How would you know this? How could it happen? It happens more often then you would think.
It usually happens because you got invited to join LinkedIn at two different times via two different email addresses. When you apply for membership all LinkedIn has to go on is email address to determine whether you are a new member or not. Today, there are five ‘Ed Callahan’s, one ‘Edward Callahan’ and even one ‘Edward Callahan Jr’ ( although we have different middle initials).
If, when you first joined, you had added at least one personal and one business email address, as LinkedIn recommends, and kept them both up to date, this would not have happened. You can have multiple personal and multiple business email addresses. You designate one of them as the primary email address.
Why don’t you check yourself out right now? Enter your name in the “Search People” box at the top right of any LinkedIn screen and check the results. (I have actually seen the case where someone had four accounts.)
If you have more than one, LinkedIn has made it easy for you to close an account.
First make sure that all the profile information you want to keep from the account to be closed is saved somewhere to be re-entered in the account you are keeping. Also make sure that any connections in the soon-to-be-closed account are transferred to the other. Click here for the FAQ in LinkedIn about moving connections from one account to another.
Then login into the account to be closed and go to Personal Information in your Account & Settings (the hotlink also at the top right of any LinkedIn page; see the above graphic again) looks like this.
What if I want more than one account? Why shouldn’t I have a business and a personal one for example? Because having two accounts diminishes the value of each of them. The value of your LinkedIn account increases dramatically with the number of connections you have. There is multiplier leverage in LinkedIn because it is the only social network that has a “nested” account structure. (If I am wrong about that, please leave a comment on this blog and educate all of us.)
If you think there is good reason to have two separate accounts then you are better off having a LinkedIn account for your business contacts and perhaps a Facebook account for your personal contacts.