Do you keep a LinkedIn PDF file with your old profiles?
Have you ever wished you could remember the words you used in an earlier version of your profile:
- Like when you realize a previous iteration described your accomplishments better?
- Or you think a change hurt your search engine optimization?
If you make a practice of saving your LinkedIn profile as a PDF before each change, you won’t have to remember anything.
The Client Email That Prompted This Post
Yesterday, I received an email from one of my clients asking me if I had a copy of one of his old profiles.
He’s a consultant who has been evolving his business model and tweaking his profile to reflect the changes — but not saving each version along the way.
Now he wants to restore some earlier language and can’t.
How To Save Your LinkedIn Profile as a PDF
So, to avoid losing text you might want later, save your profile as a PDF before you update it. It’s easy (from your desktop or laptop only):
- Click “Me” in the top horizontal rail.
- Then click “View Profile.”
- Next, click “More” just under your banner and to the right.
- Then click “Build a Resume” and “New Resume.”
- Click “More” in the top horizontal rail.
- Click “Download as PDF.”
Alternatively, you could click “Make a copy” and “Save.” When you do, LinkedIn will maintain a file of that version of your profile for you.
Then, when you need them, you can find the saved versions of your profile by completing steps 1 through 4 above.
How to Name Your Downloaded PDF Files
If you opt to download the file, you will see that LinkedIn gives you the PDF in a few seconds.
It names the file “Resume” along with your name. However, the file name doesn’t include your download date. Adding a date will help you find old files faster.
What You Get in Your LinkedIn PDF
To see what LinkedIn downloaded, open your file and compare it to your profile.
My download includes my:
- Email address.
- Phone number.
- LinkedIn URL.
- Licenses & certifications.
- Top 10 skills.
- Honors & Awards.
If there’s something you particularly want to save, be sure to check your PDF for it. If it’s not there, take a screenshot of it from your profile and name the file consistently with your download.
The most glaring omissions I see are a complete Skills list and Publications.
Why Create a LinkedIn PDF?
If you save a copy of each version of your LinkedIn profile, then you never have to reinvent the wheel if you want to restore all or part of an earlier iteration.
Our careers shift. Sometimes we head in old directions. When we do, it’s good to be able to go to an earlier version of your profile. So, make saving your current profile the first step you take on every update.
Beyond that, each version of your profile documents your career. Those versions are your history. Someday your biographer or your kids might find them priceless.
Building Your Resume from Your Linked Profile
Note that LinkedIn has recently made your PDF download editable to make it easier for you to build your resume from your profile (H/T brand strategist, Kevin Turner).
While this seems like a convenience, the most significant impact of the change is likely to be an improvement in the quality of LinkedIn profiles — to make them more like resumes.
Remember, “garbage in, garbage out.” If your profile doesn’ t read like a high-quality resume, downloading it into a PDF won’t make it so.
The Biggest Problem With Your LinkedIn Profile/Resume
Plus, be aware that my profile downloaded as a six-page resume. NOT GOOD. If you’re going to pull a resume off your profile, be sure to edit it down to two pages. Very few resume readers want to know more about you than that — at least while they’re screening resumes.
That covers it. Thanks for reading!
Let’s Connect on LinkedIn
Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here: Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer. The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.
Updated June 2020
© 2015 – 2020, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.