Do you have a twin on LinkedIn, or have you ever found someone on LinkedIn with a duplicate profile? It’s more common than you might think. There are a few ways this can happen:
Accidentally . . . . It generally happens because someone creates a profile with one email address, then is invited to connect by someone who sends the connection request to a different email address. LinkedIn has no idea that the two email addresses belong to the same individual, so it prompts that person to create a profile using that second email address.
Intentionally. . . . Someone creates a profile using an email address, but then they lose access to that email address (i.e., a work email at an employer they no longer work for). Since they can’t access that account, they start over with a new profile but don’t take the time to delete the original profile.
Needless to say, a duplicate profile is confusing for people looking to connect with you. And whether accidental or intentional, having a duplicate profile isn’t great for your personal branding, because it gives the impression that you’re not technologically savvy.
The best way to avoid a duplicate profile is to provide LinkedIn with all of your email addresses. You then have the ability to select which one you display publicly on your profile. Then no matter which email someone uses to send an invitation to connect, LinkedIn will know it’s you. Here’s how you do that:
- Go to settings (hover your cursor above your name, above the search box in the upper right hand corner).
- Once on your settings page, scroll down and select “Account” in the bottom window.
- You’ll see a section for “Email & Password” with an option for “Add & change email addresses” which you’ll want to select.
- Follow the instructions per the screen capture below.
If you already have a duplicate profile, there’s no way to merge the two together. Your best bet is to pick the one you want to keep. Generally it’s the one with more connections and/or recommendations. Looking at the profile you plan to delete, see if there are connections you have which you do not have on the profile you plan to keep. You’ll want to send them a customized invitation to connect on the profile you plan to keep.
When you’re satisfied that you can delete one of your accounts, you’ll find that setting in the same general area under settings, then account (pertinent areas highlighted in pink):
Once it’s deleted it’s gone, so be sure you’re ready to delete! If you’re in a situation where you can’t access the profile you want to delete (i.e., you no longer have the password and/or access to the email associated with the profile, etc.) you’ll want to contact LinkedIn customer support to explain the situation. Long-time readers of my blog know that I haven’t always had great luck with LinkedIn customer support, so be patient. 🙂