Do you have more than one LinkedIn account?
Every now and again I am surprised by a request to connect on LinkedIn with someone I had thought was already a connection. Sometimes it is the case that we were not previously connected. But sometimes it’s because they have more than one account.
Some have more than two profiles and I know at least one person with four.
There can be various reasons for this. The simplest may be that someone receives an email invitation to join LinkedIn and does so, not remembering they had joined previously, using a different email address.
Whatever the reason for the situation, some people don’t seem at all bothered when I point out the them that they have more than one profile on LinkedIn.
Others who think it would be a good idea to have just the one tell me they don’t know how to fix the problem.
For anyone wanting to use their LinkedIn account in the service of their business or career, there are good reasons to have only one profile. They include:
- ensuring that a search for you or your products or services turns up what you see as your main profile (typically people have one they take some care about and one or more other, relatively neglected ones)
- having just the one set of connections, not having them scattered across different profiles
This post is for the people who see the value of having only one profile and who would like to fix the problem of having more than one.
Delete or merge?
You can ask LinkedIn to merge two or more accounts into one. See below for the process.
But just deleting the account or accounts you don’t want is a fairly simple process. Just ensure you have first made some preliminary arrangements, as set out below.
The key to those preliminary arrangements is to make sure you have saved the full list of connections for the account or accounts you want to delete, and have a plan to invite them to re-connect, using your favoured account.
Steps to Safe Deletion of Duplicate Account
1. Check to identify duplicate account and log in
Accessing the duplicate account
First, in the search box at the top of your LinkedIn page, type your own name.
For any results that have your details, a profile that has the word YOU alongside your name (see screenshot) is the account you are currently logged into. Any accounts with your information (not just your name) are duplicates.
Move your cursor over your profile picture (top right) and click on Sign Out.
Then sign into the duplicate account using the email address you used to open that account. (If you have more than one duplicate you will need to deal with them one at a time).
If you can’t remember your password, click on the Forgot Password? link and then check your email inbox for that email address, for the password reset information.
2. Save the data from your duplicate account
Export your connections list.
You will need your connections list so that you can invite them to re-connect with the account you are keeping.
To export the list, go to the top navigation bar, mouse over Network then in the dropdown menu click on Contacts. In the Contacts page, in the top right section click on the Settings tab (small gear wheel icon on its left). That will open the Contacts Settings page. Then click on Export Connections (top right) – see the screenshot below.
The page that opens will have the export as .csv format as the default. There are other options, linked to explanations, if you want something other than the basic .csv. See screenshot below.
Save other data
Save your profile as a PDF. To do that, move your cursor over the Edit button, next to the blue button with Improve Your Profile on it, and click on Export as PDF. That will download your profile, with key data, including your summary, various positions (Experience) and recommendations.
As an extra step for the recommendations, you can copy and paste each of the recommendations from your LinkedIn profile to a Word or similar document. This will be handy when you ask the recommenders to re-recommend you, so to speak, on the account you are keeping. If you are happy with the recommendations as they are, you can send them to the recommenders and give them the option to just copy that into a new recommendation on the account where you are asking them to re-connect.
Make a list of all the companies you follow and groups you belong to with the account you are closing. That data will not be included in the downloaded profile PDF.
3. Closing the account
When you have double checked against the instructions above and are sure you have all the data you want from the account you are closing – and in the format you want it – you can proceed to close the duplicate account.
To do that:
- move your cursor over your name in the top right of your LinkedIn home page and click Privacy & Settings
- click on Account (bottom left of page, next to shield icon)
- under Helpful Links – to the right of the page – click on Close your account
- select a reason for closing the account, then click Continue
If you have trouble logging into the duplicate account, contact LinkedIn support, using the subject line Cannot Sign In To Duplicate Account, and providing the following
- The URL for the profile you want to remove (e.g. http://www.linkedin.com/abc123).
- The email address(es) associated with that account.
- Your name as it appears on LinkedIn, and any alternate names you may have used.
If you can’t remember what email address you used for the account, try the following:
- use an address you think you may have used and use the Forgot Password? link, then check your email inbox (and spam catcher too if you can’t see a response in the inbox)
- if there is no response from LinkedIn, then that is not an address you have used on any LinkedIn account
- try other possible email addresses with the same process
- if all that fails, contact LinkedIn support directly and see what they can do for you
About merging accounts
As mentioned above, it is possible for accounts to be merged. For that to happen, you need to contact LinkedIn and ask them to do it.
As far as I can ascertain, all they do is to transfer your connections from the account you no longer want to the one you want. They do not transfer recommendations, work experience, pending invitations, or group memberships. I don’t know what the waiting time is for the connections transfer to take place.
To activate the process, contact LinkedIn and provide the following:
- The primary email addresses of all accounts to prove you own the account.
- Tell them which account you want to keep.
Note: if I were going the merge route, I would still make sure I had exported my connections, as explained above.
Let me know how you go
I’ve endeavoured to include all the necessary steps and considerations here. If you found this helpful, I hope you will let me know, for example by leaving a comment to that effect. By the same token, if you had problems with the process I’d appreciate knowing that too. As no doubt would others dealing with the issue.
Business coach and digital entrepreneur. With coach training from Coachville.com and its Graduate School of Coaching, and a founding member of the International Association of Coaching, Des has been coaching business owners and entrepreneurs for the past 20 years. Over the same period he has also been actively engaged in promoting the business opportunities of the digital economy. He is a certified Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) coach, and a certified specialist in social media strategy and affiliate marketing.