LinkedIn boasts millions of members. But dig deeper and you may notice that many of the profiles are old and abandoned. Beyond a general apathy/disillusionment over the LinkedIn social media experience, I believe many of these orphaned accounts are due to the user leaving an employer and thus losing access to the email account that they subscribed under. Or perhaps registering using their personal email address, but later changing ISPs…

Many people must not be aware of the fact that LinkedIn supports multiple email addresses associated with one account. I have had several friends.. er um, sorry.. “connections” that re-invited me to connect because they started a brand new LinkedIn profile for their job at a new company. Ouch. It would seem painful to me to invest time building a network, only to lose it because you no longer had access to your originally-registered email.

Thankfully, LinkedIn allows you to register multiple email addresses. If you do so while you still have access to them – they require an acknowledgement of a confirmation email – you can actually register as many addresses as you may be known by. Both professionally and personally.

Go to Settings > Account > Add & change email address. Here you can kick off the confirmation process for any address, delete an abandoned email, or swap your ‘primary’ from one to another.

There’s an additional advantage to registering multiple addresses: when you sign up for LinkedIn discussion groups, you can have the alerts/announcements be redirected to any of your confirmed addresses (not just the primary). And unlike, say, a mailing list, you can change them without involving lots of approvals or change of address submissions. Just select from the drop-down on the group’s member profile. So for instance, you could redirect alumni group emails to your Gmail, but business groups to your work address. A very handy feature.

My advice: take the time to register your various email addresses ahead of time. You never know where life takes you. Your employment situation may change or you could move from a Cox service area to Time-Warner. I guarantee that what address you registered with on LinkedIn will probably be the last thing on your mind at the time, but you’ll be glad you were prepared.

PS: Facebook also supports a similar multiple-address feature. Though I don’t think Facebook has the same abandonment issues that LinkedIn does…

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