Can You View LinkedIn Profiles Without an Account?
By Lainie Petersen
Updated August 13, 2019
LinkedIn profiles can provide you with a wealth of information about a job candidate, potential business partner or client prospect. Having your own LinkedIn profile enables you to take full advantage of LinkedIn's search capabilities and to see profiles in detail.
However, it is still possible to search LinkedIn without an account, though your search results may not be satisfactory. If privacy is a concern, you can opt to browse in private mode during your searches.
What Is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social networking page for job seekers and professionals. LinkedIn profiles are geared toward allowing site members to show off their employment histories, educational credentials and professional achievements. Many people use LinkedIn as a way of connecting with recruiting and hiring managers, and, of course, recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn to search for job candidates.
There are other reasons why someone might use LinkedIn, however. These might include verifying someone's resume or job application, connecting with potential business partners or investors, or prospecting new clients.
Can You Search LinkedIn Without Logging In?
As is true of most social media platforms and resume search services, having an account and logging into it provides you with superior search results. You are more likely to find the profile that you are looking for, and you can see the profile in more detail than you might if using LinkedIn without a login.
Still, you may be able to view a LinkedIn profile without an account, though this approach has its drawbacks. LinkedIn members can adjust the level of profile detail that searchers can see. This may mean that you can view relatively little of a profile when searching as a nonmember or when not logged in.
In addition, some LinkedIn members restrict access to most of their profiles, including photographs and job history information, to people with whom they have a first-, second- or third-degree connection.
Other LinkedIn Considerations
If you need access to someone's LinkedIn profile and you don't have an account, consider your reasons for not signing up for one. A basic account is free, and you can adjust your privacy settings to control the amount of information you place on your profile.
Privacy concerns may be the reason you want to view a LinkedIn profile without an account. LinkedIn's standard practice is to reveal the identity of visitors to a profile to the profile's owner. While this can be great for networking purposes, you may prefer to view a person's profile privately.
If this is the case, there are two options for viewing content in private mode while signed in to your account:
- Private mode in a basic account: If you have a basic (free) account, you can go into your privacy settings to "How Others See Your LinkedIn Activity." From there, you can set your browsing to private mode. Be aware, however, that you will not be able to view the identities of people who view your profile.
- Private mode in a premium account: If you pay for a premium account, you have the option of browsing in private mode while being able to see the identities of those who visit your LinkedIn page.
If neither of these options appeals to you, you could hire a professional researcher to look up someone's LinkedIn profile.
Find out if the researcher has a premium LinkedIn account and can review the profile in private mode, either providing you with a screenshot of the profile or collecting pertinent details on your behalf.
Lainie Petersen writes about business, real estate and personal finance, drawing on 25 years experience in publishing and education. Petersen's work appears in Money Crashers, Selling to the Masses, and in Walmart News Now, a blog for Walmart suppliers. She holds a master's degree in library science from Dominican University.