When I Googled the phrase “linkedin profile is missing”, nearly 350 million results appeared. Clearly this is an issue impacting and worrying many LinkedIn users.
If you’re like millions of savvy job seekers, you count on LinkedIn to help you promote your personal brand and unique value, and build online visibility for your candidacy.
The last thing you can afford is having your LinkedIn profile disappear or your account shut down. You’re probably quaking right now at the very thought that this could ever happen to you.
But it can happen, for any number of reasons.
You may do something – purposely or not – that leads LinkedIn to boot you out. Or, circumstances beyond your control could be at play.
Unfortunately, you may never determine why your LinkedIn profile is missing.
Let’s take a look at how this could happen, and what you can do to recover, in some cases.
Your LinkedIn Profile is Missing Because of Something You Did
In the past, I’ve written about some surprising things LinkedIn says you can’t do, and the actions they can take when you break the rules.
In the post, I advise that you take a close look at the User Agreement. It’s packed with details on the things you might be doing right now that could lead them to take enforcement actions.
Their rules are ever-changing, but it reads now in the “Rights and Limits” section:
“LinkedIn reserves the right to limit your use of the Services, including the number of your connections and your ability to contact other Members. LinkedIn reserves the right to restrict, suspend, or terminate your account if you breach this Contract or the law or are misusing the Services (e.g., violating any of the Dos and Don’ts or Professional Community Policies).”
Moving to the Professional Community Policies page, you’ll see the statement:
“Depending on the severity of the violation and a member’s behavior or account history, we may limit the visibility of certain content, remove content from our platform, or even restrict a member’s account in the event of severe or repeated offenses.”
I didn’t search further on LinkedIn for more information about how and why they might cancel a member’s account, but both of these statements feel pretty strong to me. Do they need to reinforce this even more?
They plainly say that they may close your account if you violate their guidelines.
If your LinkedIn profile is missing, did you do any of these things?
Here are some of the specific ways you might violate their policies. I frequently see these kinds of things going on and I wonder how many of these people get in trouble:
✅ We don’t allow fake profiles on our platform and it’s not okay to provide misleading or deceptive information about yourself, your qualifications, work experience, affiliations, or achievements.
✅ Do not share false information or use the services to shock or intimidate others. And it is not okay to share graphic, obscene, or pornographic content on the services.
✅ It is not okay to harass, abuse, or send other unwelcome communications to people (e.g., romantic advances, sexually explicit content, junk mail, spam, chain letters, phishing schemes). We do not allow hate speech, hate groups, terrorists, or those who engage in violent crimes on the services.
If you see members doing any of these things, you are encouraged to report them to LinkedIn.
If someone reported YOU for bad behavior, LinkedIn reserves the right to close out your account.
I could not find information about whether or not they will notify you in advance, if you’re in violation and they plan to take action.
To me, this means that suddenly and without notice, parts or all of your profile or LinkedIn activity could disappear.
Even if they DO notify you of an infraction, and give you a chance to fix things, what if you’re not so good about checking your email? You may never see the message. Your profile could vanish before you know anything is wrong.
Your LinkedIn Profile is Missing Some Things Due to Circumstances Beyond Your Control
The potential disappearance of your LinkedIn profile aside, there are other fairly innocuous things routinely happening on LinkedIn that could alarm you. Things sometimes go missing on LinkedIn. Some of these things you can control, others are out of your hands.
Missing names in your list of connections
If a connection of yours closed their LinkedIn account or removed you from their connections list, they will no longer be on your list of connections. You will not be notified of the reason why a connection is missing.
Missing LinkedIn recommendations
A LinkedIn recommendation will disappear if the member who wrote it removes it, or is no longer a member. If it’s the former, you’ll have to decide whether you want to contact the person directly and find out why. Otherwise, you cannot recover these recommendations.
Missing pieces due to site malfunction
Another reason parts of your LinkedIn profile or activities could be missing: LinkedIn constantly tweaks functionality to improve the user experience, and glitches occur. This kind of thing usually corrects itself quickly.
Missing features or sections that other members have
Similar to the above item, when LinkedIn adds new features or functionality, they often slowly roll them out to members. So you may just have to wait a few weeks to get the newest shiny object in your account.
If a hacker attacks and gobbles up or spams your profile, LinkedIn may shut down your account. My account was hacked years ago. Luckily I found out quickly, notified LinkedIn, changed my password quickly, and stopped nefarious activity before it escalated.
Protect Yourself, BEFORE Your LinkedIn Profile is Missing
Let all of the above be a reminder to save a copy of your LinkedIn profile content any time you make changes to it. Here’s how easy this is to do:
- Go to “View Profile” under “Me” in the LinkedIn menu at the top of your account.
- Above your name on your profile, you’ll see the “Add profile section” button. Next to that, click on the “More” button.
- Click on “Save to PDF”.
A nice-looking PDF document downloads which you should save somewhere easily accessible.