Can’t Copy from a LinkedIn Profile

Copy and Paste LinkedIn Profile

I was working on a client’s LinkedIn profile the other day and practicing what I preach, I opened up MY LinkedIn profile to copy some bullets. Bullets are a great way to make your profile stand out from the crowd. Th easiest way to get bullets is to copy and paste them from a profile that’s already using them. I went to copy the star bullets I use in my profile when I noticed I suddenly couldn’t highlight them. I clicked and clicked and clicked some more to no avail! “What the…?” I thought.

And then I remembered Jim Martin mentioned this in my LinkedIn group, Profile Makeover: Optimization Secrets. He linked to a blog post from Boolean Black Belt that mentioned the copy functionality has been disabled.

According to Boolean Black Belt, here’s what LinkedIn has to say…

Your privacy and security are among our top priorities. As we strive to protect the information and integrity of accounts throughout our system, we have decided to disable the ability to copy the text on profiles viewable through our site. We apologize if this comes as an inconvenience; however, we believe that this function is vital to protect the data and privacy of our members as well as the Linkedln web site

Although I understand wanting to protect profile content and curb plagiarism, I feel that this is going to prohibit sharing and connecting. I love connecting people and I often copy profile text and send it along with an introduction. I also will copy and paste a person’s contact information from their profile into my email address book. Additionally, I will tell people to copy content from my profile to use as a bio for speaking engagements and guest blog posts. In all these situations, I am operating on the up and up. It’s a shame that this very normal and positive behavior is being curbed with this new “functionality.”

LinkedIn’s Copy and Paste Disabled

All is not lost! There are ways to get around this annoying new “feature.”

How to Copy LinkedIn Profile Text

I have determined 3 methods to get back the ability to copy and paste.

1. If you have Microsoft Office One Note installed on your computer, you can take a screenshot of the text you want to copy, paste it into One Note, right mouse click and choose, Edit Alt Text. One Note has amazing OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and it converts image text to real text amazingly well.

2. You can download the pdf of the profile and copy the text via the pdf. You can either print the profile as a pdf or you can use the built in pdf button that is under the public profile link in the gray box at the top of your profile.

3. You can disable Javascript in your browser. This can be done in your browser’s settings. If you use Firefox, there is a plugin called NoScript you can install that allows you to turn it off on a page by page basis. If you use Chrome, you can go to Settings > Under the Hood > Content Settings > Manage Exceptions and add a block for LinkedIn.com

If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know in the comments. Much thanks to Jim Martin and Boolean Black Belt for the heads up and information!

Looks like LinkedIn has had a change of heart and is allowing users to select text and copy from LinkedIn profiles.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Leena! Yeah, it looks like the ability is back… not sure for how long… haven’t heard anything from Camp LinkedIn about it.

    Let’s rejoice! And fingers crossed it sticks.. the usability of the site was greatly affected.

  2. Well, the other side if this is that today I found my entire LinkedIn summary copied by another contact and just slightly changed. I was pretty upset. Can I report this to LinkedIn?

    1. Hi Susanna! The copy functionality was soon restored after my blog post. Clearly, it’s a feature that can be used in both a positive and negative manner. Unfortunately, bad things are always going to happen and we can’t always safeguard against it.

      In terms of having your summary plagiarized, you can flag the profile for LinkedIn to review (read more here: https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1385). Have you considered contacting the person directly on the phone and telling them how flattered you are that they clearly liked your profile but because you spent so much time working on it, you would prefer they come up with something less inspired by your summary? Please let me know how it goes. I wish you the best of luck!

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