Last week my LinkedIn connections reached the maximum 30,000. The first thing I did after realising I could no longer add new connections to my network was to download a csv file so that I could inspect the connections, iron out bad connections, and create space for new connection requests that I keep on receiving.
How to download Connection Data from LinkedIn: 1. Click on the downward arrow at your image thumbnail located at top right corner of your LinkedIn Page. 2. Click on Setting & Privacy 3. On the left Pane of the Setting & Privacy Page, click on "How LinkedIn uses your data". 4. Click on "Get a copy of your data". 5. Select the type of data you need, but specifically select "Connections". 6. Request Data then wait for LinkedIn to notify you via email that your data is ready.
Limited options for Managing LinkedIn Connections
When I received the data, the first thing I did was to sort them by name. That’s when I realized that 187 of my connections did not have a first name, a second name, any other name, no job title, no email address, nothing. The only data that I had for these 187 connections is the date we got connected. As you must have realized, even before I checked on the details of the other connections, these are the very people I needed to chuck from my connections, but there is no way of finding them. I tried searching for them by entering white spaces using the space bar but that didn’t yield any results.
The next thing I tried was to Google “how to find your LinkedIn connections by use of date you got connected”, and the useful results were those that directed me to download my connection data as I have already described above. Basically that wasn’t going to help me. At this moment the conclusion I have reached is that I have no way of getting rid of those connections that technically do not exist.
That makes the first thing I hate about LinkedIn be the inability to provide more options for viewing the connections list. Right now, you are only allowed to view your connections (sort) by Recently Added, First Name and Last Name. No option to view them by Oldest or by date you two got connected. Wow unto you if you want to get in touch with a connection that you have completely forgotten their details, or if you also happen to have the several nonexistent connections that are doing nothing other than fill up your connection list.
Still on sorting and lists, have you realized that if you search on LinkedIn and you sort the search results by People, LinkedIn displays to you only the first 100 pages, where each page has only 10 people at a time? That means even when there are 10 million people that fit the search criteria, you can only access 1,000 of them? It gets worse, those 100 pages are not easy to click through. The fist 8 Page Numbers are nicely given, but the rest you will have to get through by clicking on Next every single time.
A very useless LinkedIn Search Feature
The inability of finding someone you have completely forgotten their details may make you think that probably if you searched for some key words they are likely to use on their profile or their status updates you’d most likely get to find them. One thing I was doing as I requested and equally accepted connection requests, was to unfollow every new connection, as at some point I realized that my feed was being clustered with topics that are completely uninteresting to me. I only kept a few to at least make the news feed occupied. Once I reached the 30K followers, it was time to find people who are interesting to follow, and the best way of doing that was to search for content my 1st level connections that I am interested in following are likely to use on their status updates.
When I did that for the keywords I thought those I’m interested in following would use, I hardly got any useful results. Consider this scenario: I have ove 4,700 connections in the Movie and Film Industry spread across the globe, but when I search for keywords such as “short film”, “feature film”, “screening”, “film production”, and several other keywords that typically a filmmaker would use on their status updates, I get same three people every single time, making you wonder whether the rest of the 4,700 filmmakers do not update anything related to the industry they work in. Try it and see. And I’m not the only one who has noticed this. Consider this update by one of the connections:
“Does anyone know how to find a post in my feed? LinkedIn’s feed algorithm makes me think I will never find that post again.”
Unbarred Connection Requests
The third and definitely not the least irritating thing on LinkedIn is the inability of the App to bar others from sending you connection requests once your quarter is filled up, or, looking at it from your perspective, not barring you from sending connection requests to people who cannot receive them. Compare this with Facebook where once one has reached 5K friends, whoever wants to be their friend is notified that the person has reached the maximum friendship limit, and is offered the option of following them instead.