Here is how I advise clients to deal with duplicate, or even multiple, LinkedIn profiles:
- See which profile has the greater number of RECOMMENDATIONS, CONTACTS, and even old email addresses. Choose to keep the profile that has the greater number of contacts/recommendations/email addresses; everything except old email addresses on the profile portion can be updated. This is completely a judgment call – you must decide which content is most important to you. You can ask people to reconnect and even to resubmit a recommendation but you cannot add an old email address back in.
- Review the profile you want to delete (Profile X) and note all of your contacts and their email addresses. TIP: This can be exported from “Connections” into a .csv file.
- Note any other info you want saved to your preferred profile (Profile A). TIP: Print the profile.
- Update Profile A: Current summary, experience, education, websites, groups, applications, etc.
- Compare your contacts from Profile X to contacts in Profile A. List who is missing from Profile A.
- Invite those missing contacts to join your professional network on Profile A. TIP: Politely explain that your are merging two profiles.
- If you are also asking a contact to resubmit a recommendation please make the process easy on them – have it typed so they can easily copy/paste. Only do this with very close friends, or you are likely to loose the recommendation altogether.
- At this point you can go into Account & Settings/Personal Information/Close Your Account. You might choose to keep it live and redirect people to your new profile, but I think that might be irritation for you and the person who is trying to connect with you.