Spy on Your Competition Without Them Knowing

Steve Bruce
Apr 26, 2018 5 mins read
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Sometimes you need to do some ‘research’ on your competition:

You know, check out a hiring managers profile before the interview, learn more about your client, competitor or find out more about your forthcoming date (yes, I know what you are up to, you weirdo stalker).

Whatever the reason, you might want to look at somebodys Linkedin profile without them knowing who you are.

Here’s how to do that:

1. First go to the little photo of you that says ‘me’ underneath. You’ll find it on the top right-hand side of your profile in the black bar


2. Click on ‘Settings & Privacy’


3. Click on the ‘Privacy’ tab at the top of the page

4. Scroll down to the ’How others see your LinkedIn activity’ section & click on ‘Profile viewing options’

5. You now have three options to choose from:

a. Your name & headline: this is the one you will normally use in everyday browsing on LinkedIn

b. Private profile characteristics: this will say something like ‘Marketing Specialist in the Marketing and Advertising industry’ and will just display some basic info about you, but not your name or photo. it’s not that hard to figure out who it is that is viewing though, so best not to use this one.

c. Private mode: you’ll appear in the person you are spying ons ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ section as ‘LinkedIn Member – This person is viewing profiles in private mode’ & they won’t be able to view any other information about you. If you want to go all 007, pick this option

Personally, I much prefer to make sure people know it’s me ‘spying’ on them as I find it more fun, but not everyone has the same weird sense of humour as I do.

It’s worth noting that with a LinkedIn Premium account, you can browse in ‘private mode’ and still see who viewed your profile over the past 3 months. This isn’t possible with a free account. Even with a Premium account, you won’t be able to view the names of ‘private mode’ viewers of your own profile.

Bonus Tip:

If you switch back to ‘Your name and headline’ browsing after your 007 session, do be careful about visiting the same profile you browsed anonymously for the next three months. If you do, LinkedIn will show all of your previous ‘anonymous’ visits with your ‘Your Name and headline’ and that could be troublesome and you will also be a rubbish spy.

Now, before you go getting all hysterical and paranoid about all of those ‘anonymous’ views you are getting, it may make you feel better to know that most of the time someone views your profile anonymously, it’s a recruiter, so be happy you are in so much demand in your industry and expect a call any day now. Recruiters always browse in ‘anonymous’ mode because they don’t have time to field lots of calls from candidates asking for more info about the ‘new job’.

I hope you find this article useful.

Please leave your comments in the section below and please share this article with those in your network who might find this info useful.


Steve Bruce

Hong Kong’s most respected LinkedIn Trainer | SME Marketing Consultant