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There’s only one of you. Or is there?

A couple of weeks ago I was working on a client’s LinkedIn account, managing some of the connections and was amazed to find that over 50% of the people I was looking for had multiple profiles. I’m not talking about a personal profile and a company one, but 2, 3 or in some cases 4 different personal profiles.

Now having that many profiles is never a good idea – it’s just too confusing for other people and would be incredibly time consuming to manage but, the likelihood is, those people may not even know they have them.

You see, if someone has tried to connect with you through a different email to the one that you have on your profile and you accept, then LinkedIn will create a new profile for you using that email.

Generally when an invite comes through you won’t see, or won’t think to check, which email they’ve used so you won’t know that any additional profiles have been created. And, if you want to check if you have any, searching for yourself doesn’t help as they often won’t show up. Helpful, I know.

What you can do:

Ask someone you know to do a search for you. By searching from a different account you should be able to see if you have more than one profile showing up in the results.
If you don’t – great. But, to prevent it from happening to you, make sure you add any additional email addresses that you use to your profile. By adding them all to one account it doesn’t matter which one your contacts use to connect with you as they are all linked to the one profile.

If you do find you have more than one profile here’s what to do:

First you’ll need to find out which email address was used so that you can access the account. You can do this by checking your different inboxes for invitations or notifications from LinkedIn.

Once you know the email address, try logging in to LinkedIn.  If you already know the password you would have used, great.  If not, just ask to reset it and you will receive an email with further instructions.

Once you have access to the account you do not want, go through and check the profile.  Is there information on there that you want to transfer over to your other account?  TIP:  if you ‘View Profile’ you can download a .pdf of the information that is then easily stored and used to copy it over.

Check the connections you have on that other profile, and make a note of those you want to ensure you re-connect to on the other profile.  You can export a list of them within Contacts to make it easier to re-upload them to the main account.

The last thing to do is to check you have not received any recommendations on that duplicate account.  If you have, copy the details  into a word document so that you can request it again from your main account.  Having all the information makes it easier for the person giving the recommendation as they will not have to re-write it.

Now, once you know you have all the information out of the account you no longer want go to Settings > Account  then click on Close your account.

Once this has all been done, you can log back in to your main account and make sure this doesn’t happen again!  Go back into Settings, and at the top of the screen under your photo, next to Primary Email, click on Edit.  You can then add any additional email addresses you own.

You can then import any connections you want to using the spreadsheet you exported earlier, and also request any recommendations you may have lost.

There is a little work involved in this, but in the long run it makes it a lot easier to manage your network, and ensure you do not have ‘multiple personalities’ out there online!

Don’t forget to let me know how you get on :-)

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