Monday, October 17, 2011

How Not to Say: “Noooo! My Profile is Gone on LinkedIn!”

LinkedIn has been in the news in the past few days; most recently because it surpassed MySpace in members. That speaks volumes about the importance of LinkedIn; are you a member?

I didn’t mean to scare you. But in this virtual, digital world of ours, things happen.  LinkedIn is one of THE most important social networks, especially in terms of your career. And yes, just like anything else, your profile could vanish. Is it likely? No. But spending five minutes to retain the important information that you’ve likely spent countless hours crafting and even more time making those connections could be history. Poof.

Let’s prevent that, shall we? Two steps:

Sign-in to LinkedIn. Once you’re signed in go to View Profile. Just below where your public profile is listed, place your cursor on where it shows the grayed out icon and the word pdf. Highlight it so that the color red is showing and click on it. Click on it and all your information in your profile will be downloaded, including recommendations.

If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat Reader (for viewing pdf files) click here.

The good news about pdf files that wasn’t true in the past, you can copy from them. So, in the unlikely event that your LinkedIn profile vanishes into thin air, after exhausting all other avenues, some copying and pasting will help recreate it.

The recommendations in your profile are GOLD. Having a copy of those is perhaps THE most important part of your profile.

Every time your profile is updated to any great extent (beyond fixing a typo) or a recommendation is added, download a fresh copy of your profile for safe keeping.

Step one covers everything except your contacts. And it’s wise to download that information for safekeeping as well. At the top of the Home page, put your cursor on Contacts, and then click on Connections. Scroll down; on the bottom right, click on Export Connections. Exporting as a .csv file will allow you to open up your contact list in Excel; very useful!

Click Export and enter the captcha code(s), save, and you are done!

Here’s what you get: First and last names, email address, a whole bunch of blank fields for addresses (delete them), company name, job title and more blank fields. There is enough information there in regards to communicating your contacts.

Five minutes monthly could save you countless hours in the future. Not saving this information could result in some aspects of your LinkedIn profile that will never be retrieved, unless you have a very good memory. Have I convinced you?


Shannon Grissom said...

Hey Gerry, really good info. Thanks!

Steven Smith said...

Wow,great post.

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