View Hidden LinkedIn Profiles: A Workaround

LinkedIn hidden profile

Tired of seeing this?

A few weeks ago I said I wanted to “Return to the Blogosphere.” Since then, I have started writing three posts, but published none. In an effort to make good on my promise, I figured I would go ahead and share a tip that I use often, especially this time of year as I begin my job search for the following summer. Hopefully this can come in handy for others looking for a job or internship, but without the cash for a LinkedIn Premium account.

LinkedIn search

I sometimes have very specific searches on LinkedIn – for instance, I might be looking for Recruiters in the Defense and Space industry within 100 miles of Denver, Colorado.

Even this search turns up over 50 results, however, and since most of them are outside my network (sharing at most a group like Jobs in Colorado), my view is limited to about five full names, and maybe 20 first names. Everyone else shows as a picture-less “LinkedIn Member” with a visible tagline, which usually includes a job title and company.

In order to view hidden LinkedIn profiles of nearly anyone in my search results – namely those with a unique tagline – here’s what I do.

1. Copy the tagline

2. Open an incognito window (or another browser where you’re not logged into LinkedIn)

3. Google their tagline in quotes, including their industry, location, or first name if possible. The more generic the tagline, the more helpful other information is. (Although it’s usually not necessary, you may also want to include “site:linkedin.com.”) For instance, the following query (only a tagline!) turns up myself and one other intern I worked closely with:

“Electrical Engineering Intern at Azure Summit Technology”

LinkedIn Search

Sometimes the only result will be a LinkedIn search results page with several people listed. Even in this case, usually only one profile will have the exact tagline, area, and industry you are looking for.

4. At this point you can view their public profile, provided you are not logged in. Note that profiles may be set to not be publicly searchable, in which case they will not show up.

5. Go back to your other browser (where are logged in). Search his or her full name, along with a job position or company you saw in the public profile.

Note: If the person’s name is unique enough, you don’t need an incognito browser. You just do a search in a new tab and use the result to search for his or her full name on LinkedIn. If you do it that way, you just won’t be able to see the public profile (which can come in handy if searching the name by itself on LinkedIn turns up too many results.)

6. You should be able to view it from your account! From there you can read the summary to see if it is someone whom you are interested in contacting, connecting with, etc.

In no way is this a substitute for a Premium account (which includes many other features), so I don’t see anything wrong with sharing or using this information. The only people who will go through the trouble are people like myself, who don’t rely on LinkedIn or use it often enough to justify a purchase.

I hope that helps, and good luck with finding that job or job candidate! Have any other lesser-known LinkedIn tips? Have a comment on this one? Drop a line below!

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