If someone searched for you on LinkedIn, would they find two of you?
There is only one unique you. So why do you have two LinkedIn accounts?
Matt has two accounts. One describes him as a recruiter. Another describes a long and successful HR career. Both of his accounts have 500+ connections.
Dawn has two. One describes her as an “HR Manager” with 51 connections. The other describes her as “Human Capital Management”, the headline we created to represent her career plan. She has 290 connections in that account.
Both Matt and Dawn use the same picture in each account.
I can think of a few reasons why that happened.
- Maybe they changed jobs and got locked out of their account because the original account was listed under their work email address. NOTE: Please use your personal email address in your LinkedIn account because this really happens.
- Maybe they want to establish a new brand with new career goals.
- Each profile is associated with an email address. If you used two different email addresses or someone invited you to connect with them through a different email address, then you may have created two profiles.
Having two accounts confuses viewers which could potentially undermine whatever impression you are trying to make. It is best to have only one account.
LinkedIn offers us the chance to merge the connections from two accounts into one account then close the account with the fewest connections. You want to make sure you collect all the email addresses in the second, smaller account so you can add them to the larger account.
LinkedIn offers very specific steps to make this happen. The steps vary based on the number of connections in the second, smaller account and whether or not you know the email address associated with the second account. I also found detailed instructions from Patrick O’Malley on how to do it yourself. If you have any concerns you should contact LinkedIn customer service.
Although you are merging the connections into your larger profile, be aware that you cannot transfer profile data like recommendations, work experience, or activity like pending invitations or group membership. Another reason to retain the account with the most connections and recommendations.
Once you merge accounts and delete the second profile, get to work on improving your remaining profile.
Matt is starting a new business as a recruiter but his credentials from his previous life enhance his reputation. In hindsight he should have reworked his original profile with his new business while maintaining all those past contacts and recommendations. Today, to reduce confusion and drive more connections and interest to his recruiting business, Matt should contact LinkedIn to merge the connections then delete one of the accounts. Then he should adjust his profile to include his past experience and history.
One of Dawn’s profiles is small with few connections. She has no recommendations in either profile so she should merge and delete the smaller account then work to create a wonderful profile supporting her career plan in her main account.