Bad News About the LinkedIn Export (email addresses)

Recently I’ve had a few people ask about downloading their contact info from LinkedIn but not seeing email addresses. I guess I’ve been living under a rock since November 2018… obviously I hadn’t played around with this since then.

Years ago I wrote a post on how to export your Contacts from LinkedIn. They have moved links and reworded things, making it hard to do, so I got to update that post every once in a while. I figured since I was getting these questions I’d update it again. Here’s the post: How To: Import Contacts From LinkedIn (Step One is most applicable although Step Two should be interesting to avoid GIGO).

So, I’m a little embarrassed to say I wasn’t up on the news that they cut off the emails back in 2018. Like I say in that post, it’s their sandbox, and we are just guests. They get to make all the rules and take away toys.

Many people who start using JibberJobber like to import their contacts from LinkedIn. It feels better to start with hundreds or thousands of contacts in JibberJobber than to start from scratch and build one by one. It’s like a little security blanket.

I propose, however, that you don’t do that.

I wrote about my thought process here: JibberJobber: The Case To Import Or Not.

I think importing hundreds or thousands of contacts gives you a false sense of security or accomplishment, specifically when it comes to the job search.

So what, then, would I do?

Simple: I would network with people, and make contact with them. This will almost always involve an email. I’ll email them to say “Hey, remember me? I want to talk,” or I’ll email them to say “Thanks for the great chat we had this morning!” Either way, they’ll get an email.

I’ll get their email address from their LinkedIn profile… that’s easy enough to do (one by one… not in bulk). But really, there aren’t shortcuts in one-on-one networking. And if I’m going to send an email as I network I might as well add the contact to JibberJobber then. I’ll use the Email2Log feature which allows me to put a special email address in the BCC field, at which time their name, email address, and the email content all go into JibberJobber.

One at a time, but I’m assured that the people I put in JibberJobber are relevant to me and my networking and my job search right now.

Will I go through my contacts in LinkedIn? Yes, absolutely. Will I use LinkedIn as I research? Of course. I’ll find their email address and hopefully, if they’ve updated their profile, see their most current title/company. But when I start to actually have conversations with them is when they’ll end up in JibberJobber.

Remember, you (as a job seeker) are doing strategic, purposeful networking. This is with people who might help introduce you to the right person as well as with people who can help you networking into a company.

Focus more on this type of networking, and informational interviews, than on worrying about automating and sending out mass messages.

I wish I had better news for you but these are their policies. Our task, as job seekers, is to work with what we have to accomplish what we need to… and we are still doing pretty well!