Dealing with Duplicate Accounts in LinkedIn
Okay, for the next few weeks, I'll probably be on a little LinkedIn kick, to make up for some lost time over the past few months. The real purpose of this post, however, is to help people identify and address problems that come from having more than one LinkedIn account. I continue to see lots of questions from people who have accidentally created duplicate accounts, because they accepted invitations from former colleagues or associates which were addressed to email accounts that they had not associated with their primary LinkedIn account. Part of the reason for this problem is that LinkedIn does not take the opportunity -- as soon as you create your account -- to encourage you enter in all the accounts which potential contacts would use to connect.
This is one of the things I would hope that they would address in the near future, along with my own list of demands.
Once you've accidentally created multiple accounts, LinkedIn does not make it easy for you to merge the two. In fact, they don't offer that option at this time.
As evidenced by some of the questions in their FAQ, this is a fairly common problem, and it would behoove them to make it easier for people to avoid the issue, especially with no simple merge option available.
So, you've accidentally created a duplicate account!
If you try to accept an invitation that is addressed to you, and has ended up in your mailbox, but you are told that you are not the proper recipient of the invitation, then it is likely that you have a second account. What you need to do at this point is:
- Perform a search to ensure that you know how many profiles exist for you on LinkedIn
- Determine which account has the least number of contacts or recommendations
- Export all your existing contacts from whichever account was selected above
- Import these recently exported contacts into the other account (deemed "Primary")
- Re-invite the recently imported contacts, indicating that the reason you're doing so is account consolidation
- Re-request any recommendations that had previously being given to the non-primary LinkedIn account
- Contact LinkedIn Customer Service to remove the old account, once everything has been imported and reconnected in the new one
- Add all relevant email addresses to your primary LinkedIn account to avoid a repeat performance
Hopefully, the folks at LinkedIn will take care of this in short order, along with some of the other minor issues that would make for an even greater experience.