LinkedIn’s Problematic “People Also Viewed” Feature

LinkedIn has a feature called People Also Viewed.

What is People Also Viewed?

It displays a list of other LinkedIn members in the right vertical rail of your profile. You know, the one you’ve devoted hours to perfecting for the hungry eyes of recruiters and hiring managers.

When you join LinkedIn, the platform automatically turns the feature on. So, unless you’ve turned it off, it’s happening on your profile right now.

What Does “People Also Viewed” Mean?

I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to figure out what “people also viewed” means. LinkedIn has more than 700 million profiles. It’s a safe guess that many of them have been looked at by someone.

Thus, I found myself asking:

  • Who viewed those other profiles?
  • When?
  • Why?

I have no idea. And I’m not sure LinkedIn does either.

What LinkedIn Says

I checked LinkedIn Help and found an overview of the feature.

Here’s what the company says about how the algorithm picks the people to display on your profile:

“The People Also Viewed feature displays a list of LinkedIn members based on a variety of factors, including profiles that viewers have also looked at, as well as similarities in job titles and industries.”

Based on my experience, similarities in job titles and industries have everything to do with it.

I’ve always regarded the feature as an aid to recruiters. It’s like LinkedIn saying, “Hey, you like Amber’s profile? Here are 10 more people a lot like her. Maybe they’re even better fits for your search. Go it for, Joe Recruiter!”

Does People Also Viewed Make You More Visible?

LinkedIn says, “This feature can significantly increase the likelihood of your profile being discovered and viewed by other members.” I suppose it could, but we have no idea if it does or not.

This is what the feature setting looks like:

LinkedIn People Also Viewed

You can choose whether or not other people’s information appears on your profile, but it doesn’t say anything about the company using your information on other people’s profiles.

What Should You Do?

I’m a job seeker advocate. Because of that, I advise my clients to select “No.” It’s not their job to direct recruiters (the largest viewer group on the platform) to other people’s profiles.

We know people spend more time looking at your headshot (19%) than any other aspect of your profile.

Why give them 10 more headshots to look at when they should be learning about:

  1. Where you’ve worked
  2. What your job titles have been
  3. What you accomplished
  4. Your skills
  5. Why people recommend you
  6. And more

Believe me, if a recruiter sees someone on that list who looks more interesting than you do, they’ll be gone, and they won’t come back.

Sadly, you’ll never know because most recruiters search LinkedIn via the Recruiter product or in anonymous mode. Thus, you have no idea they ever landed on your profile, much less left.

How to Turn People Also Viewed Off

So, if you want to keep recruiters’ eyes on your profile, turn People Also Viewed off.

Here’s how:

  1. Click your mini-me photo on the top horizontal rail of your profile.
  2. Choose “Settings & Privacy.”
  3. Click “Account Preferences ” in the left vertical rail.
  4. Click “Site Preferences.”
  5. Find and click “People also viewed” in the main column.
  6. Click the “No” button.
Final Thoughts

Don’t lead recruiters to other people’s profiles. They enjoy the hunt. You’ll spoil their fun by making it too easy for them to find other candidates.

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Please invite me to connect on LinkedIn here: Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer. The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.

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