LinkedIn. It’s a powerful platform that connects you with millions of professionals across the globe. Blah, blah, blah. Sure, that’s amazing and all—but, it’s not even close to my favorite part about this networking tool.
What’s the very best thing about LinkedIn? You already know the answer. It’s easy: The fact that—with just one click of a button—you can see exactly who’s been creepin’ on you at any given point in time. And, nothing makes me transform into Nancy Drew faster than when someone anonymous takes a gander at my perfectly quantified bullet points.
Obviously, those people that looked at your profile were intrigued by something about you, meaning you have a captive audience right at your fingertips. The “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section is quite literally a treasure trove of strangers just waiting to blossom into full-blown connections.
But, there’s only one problem: Most of us never actually do anything with the information that’s there. Instead, we take a quick scroll through those names, think, “Huh, I wonder what she wanted!” and then move on with our days.
Well, no more, my eager-to-network friends! This sneaky feature is quite literally the crown jewel of LinkedIn. So, it’s time you start leveraging that wealth of knowledge.
“That sounds great!” you’re thinking to yourself, “But…uhhh…how?” Whether you’re currently hunting for a new gig or are just looking to meet some new people, I’ve got the details on exactly what you should do when someone takes a look at your profile—so that you can start using that information to your advantage.
If You’re Currently Job Searching
So, you’re on the lookout for a new opportunity you can dive into. Well, LinkedIn is about to be your new best friend. The people who take a look at your page could very well be the connection you need to an awesome company that’s currently hiring.
If a Hiring Manager Viewed Your Profile
You scroll through those names and then immediately gasp with excitement! The hiring manager (or the department head, etc.) for that job you recently applied for looked at your profile—that must be a good sign, right?
Yes, that’s definitely a good sign. You can breathe a sigh of relief that he or she was interested enough in your materials to dig in a little further. But, when it comes to what you should do next, your best bet is to just remain patient.
Don’t let your excitement tempt you into immediately sending an overly eager (read: pesky) message and connection request. Instead, accept that this was likely just another step in the hiring process. If you haven’t heard anything about the job or hiring timeline in a couple of weeks? Well, at least you have the name of someone you can personally follow up with—rather than using that generic email@example.com email address.
If Someone From an Awesome Company Viewed Your Profile
You don’t recognize the name or company of that person who took a look at your page. But, you did some digging, and found out that he actually works for a really awesome employer—an employer that you now want to work for yourself.
First things first, visit the “Careers” page for that company and see if they’re currently hiring for any positions that fall inline with your experience. If so, pull your materials together and apply!
Then, head back to that person’s profile and send a personalized connection request. It doesn’t need to be anything overly complicated. Something simple like this should do the trick:
Great to connect with you here!
I see you work as a Project Manager at Company X. I recently submitted my application for an open Account Executive position there, and am looking forward to finding out more about the opportunity—it seems like an awesome place!
If You’re Looking for Side Gigs
You’re not seeking a traditional full-time job. However, you are hoping to bring in a few extra side projects to refine your skills and boost your monthly income. As a freelancer myself, I can tell you that LinkedIn can be an absolute hotbed for landing extra work. And, I’ve used the list of who’s viewed my profile numerous times to my advantage.
Of course, you want to be somewhat selective—meaning you don’t need to send a personalized message to every single person who appears in that section. However, if you see someone that interests you, go ahead and reach out!
“But, what on earth do I say?” you’re likely thinking to yourself now. Don’t panic—a simple introductory message will do just fine. This is just the start of your conversation. Your only goal here is to have your connection request approved, so that you can send longer messages than the 300 characters that LinkedIn allows when sending an invitation. Here’s an example:
I hope you’re doing well!
My name is Kat, and I’m a Midwest-based freelance writer. I see you work for Company Z. I’ve admired their work for quite some time, so I thought I’d connect with you here!
Looking forward to keeping in touch, Susan.
If You’re Expanding Your Network
You’re not eagerly searching for a new job, and you have enough on your plate already—so, no side gigs for you, thank you very much. Instead, you’re hoping to just use LinkedIn to make some new connections and grow your web of professional contacts.
Well, LinkedIn was quite literally designed for this purpose—but, you’ll really only see awesome results if you’re willing to put in a little of the legwork. So, if you see someone in the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section that piques your interest, it’s definitely beneficial to reach out with a personalized connection request.
Luckily, these types of messages are the easiest to send, as there’s no pressure involved—you aren’t expecting anything other than an accepted request and perhaps a friendly conversation.
Start by perusing that person’s profile to see if you have anything in common (like the same alma mater or the fact that you both volunteer for animal rescues). After you’ve identified that, a simple introduction like this one should help to start things off on the right foot and lay the groundwork for a beneficial connection:
Hope you’re having a great week!
My name is Kat, and I’m a Midwest-based freelance writer. I’m always looking to expand my network of contacts (especially with fellow UWM alumni—go Panthers!), so I’d love to connect with you here.
Looking forward to keeping in touch and finding ways to help each other out, Philip.
There you have it—your comprehensive guide to what you should do when someone views your LinkedIn profile.
Again, there’s no law stating that you have to craft the perfectly polished, personalized message to absolutely every single person that takes a gander at your page—that could get exhausting in a hurry. But, if you notice someone who you think could benefit your career, it’s definitely worth it to gather your courage, fire off a message, and kick start a relationship.
After all, the old cliché is true—you never quite know who you’ll meet.
Photo of person on computer courtesy of Jamie Grill/Getty Images.
Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, self-development, and the freelance life. In addition to writing for The Muse, she's also the Career Editor for The Everygirl, a columnist for Inc., and a contributor all over the web. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her rescued terrier mutt or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Say hi on Twitter @kat_boogaard or check out her website.More from this Author