LinkedIn is removing profiles

This is something I have been giving a lot of attention in my articles for Facebook. Make sure your Personal Profile is all about you! So just enter only your personal name and no additions. And it is no different for LinkedIn profiles.

When you want to have a business profile on Facebook, just make a Business Page with your personal profile. If you don’t want to show who created the business page, you can do that.

Stupid me, I have been making that same mistake myself on LinkedIn since 2006!

Look, this is my professional profile on LinkedIn
LinkedIn profile

My email address is included in my name box. Why?
In 2006 I looked at how the network builders did their thang, and adding your email to your profile was a smart thing to do. This way people can add you as their contact easily.

You just click Add
LinkedIn add contact

Then ‘Other’ and you can enter the email address:
LinkedIn add contact

When a request to connect comes in my inbox I carefully check their professional profile. What’s the function of the person, what company does he/she work, how active are they on LinkedIn and Twitter…

When I like what I see I will add them to my connections and send them a welcome message, usually with a question to start the conversation.

This tactic got me in contact with some great people, many whom I have never met before. But that is not an issue to me. I speak to a lot of great people on Twitter too and sometimes even get to meet them.

It is my belief that relations on social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are real. You meet real people, have real conversations, have real emotions. And it is a great (and easy) way to meet new people.

LinkedIn profile on Google

One thing I did not consider at that time but got me some great attention in the past years is that ‘LinkedIn’ is in the title of my profile this way. My professional profile therefor ranked high in the search engines when people search for ‘LinkedIn’. Lucky coincidence.
LinkedIn profile in Google

Yesterday I got a message that pointed me to this article by Anne Raaymakers Top LinkedIn Tip: Let op! Je profiel kan verwijderd worden

As you can read in the comments (maybe you want to use Google Translate), I had a hard time believing this point. Not that I don’t trust Anne, because the wording of the email were a bit too personal and I could not find the sections in LinkedIn’s User Agreements.

Anne really had to point them out to me, and then I got the light bulb.
LinkedIn user agreement

LinkedIn user agreement

LinkedIn user agreement

So I finally understood her point. Even though many people are doing this, examples:

  • searching for +1000 resulted in 9 profiles in the Netherlands and 80 in the US
  • searching for .com in the last name returned 119 results in the Netherlands and 2,300+ results from the US

The email that Anne is sharing says:


In a recent review of your profile, the name field of your account was found to reflect information other than your first and last name. The LinkedIn User Agreement requires the use of true names rather than pseudonyms, business names, associations, or groups when registering on our site. We believe that any information other than first and last name in the name fields compromises our site and the service that we offer. Therefore, I have removed the LinkedIn profile in question.


LinkedIn Customer Service

Especially that last sentence, “Therefore, I have removed the LinkedIn profile in question.”, made me feel it was maybe a hoax.

So I have also asked a question about it on LinkedIn Answers and got some responses.
Have you heard about LinkedIn profiles that were removed because they displayed more than their real names

Bryan answers:

“Yes, I’ve heard that some profiles have been asked to change and if they don’t the profile would be closed.

It’s about time LI started to enforce it. It is very difficult to search for someone when they add all the other stuff to their name.

Why can they not just add it into their Summary?”

And Bernard says:

“When you enter your details you are clearly asked for “first name” and “last name”. Unless your last name really is “Smith +2500 Tel:001 1234 567890″ then you are entering false information so are not using the site honestly and are subject to removal.”

I am a bit disappointed, because there is only one other person, that replied, heard about profiles that got a notice. With LinkedIn working on this point I expect a lot more profiles getting a warning and/or are being removed from LinkedIn. Some profiles that have a lot of connections TOP Linkers or Open Networkers or LIONs may want to change their name in the Professional Profile.

Change your Professional Profile to show only First and Last name

Anyway, I think it is a good moment to change this in my professional profile.

Go to Settings – Name & Location:
LinkedIn personal profile change

When you have a professional profile used as a company profile it is also a good time to change. LinkedIn has updated their company profile section, with a lot of great options like adding products. But that’s a complete new article 🙂

Do you have a clean profile or got a message from LinkedIn asking you to correct this?

My ‘new’ clean LinkedIn professional profile:
new personal profile on LinkedIn

This is the addition to my Summary just to keep the possibility for easy connecting open.
New summary on LinkedIn

Thank you Anne Raaymakers and hat tip to Harold Kip for pointing me to the article.

By Erno Hannink

Sparring and accountability partner for entrepreneurs who create sustainable positive impact. Explores decision-making. Shares his insights on this in, articles, books (Dutch), podcast, newsletters, and tools. Has a life mission to reduce social and ecological inequality. Father of two children, husband of M., runs, referee for the national soccer league, and uses stoicism for calm. Lives in the Netherlands. Speaks Dutch, English, and German.


  1. Leuk artikel. Deze aanpassing zal effect hebben op je resultaten in zoekmachines. Erg zonde van die #4 positie in Google 😉 Er wordt in Nederland namelijk zo’n 550.000 keer per maand op de term Linkedin gezocht. Aan de andere kant, het verkeer ging sowieso al naar Linkedin, maar wel naar jouw profiel ;-).

    Ben benieuwd of je over een maand oid ook de conversie ratio naar beneden ziet gaan (mensen die jij nog niet kende, die jou via een open invite op Linkedin benaderen).

    Verder: keep up the good work!

  2. Don’t forget that you do have a headline section in your profile. Not sure if there are any restrictions on what you can have in a headline, but that might be an alternative to putting things other than your first and last name in the appropriate sections of your profile.
    As a note, I never accept invitations to connect from people who put their company name in the first and last name section of their LinkedIn profile. It tells me that they either have something to hide or they just don’t get how LinkedIn works. Either way, I’m not interested in connecting with them.

  3. @Alex not sure what the effect will be on invites that I am getting. Must say that lately I get a lot of invites from profiles that clearly have been setup by an agency. They all have the same tone of voice and their Twitter profile is similar. It was just funny ranking in Google with this.

    @Michael, great tip. The headline section has some room to do this. For now I am testing the Summary and keep the top of the profile ‘clean’.

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