By Jill Kurtz, APR, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy

I seem to be connected to many people on LinkedIn who have let the cobwebs accumulate on their profiles. I have connections who list jobs they left long ago as their current positions and others with invalid email addresses. In searches to find people, I also discover that some have more than one profile (and generally none are complete or updated.)

Don’t let this happen to you! That zombie profile or profiles can hurt your efforts to present yourself effectively online.

If LinkedIn isn’t a place where you want to be online, that’s OK. But you need to understand that even though you have chosen to ignore the platform, many people still actively use it. They will find your content there and shape their impression of you based on what they see.

You need to manage your reputation on LinkedIn keeping the basics of your profile update-to-date or removing your profile completely.

Closing Your LinkedIn Account

You can close your only LinkedIn account on the Privacy & Settings page:

  1. Move your cursor over your photo in the top right of your homepage and select Privacy & Settings.
  2. Click Closing Your Account under the Subscriptions section of the Account tab.
  3. Check the reason for closing your account and click Next.
  4. Enter your account password and click Close account.

Removing Duplicate Accounts

Getting rid of duplicate accounts is a little trickier. To find your other account(s), search for your name on LinkedIn.

From your search results:

  • The profile with the YOU icon is the account where you’re currently signed in.
  • A profile containing your information that doesn’t have a YOU icon is a duplicate account.

The process for removing or merging duplicate accounts depends on a few factors, but LinkedIn offers step-by-step instructions for each case.

Keeping Your Profile Current

You can spend a lot of time creating a complete LinkedIn profile. But, you don’t have to.

Here’s a checklist of items to make sure you are communicating the right message to people who are getting to know you by checking out your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Keep your work history and other profile details like memberships and volunteer activities up-to-date.
  2. Use a professional profile photo that is current.
  3. Post updates that are consistent with your business image.
  4. Make connections with others. We are judged by the company we keep. Make connections in your industry: thought leaders, clients, coworkers, etc.
  5. Set yourself a reminder to check your profile at least once a month. You might be surprised how often you need to update or change the profile you thought was complete.