25th April 2023 · The Clay Team

What you need to consider before you delete your LinkedIn account – and how to do it.

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Thinking about deleting your LinkedIn account? You should consider the tradeoffs of deleting your account, including losing your connections and recommendations.

There are a number of reasons you might want to delete your LinkedIn account – perhaps you’re frustrated with how the platform has turned into just another social network. Or, perhaps you find that LinkedIn hasn’t really helped you develop deeper relationships. We certainly understand the desire to delete LinkedIn, in fact we’re building an alternative to LinkedIn, Clay! However, deleting your LinkedIn account certainly has consequences. Before you make a final decision, there are a few key things to consider.

1. You won't be able to access your connections, messages, and more.

When you delete your account, your connections, messages, and recommendations will be permanently deleted. You will also lose access to any job postings or groups you were a part of. This is significant, as it may have taken you years to build up your connections and your recommendations. Further, you’ll no longer be able to access your messages, which may hold important conversations or information.

LinkedIn has a grace period of 14 days in which you can reopen your account and recover your connections, but you'll be unable to recover most of your other data. After 14 days you will not be able to recover your connections any longer.

2. You’ll be less visible to colleagues, recruiters, and other professionals

Of course, this may be part of your intention in deleting your account, but it’s still important to acknowledge that many companies and recruiters use LinkedIn as a way to prospect for new business and identify candidates. Once you delete your account, you’ll no longer show up for them in LinkedIn, which may limit future opportunities for you.

In addition, many hiring managers and professionals check someone’s LinkedIn profile before meeting them in order to learn more about them. LinkedIn can serve as a source of important information that signals your competency or experience before someone has a chance to interact with you. Once you delete your LinkedIn profile, people will no longer be able to learn about your work and educational background from your profile. This may cause them to be slightly hesitant toward you in meetings or emails until they get to know you better.

3. You may have a hard time getting in touch with or messaging some people

Although LinkedIn InMails are often a source of pesky recruiter emails and advertising, they can also be a critical way to get in touch with someone for whom you don’t have an email or phone number. And this isn’t just the case with acquaintances – there are likely people you are close to from a past job who you don’t have an email for! You had their work email in your old work email system, but you didn’t save it when you left, for example. LinkedIn may be the only way for you to get in touch with them! Before you delete LinkedIn, be sure to make sure you have alternate contact information for people you want to contact.

4. Your connections will likely wonder where you’ve gone

It’s may be important to notify your important connections before deleting your LinkedIn account, especially those you don’t interact with routinely anyway. Since having a LinkedIn is often viewed as a default, your connections likely are not expecting you to disappear from the platform. You can send a message to certain connections explaining why you are leaving and how they can stay in touch with you outside of LinkedIn. This can help maintain those relationships and prevent any misunderstandings or hurt feelings.

If you decide to delete your account, remember to download your data!

If you’ve read this far and you’ve decided to delete your account, congratulations! You’re about to make an informed and thoughtful decision. Before you delete your LinkedIn account, it’s important to download any data you may want to keep. This includes your connections, messages, and any other information you have shared on the platform. LinkedIn allows you to download your data in a few simple steps, which can be found in the settings section of your account.

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of the homepage
  2. Click Settings & Privacy
  3. Choose Data Privacy on the Left
  4. Select Get a copy of your data
  5. Select the specific type of data you’d like and click Request archive

Once you have downloaded your data, you can delete your account with peace of mind knowing that you have a copy of any important information.

Easily backup your LinkedIn connections with Clay

At Clay, we also offer an easy way to backup your connections into beautiful profiles with a single click – we’ll even keep them updated over time with fresh LinkedIn data, even though you no longer have a LinkedIn account! We've built powerful tools to help you deepen your relationships and move beyond simply "connecting".

How to delete your LinkedIn account

Step by step on how to delete your account:

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of the homepage
  2. Click Settings & Privacy
  3. Under Account Management, select Change next to Close account
  4. Enter your reasoning for closing your account
  5. Enter your password and select Close account

You’ve now deleted LinkedIn, and you’re ready to move into your next era of deepening relationships!

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