Your LinkedIn profile is more than just a professional social media persona, it's a valuable part of your digital history. It's a place where you conduct business, interact with fellow professionals and showcase your skills.
LinkedIn may not be the flashiest or most talked about social media platform, but is nonetheless a vital way of communicating with colleagues, peers and potential employers.
The way we portray ourselves on our LinkedIn pages - posting content, engaging in debates, sharing connections' posts - is now receiving an unprecedented level of public scrutiny. The Covid crisis has meant more people are looking for work and faced with such demand, recruiters are increasingly using LinkedIn to find new talent.
While your actual CV may be a Word document you now and again turn to (usually the days before a crucial interview or job application), whether we like it or not our prospective employers are more likely to turn to our LinkedIn profiles first.
Think for a moment, what content are you posting? What do you talk about the most? And is there a record of this?
We may not often think much about the lasting record of our social media activity but it's important to give this some due consideration. Especially when it has a direct impact on your career.
Therefore having a lasting record or archive of your LinkedIn profile can be an important step towards securing this. Fortunately, LinkedIn has a built-in archiving function and here we explain how it can be accessed step-by-step.
To start the archiving process you will need to request this directly from LinkedIn. Therefore, go to your account and select the Settings & Privacy option in the dropdown menu.
In the Settings & Privacy section you're given a number of options such as communication, visibility and security preferences. Immediately though by default you are given the 'How LinkedIn uses your data' section.
Here, you will want to go to the second heading down and click 'Get a copy of your data'.
Here you are able to go about getting an archive of all your data in two ways.
First, you have the option of downloading a larger data archive which covers everything including connections, contacts, account history and other information inferred from your profile and activity.
The second option allows for you to be more measured in your archiving approach, with a number of other options to choose from. Here you can select your preferences, archiving only things like articles, connections, messages etc. It's totally up to you.
Whatever you choose, the Request Archive button becomes highlighted. Click this and your download will be ready in around 24 hours!
Once your LinkedIn data is ready you will see a 'Download available' notification in your account's settings. Simply open this up and download your archive.
And there you have it! Your entire LinkedIn archive will be made available among your downloads. This is broken down in Excel spreadsheets, separated into things like 'messages', 'posts' and 'connections'. While this may look complex at first sight, this is an exhaustive and extremely valuable hub of data to have in your possession.
This often overlooked feature from LinkedIn gives users greater ownership of their data. However if you are planning on downloading some or all of your LinkedIn data, here are some things to note:
- You ideally should only download your data from a personal computer and not a public computer.
- This feature is currently not available on mobile.
- You'll only receive the categories of data that are applicable to your account and activities on LinkedIn.
- If you close your account, you'll no longer have access to your LinkedIn account data.
- This archive will not include information about 'people you may know and 'who's viewed your profile'.
- When you’re exporting your connection data, you may notice that some of your connections email addresses are missing. Members choose whether to allow their direct connections to download their email address through their privacy settings.
The importance of archiving your online data
Today we publish vast amounts of data about ourselves on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to name a few. And while we may protect ourselves with passwords, locked profiles and limiting the amount we communicate, it is still important to have ownership of this data.
At MirrorWeb, we know a lot about this as we provide web and social archiving solutions to a range of industries (from financial services to public sector authorities) which means we are experienced in helping organisations own their digital estates. This isn't just important for organisations though.
To learn more, download our free guide on social archiving below. Filled with expert insight, this guide covers why we can't always rely on social media platforms to safeguard our data and why more needs to be done to store permanent and reliable copies of this.