UPDATED 12/13/2018 7/9/2020
One of the frequently asked questions I get is:
How do I import contacts from LinkedIn?
Note that these steps are pretty much the same for any system that exports to a .csv file (outlook, gmail, etc.). If you already have a CSV file just skip to Step THREE).
Since November of 2018 LinkedIn made a change in the name of privacy that almost makes this USELESS. Read
this TechCrunch article… there are a lot of mad comments there. Oh well, bottom line, it’s their sandbox and we are just guests.
You can still get value out of downloading “your” data, as they say. See #5 in Step 2… but don’t hate on me. I’m just the messenger.
Step ONE: Export LinkedIn Contacts to a CSV file
1. Login to LinkedIn, click My Network from the top menu:
2. On the left, click the number of your contacts, which takes you to your contact list.
3. On the right, click this link: Manage synced and imported contacts:
4. On the right, click on the export contacts link:
5. In the next dialog, click on Imported Contacts and Connections, and then click the Request archive button. You’ll might need to enter your password again (annoying, but good security).
6. WAIT. When I clicked the button it said it would take about 10 minutes. It took about 30 minutes… but here’s the email I got. Once you click the link in your email you’ll need to click the “Download archive” button on the page they take you to. I got a .zip folder downloaded to my computer.
NOTE: You can also click You can also click on “Me” from the man menu, then Settings and Privacy, then scroll down to “Get a copy of your data”.
That’s it – it is really that easy to export your contacts from LinkedIn! All of the “Contacts” have (as of right now) email addresses. Not much use, though, since that is only 56 out of over 12,000 records for me. Again, though, still could be useful. Continue on.
OPTIONAL Step TWO: Clean and prepare the file (this is all in Excel, not in LinkedIn or JibberJobber)
Open the csv file in Excel. [
NOTE: It looks like Mac users on Safari have one extra step. It looks like the download is appending a “.txt” at the end of the file… this makes it NOT open up the right way…. all you have to do is delete the .txt from the filename, and it should import fine. (added 10/21/2014)] I delete all of the columns with blank data. The last time I checked there are FIFTY FIVE(!) columns that had a header but no data… delete all of these empty columns.
2020 note: this is different now, LinkedIn finally cleaned this up and there are only six columns on Connections and 16 or so on Contacts. But there are still useless columns. I go through the first and last names and clean them up. I take out things like middle initial, acronyms, email addresses (from the name fields), etc. I simply want a first and last name. This is the most time-consuming part of the process.
Sometimes I add a few other fields, including:
Tags (LinkedIn allows you to tag contacts, but they don’t export them)
Notes (they have a Notes column, but no data in it)
Source (I always put LI_Import as the source, for every single record, to know where that record came from)
Ranking (the values would be numeric, from 1 – 5) … and anything else you want to import into JibberJobber
Now you have a clean file so no “garbage in, garbage out”!
Step THREE: Import into JibberJobber
Note: Importing into JibberJobber is a premium feature. You can
1. As a premium user, mouse over Contacts and click on Import/Export. (if you only have Export, you don’t have a Premium account)
2. The default option you see on the Import page is to import contacts. Click Choose File and browse to (and select/”save” or “open”)your CSV file.
3. The drop down says CSV file – leave that alone. The two checkboxes (Has Header and Advanced Import) should be checked – leave them checked. The Advanced Import allows you to see your data before you import it, and ensure you are mapping the fields correctly. Really, you don’t need to do anything on this step… 🙂
4. Look at the rows and columns. Anything that is WHITE will import. If a row is colored yellow(ish), we think it is a duplicate, and we won’t import it. (you can override this by clicking the checkbox to the left of that record, and we’ll import it). If a column is colored, it is NOT MAPPED and we won’t import it. You can click the drop down on that column and choose a field to import it into (aka, map it to the right field).
In this image you can see that we think the first record is already in the system, so we are not going to import it. It is yellow(ish). Hard to see, but on the left the checkbox is also unchecked.
All of the columns are mapped, which we can tell because they are not colored yellow(ish).
5. Scroll down to the bottom and click the import button. After the import you will get a confirmation message right under the main menu with the number of records imported.
Once you get this down it can be very quick (Step TWO takes the longest – but it is optional)
Right now we try to not import duplicates. In the future we plan on merging duplicate records (in case there are title changes, etc.).
Feedback? Questions? If you need technical help, use the
Contact form and we’ll get back to as soon as we can.
8 thoughts on “How To: Import Contacts From LinkedIn”
I followed the instructions but the CVS export only contained the job title and email address – everything else was blank including first / last name. Can this be correct?
I just tested it on LinkedIn and you are right – they must have a bug right now that is not exporting the first and last names. I did get an email address, company and title.
The next step would be to contact LinkedIn and let them know… I’m guessing this will be fixed in the next day or two, unless no one reports it.
Related to what you get (but not this particular new bug): in this blog post I talk about how LinkedIn has 55 field in the export but most are blank.
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