIn states that your profile will be 21 times more likely to be viewed if you've attached a profile photo to your account. Upload a well-lit, high quality profile photo as soon as possible.

You should also customize your Headline. When you create a LinkedIn account, LinkedIn will assign you a Headline based on your most recent position title and company that you've worked for. You can optimize this with keywords such as skills, the value you offer employers, and your career goals. That Headline, which appears right under your name in search results, will stand out compared to the other job seekers and other LinkedIn profiles who haven't customized their Headline. This is the second section that really needs to be optimized for search results and also visible to everyone.

Now the other sections you want to make sure are visible to everyone on your LinkedIn profile include your Summary, your Kkills, your Current Experience and Details, your Past Experience and Details, your Education, and your Recommendations. If you haven't earned a college degree, you can also set your Certifications or Courses (in other words, your job-related training) to be visible on your profile as well.

How To Update Your Privacy Settings

  1. Log into your LinkedIn account and go to your profile.
  2. On the right side of the screen, click “Edit your public profile.”
  3. Scroll down to customize your public profile and make sure that “Make my public profile visible to everyone” is selected.
  4. Make sure that the following sections are selected: Your Picture, Headline, Summary, Skills, Current Experience and Details, Past Experience and Details, Education, and Recommendations.
  5. Click “Save.”

That wraps up this lesson on updating your privacy settings. Next, we're going to move forward and talk about targeting your job search.

Update your privacy settings to make your public profile "visible to everyone."

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