LinkedIn’s Built-In Save to PDF

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acrobat2007.gifI don’t know when they added this feature*, but it’s pretty cool. LinkedIn has a built-in function to allow you to save a profile to PDF. The resulting PDF is very clean — no graphics, not hyperlinks, full-width text. Here’s mine as an example.

The feature is hidden in plain sight. It’s right at the top of every profile, but it’s in fairly small print, so you may very likely miss it (like I have for I don’t know how long):

savepdf.gif

Why would you want to use this? I can think of several reasons.

  1. Unless you have a premium business membership, you can only see the profiles of people within three degrees of you. So if you’re, say, sourcing job candidates or looking for a consultant and want to share the LinkedIn profiles with someone else in your organization who doesn’t have a premium membership, this lets you do so very easily.
  2. Having a local file on your computer allows you to do all the things you usually do with files — organize them into folders, do searches by folder (i.e., a hand-picked subset, which you couldn’t do on LinkedIn), forward them to other people, attach them to an e-mail or a contact’s entry in a CRM system, etc.
  3. You can work offline — great if you want to review some profiles on the plane on your next business trip.
  4. The files are scannable by resume scanning software. I doubt LinkedIn profile URLs are (someone correct me if I’m wrong — seems like it would be a good feature to add).

Hat tip to an anonymous poster on the first Extreme LinkedIn Profile Makeover for pointing out both the problem and the solution.

*Hey LinkedIn… would it kill you to publish release notes like everybody else does? Without them, cool new features like this go undiscovered and unutilized until some random person discovers it and posts it on their blog or one of the Yahoo! Groups. And even then, that’s a tiny fraction of your users.

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10 Comments

  1. I use this feature all the time! When I’m doing “due diligence” before talking to or meeting a client or peer I use Google and LI to educate myself on the person and her business. It’s a great way to establish rapport. “I see you used to… What did you like about that?” …

    What I *really* hope happens is blog software adds this feature too. I print a lot for a portable reading folder I carry, and many posts get cut off. I’m using Firefox, and Aardvark plugin saves my bacon – I use it to (rather tediously) edit the page to make it printable.

    Enjoying yor blog!

  2. Do you know if they discontinued this feature? I use it all the time (as a clean resume that I can upload on my website without revealing my address to strangers) but noticed today (April 21, 2011) the button was gone?

  3. I’ve been using LinkedIn for years and never knew this existed.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention (although it looks like I should have figured it out years ago), as well as the new location for where to access the function on the site

  4. This is really a cool feature of LinkedIn. Haven’t noticed it for quite some time too. I used to do the copy pasting one by one or saving the page into html format. Then I have downloaded this software that converts doc files to pdf. Glad linkedin has added this feature, I will not go through all those steps and saving my profile is just done in one click.

  5. After the PDF is created has anyone tried to use Adobe Reader to “Save as Text” and only got a page full of dots? Or is it just me?

    If it is not just me how do you decode the text so that you can take into a Word processor?

    • It works fine for me, Carole — I just tested it. Maybe check that you have the latest version of Adobe Reader? That’s about the only thing I can think of that would affect that.

      An alternative: for about $20 a year, you can sign up for Adobe’s ExportPDF service that, among other things, will convert PDF files directly into nicely-formatted Word docs.

  6. Is there a reason why the PDF doesn’t show their Location? As a researcher for an executive search firm, it’s pretty frustrating! I love the PDF feature but I usually save multiple profiles at a time and then manually put their location in the file name.

    • Wow…astounding. Since I do all my work virtually, I never really noticed, but yeah — that’s a pretty serious oversight. That seems like a really, really simple thing to fix. I know it’s a bit of a black hole, but try contacting LinkedIn support. There is a discussion forum there, and I actually have seen issues brought up there finally (in my case, more than a year later) get resolved. That said, it was a much bigger issue from a technical standpoint than this would be. This is one line of code.

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