For business users, LinkedIn is a handy tool for making connections and generating business leads. Aswell as being able to access business and personal information about your connections, LinkedIn also allows you to import your contacts from other applications (such as your email account) to connect with existing business contacts on LinkedIn. Because it allows you to import your own connections, it makes sense that it also allows you to export them and as such, there’s a handy feature that allows you to quickly and easily export limited data out of your account and into an Excel database.

In summer 2015 LinkedIn did briefly turn off this functionality, as part of its plans to reduce data scraping activity, however after many complaints from LinkedIn users this functionality was reinstated, until a new, quicker, data archive tool is available. Whilst the intention from LinkedIn was sound, and I for one am happy that they care about how my personal data is shared with connections, the solution wasn’t quite right. From this point of view, you do need to be careful with how you use your LinkedIn contact data once exported, and as a VA it’s sensible to also ensure your clients are using their contact data responsibly. That being said, there may be reasons why your customer might ask you to export data from their LinkedIn connections, and here’s how to do it…

Login to LinkedIn, go to your homepage and click on the tab ‘Connections

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On the right hand side click the Settings cog

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from the column on the right hand side choose Export Linkedin Connections

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You’ll then see a new page with a dropdown box. here you can choose whichever format you need, but most commonly used is Microsoft Outlook (.CSV file) – this will allow you to open the file in Excel.

Click Export

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Complete any security verification requested. The file will be saved to your downloads folder by default. From here you can open or save it in whichever way you require.

If you use Microsoft Excel, you should be able to open the CSV file as an Excel spreadsheet. If you have any problems with this then you may need to import that data into Excel as comma separated values.

Note: For privacy and data security you may only export a limited dataset from LinkedIn, and not the full profile of your connections. You will have First Name, Last Name, E-mail address, Company & Job title.