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  • Writer's pictureLori A. Jazvac, MRW

LinkedIn Changes: What Jobseekers Need to Know

“This is the largest redesign since LinkedIn’s inception.”

Do you recall LinkedIn’s announcement back in September 2016?

LinkedIn informed everyone of a redesign of its desktop (non-app) user interface. You may have been wondering for a few months what this new rollover will entail. Many professionals did not realize the impact that the changes could have on their profiles and assumed there was nothing more to be done on their part.

However, being proactive with backing up your data could save you time and losing copious amounts of high-quality content that you need on LinkedIn as a trusted networking and branding tool. You have also built many connections and kept track of all your updated credentials and experience along with the latest career trends.

So why fail to do a few simple, yet critical tasks that could actually safeguard your data on LinkedIn?

What is the purpose of the LinkedIn design update?

This design update is expected to align the desktop experience closer to what users of the LinkedIn mobile app are used to seeing.

How does this impact you?

In the past, when LinkedIn refreshed its user interface, it removed features. You should consider backing up your LinkedIn profile immediately, so you don’t lose any data. Some past features will or will not be included.

Is timeframe for backup relevant?

Absolutely YES. Be proactive. If you have not yet received the new LinkedIn user interface, you only have a short window of time to back up your LinkedIn profile. Along with the installation of the new user interface, you can’t access the old features once LinkedIn removes some features, including Notes. It is imperative to back up your data before the new interface eliminates your valuable content.

How long does the backup take?

5-10 minutes at the most.

Here is a detailed account of the tasks to complete:

* The first is to save a PDF of your profile. This will save the content in your profile only (no photos or graphics).

* Log into your account and click on “Edit Profile” under the “Profile” menu.

* Next, click on the blue “View profile as” button, and it will show the dropdown menu.

* Choose “Save to PDF” and it will immediately save a PDF of your LinkedIn profile to the default download location on your computer. You will be able to open the PDF and view your content.

* The next step is to archive your LinkedIn data.

This will create spreadsheet files (in .csv format) of your LinkedIn account — including your connections, contacts, email inbox, positions, and profile. It will also include a “Rich Media” folder with images included on your profile.

In contrast to the PDF of your LinkedIn profile, the spreadsheet files will allow you to copy-and-paste your data into your LinkedIn profile, should you ever need to. In addition, if LinkedIn removes sections with the user interface redesign, you will be able to add this information back into your profile if you choose to.

You can find the full listing of what is included in the data archives:

Here’s how to get your data archive.

Note: This feature is only available using the desktop version of LinkedIn, not using the mobile app. Also, because your backup may contain private information, do not download your data using a public computer.

* Click on your profile photo in the upper right hand corner of your LinkedIn profile. On the drop-down menu, click on the blue “Manage” button next to “Privacy & Settings.”

* On the “Privacy & Settings” page, scroll down to “Getting an archive of your data.” Click on that link.

* That will open a drop-down menu. You will be able to choose whether you want a “fast file,” which includes selected information from your account or the “fast file with other data,” which includes account activity and history. The option “Fast file with other data” is recommended.

* Choose the option you want and click the blue “Request archive” button.

Once you’ve made your choice, you will be prompted to enter your password. Once you’ve done that, click the blue “Done” button.

You will receive confirmation that your request has been received.

You’ll receive a notification email with a download link.

* When you click the download link in your email, you will be taken back to your LinkedIn profile, where you will find a blue “Download” link. You have 72 hours to download the file. LinkedIn will send a second email when the rest of the data file is ready (within 24 hours).

Clicking the “Download” button will create a zip folder. Once you unzip the folder, you will see the .csv files with your connections, contacts, inbox, positions, profile, and registration information, plus a folder containing your Rich Media.

For your first-level connections, you’ll receive a file that contains First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Current Company, Current Position, and Tags.

If you receive an error when trying to request your data archive, try once more using a different Internet browser, or try it again later.

If you use a premium LinkedIn Sales Navigator account, export your notes and tags to Sales Navigator. The notes and tags feature may be removed with the user interface update.

Log into your Sales Navigator account. Move your cursor over your photo in the top right corner of the Sales Navigator home page and select “Settings.”

Under “Import,” click “Import to Sales Navigator” next to “Notes & Tags.”

* Get into the habit of exporting your data often -- quarterly is probably sufficient if you don’t add a lot of new connections regularly, or once a month if you do.

Regularly backing up your data on LinkedIn can save time and mitigate any risks. This procedure ensures that you have current information available at any time in case of unanticipated changes in technology platforms.

For more information about customized LinkedIn profiles that make you stand apart, contact Creative Horizons Communications at 905.730.2374 or email

Connect with Lori Jazvac on LinkedIn.

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