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To Be Hired, Be Reachable - How to Safely Publish Your Contact Information on LinkedIn

By Susan P. Joyce

Be Reachable to Be HiredThe best LinkedIn Profile will not be very useful to you without contact information readily available for recruiters and other members of your network.

If you cannot be easily reached, they move on. Opportunities evaporate and you will never know.

Having no contact information visible on LinkedIn is a DEADLY mistake!

In discussions with recruiters, as well as my own searching on LinkedIn, I have noticed a barrier that many people have accidentally created for themselves inside LinkedIn.

They have a great Profile, but they make absolutely no contact information visible. So, they do excellent marketing, but provide no way to close the sale -- or even to speak with the customer.


Recruiters search LinkedIn relentlessly, based on keywords (your top 25 keywords), looking for candidates who are qualified for their job openings.

When recruiters find someone who is qualified, they want to contact that person as quickly as possible. More than one recruiter has told me that the preferred contact information is a phone number, but an email address is the absolute minimum. 

If recruiters cannot easily contact the candidate, they move on to the next candidate. Potential customers or clients also move on.

Protect Your Privacy Without Being Invisible

Protecting our privacy is very important for all of us. However, without contact information available on your Profile, being visible in LinkedIn is a waste of time.

Fortunately, protecting privacy and having contact information visible is possible! Here's how...

  1. Professional Email Address - Gmail

    These days having an email address separate from your work email address is smart, so if you lose your job, you don't lose contact with people. An email provider which is considered "current" is Gmail (Google mail).

    Gmail is free, and you can read and send email from any device connected to the Internet. And, a Gmail address will be useful to you, even if you move to a new state or country or change cable/Internet providers.
  2. Professional Phone Number - Google Voice

    Again, having a phone number that is separate from your work phone number will enable you to stay in touch with people in case of job loss. I do NOT recommend making your home phone number or your cellphone number visible on your LinkedIn Profile.

    Again, Google can come to your rescue with a Google Voice number. As with email, Google Voice is free, and calls can be forwarded to any phone number you choose or to the email address of your choice.

Be sure that you check your Gmail and Google Voice accounts often, or forward them to email addresses and phone numbers that you do check often. [For anyone who is curious, these recommendations were NOT paid for by Google! These are, currently, your best options. If something better develops, those better options will be recommended here.]

Also use this contact information for your business/networking card. As with your LinkedIn Profile, you want to be easily reached, but you don't want to put your job or your privacy at risk.

Complete the LinkedIn Contact Information Section

At the top of your Profile (in the desktop version of LinkedIn), you'll find the "Contact" section very visible and accessible (this is good!)...

LinkedIn desktop contact information

To edit it, click on the "See contact info" (above), and a popup window will appear which offers you contact information options. (More on that below.)

LinkedIn smartphone contact information You can, of course, also edit the contact information using your smartphone.

In a smartphone, as shown on the left, the top of your Profile looks a bit different than it does on your laptop orcomputer monitor..

The basic information is there but in slightly different order and layout.

On a smart phone, the "Contact info" section is near the bottom of the top section of the Profile. It is below the first few lines of the Summary section, but above the "Dashboard" section.

Ignore the edit pencil icon at the top of each section.

To edit your contact info, click on the "See contact info" or "Contact info" link (depending on your device).

When you've clicked on the link, the screen below will pop open.

Edit LinkedIn contact information screenThe default information provided by LinkedIn is your LinkedIn Profile URL, which is the only information they have.

To add more useful information for recruiters, click on the pencil icon in the top right of the box, as you see circled here on the left, and edit your contact information.

A large form will open offering you the opportunity to add contact information to your profile, as well as up to 3 websites like your blog, your online portfolio, and your employer's website.

You can make the street address of your work location visible, or at least the city and state. Do NOT make your home address visible, even if you are not employed.

Do NOT Share Your Birthday!

At the bottom of this form, LinkedIn also offers you the option to make your birthday month and day visible. Ignore that "opportunity"! Your birthday is a key element for identity thieves, They can guess the year -- the month and day are the hardest to guess.

Yes, you will receive fewer birthday greetings by not including your birthday, but that's better than having your identity stolen.

Bottom Line

Recruiters are always in a hurry because their revenue depends on it. So, if they find you and think you are qualified for one of their opportunities, be easy for them to contact. Be active, daily, on LinkedIn to increase the chances of discovery and also to show recruiters that you are paying daily attention to LinkedIn.

About the author...

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn.

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