With over 830 million members, LinkedIn is the world‘s largest professional networking platform. But having such an expansive presence online also comes with privacy and security concerns.
You may wish to hide or limit profile visibility on LinkedIn for professional reasons. Or simply to guard your personal information. According to Pew Research, 79% of Americans say they are concerned about data collection by social media sites.
In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll explore how and why to hide your LinkedIn profile in 2023.
Top Reasons to Hide Your LinkedIn Profile
Here are the most common motivations for hiding your LinkedIn presence:
1. Avoid Unwanted Outreach
With open access to your profile, recruiters can contact you directly about job opportunities. Salespeople can also reach out to pitch products and services.
Hiding your profile means avoiding the distraction of irrelevant outreach. According to LinkedIn‘s 2022 Global Talent Trends report, 75% of professionals receive at least one message from a recruiter each week.
2. Conduct Anonymous Competitor Research
Viewing competitor profiles provides useful intel on their offerings, team, and strategies. But you likely don‘t want them notified every time you check for updates.
A hidden profile allows you to monitor the competition without leaving a digital footprint. According to a 2022 SpyFu study, 96% of B2B marketers conduct LinkedIn research on competitors.
3. Discreetly Search for New Jobs
If you are passively or actively job hunting while currently employed, a hidden profile keeps your search activity private. This prevents your network and employer from discovering your plans prematurely.
4. Test Website Changes
Developers can preview changes to company LinkedIn profiles before they go live to the public. A hidden profile lets you discretely quality check updates before publishing.
5. Limit Personal Information Visible
By hiding your profile, you minimize the personal details available for others to see. This gives you greater control over your privacy and security.
How to Hide Your LinkedIn Profile in 3 Simple Steps
Hiding your LinkedIn profile only takes a few minutes. Here‘s how to do it from a desktop or mobile:
- Click your profile icon and select View profile
- Click Edit public profile & URL
- Uncheck Make my public profile visible…
- Click Save
On Mobile App
- Tap your profile icon
- Choose Settings & privacy
- Select Visibility
- Toggle Make my public profile visible… off
Your profile will now only be visible to direct connections, but not publicly searchable.
Pro Tip: Use private or incognito browsing when you need to view LinkedIn anonymously without activity tracking.
LinkedIn Privacy Best Practices
In addition to hiding your profile, adopt these tips:
- Remove personal details – Strictly include only necessary job and education info.
- Be selective with media sharing – Don‘t overshare articles, images, etc.
- Limit notifications – Adjust preferences for control over visibility.
- Decline irrelevant endorsements – Only accept valid skills recommendations.
- Review ad settings – Opt out of tailored ads for anonymous suggestions.
The Pros and Cons of a Hidden LinkedIn Profile
Hiding your LinkedIn profile has advantages but also some potential drawbacks to consider:
- Increased privacy and anonymity
- Avoid irrelevant outreach from recruiters or salespeople
- Conduct competitor research discreetly
- Keep job searching activities private
- Less networking opportunities
- Harder to be found by relevant recruiters
- Unable to build thought leadership presence
- Loss of profile analytics insights
Ultimately, whether the benefits outweigh the costs depends on your circumstances and goals.
Alternatives to Hiding Your Profile
For those seeking a middle ground, consider these alternatives:
- Adjust privacy settings – Hide your connections, interests, etc. while keeping profile public.
- Remove last name – Use just a first name and initial to be less searchable.
- Disable search engine visibility – Your profile won‘t appear in web search results.
- Temporarily deactivate account – You can deactivate for up to 12 months instead of hiding.
Take Control of Your LinkedIn Presence
With knowledge of how to hide your LinkedIn profile, you can better manage your professional connections, privacy, and online presence.
Evaluate your specific needs and motivations to determine if hiding or limiting visibility is right for you. And utilize the additional tips provided above to exercise greater control over your personal brand and data.
The world of social media and professional networking continues to evolve rapidly. But by staying informed you can help ensure it works for you rather than against you.