Yikes! My LinkedIn Profile Disappeared and I Don’t Have a Copy

by Meg Guiseppi on July 8, 2014


Think it could never happen to you . . . your LinkedIn profile could never go missing?

Try Googling this phrase:

linkedin profile disappeared

I found nearly 500,000 results, for people whose profiles went missing, and suggestions for fixes.

LinkedIn Profile Disappeared

Did you know that LinkedIn can shut down your account, at their discretion?

According to LinkedIn’s User Agreement:

“We may modify, replace, refuse access to, suspend or discontinue LinkedIn, partially or entirely, or change and modify prices prospectively for all or part of the Services for you or for all our Members in our sole discretion.

LinkedIn further reserves the right to withhold, remove or discard any content available as part of your account, with or without notice if deemed by LinkedIn to be contrary to this Agreement. For avoidance of doubt, LinkedIn has no obligation to store, maintain or provide you a copy of any content that you or other Members provide when using the Services.”

But, more likely, your account can be hacked. Mine was recently. Luckily I found out, notified LinkedIn, changed my password quickly, and stopped nefarious activity before it escalated.

We’re all at such risk.

What happens to our profile content, when it’s attacked by hackers, or LinkedIn shuts it down?

We probably can’t retrieve it. It’s gone for good. But with foresight, we can protect ourselves in advance.

Fortunately, LinkedIn makes creating a decent looking PDF version relatively easy. If your profile disappears, you can quickly copy and paste it back into a new account.

As you go through this exercise, be aware that given the ever-changing nature of LinkedIn, this feature may not continue to be available, or may not be available to you yet, or may function in a different way:

  1. Hover over Profile in the navigation menu across the top of your profile and click Edit Profile.
  2. In the name block, click Done Editing to reveal the blue “Complete your profile” button and Edit button next to it.
  3. In the drop-down next to Edit, click on Export to PDF.
  4. Save the file. Easy as that!

Saving your profile to PDF doesn’t include your LinkedIn contacts. You don’t want to lose track of all those people! Here’s the fix:

  1. Click Connections in the navigation menu across the top of your profile.
  2. Click the little cog icon to the far right of the Connections header at the top of the page, which reads Settings.
  3. Under Advanced Settings (top of the righthand sidebar), click Export LinkedIn Connections.
  4. Choose where to export it, in the drop-down under “Export to”, then click export.
  5. Save the file in a location where you can easily find it, like the Desktop.

Now you have them in a spreadsheet, ready to import them into a new LinkedIn account, if need be.

More Information about LinkedIn and Personal Branding

LinkedIn, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search: Perfect Together

2 LinkedIn Personal Branding Tips You Don’t Know

Personal Branding: How to Brand Your LinkedIn Summary Section

How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Professional Headline SEO-Friendly

The 3 Most Important LinkedIn Profile SEO Places for Relevant Keywords

Your Personal Brand Online and the LinkedIn Privacy Dilemma

Keep Your Personal Brand Top-of-Mind with LinkedIn Updates

LinkedIn Groups and Personal Branding: Showcase Your Subject Matter Expertise

photo by Alaskan Dude

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meg Guiseppi May 23, 2017 at 7:37 am

Sally, I think you’ll find that most, if not all, social media platforms carry a similar warning in their Terms of Service. To be sure you’re not doing something wrong, check out LinkedIn’s latest updates to Terms of Service. https://blog.linkedin.com/2017/april/10/updates-to-our-terms-of-service

There are a number of “Do’s and Dont’s” that can jeopardize your membership.

I suggest that you have a copy of anything you’ve put on your LinkedIn profile (actually, any of your social media profiles), including your slide show, of course. Better to play it safe.

Thank you for commenting!

2 Sally Corey May 22, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Hi – do you have any updated recommendations? I don’t know how LinkedIn can do this to you without any kind of warning or support or anything. I spent a lot of time on mine with a slide show that I had to figure out how to do. Please help. Thanks, Sally

3 Meg Guiseppi July 10, 2014 at 6:52 am

Michael, it looks like LinkedIn changed the way this works, so I changed the instructions in the post, as you’ll see.

Thanks for letting me know about this!

4 Michael A. Aldea July 9, 2014 at 7:32 pm

There is no “Network” in the Navigation Menu across the top of my profile. So I am unable to follow the instructions to export my connections. Is there any other way to do it?

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