LinkedIn awkwardness avoidance options
May 14, 2009 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Is it weird to omit the name of only one of your past employers on your LinkedIn profile?

Starting professional school. People say LinkedIn is useful for networking. I'm creating my profile right now. The industry I've worked in for the past 3 years is not really related to the field I'm going to school in, but I worked in the field for 3 years prior, and would like my profile to reflect that I have had some experience. Unfortunately, I left one of my past employers on bad terms, and would prefer not to list them. It's an office in the industry that I'm entering in the same town as the school, and my former boss, head and namesake of the company, is an alumnus of my professional school. He is on LinkedIn. I don't want to list the company because I don't want someone I meet who knows him to ask about me and him say something bad. I also don't want to list the company because I don't know what my former boss's current reputation is, as he was having issues when I left (which is why I left). I don't want him to somehow see that I'm listed as a former employee of his company and take issue with it somehow. This is the least likely to occur, but given my boss's past history, I would not be remotely surprised.

I'd really hate to omit part of the time I spent working in that industry. I could just list a generic office title instead of the company name for all of my past employers, but I would like to include the names of some of the other places I worked that I enjoyed working for.
Would it be weird to omit just that one company name?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My linked in profile has one job listed as "private firm" instead of being named. My job description and employed dates are perfectly accurate and it's fully disclosed on my resume. I prefer not to list in by name on my linked in profile because it does not fit neatly into my "elevator pitch" and if someone is searching for me on the net, I'd rather that myname + thisfirm be far down on the results, where as myname + thisschool and myname + thatorganization be higher. It strikes me as rational management of your professional reputation.

I know a few people who list all of their work experience that way. Account Manager, Fortune 500 Company; Account Director, National Sales Company; Client Relations, local philanthropy.

Because it's a public profile, there is nothing odd about keeping information guarded, and it never strikes me as weird or glaring when a person's history is a mix of full disclosure and more discrete references.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:07 PM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'd ask about it, if I noticed one thing out of the pattern like that. But I wouldn't judge you harshly by anything other than how you responded.
posted by rokusan at 7:07 PM on May 14, 2009

Linkedin is not an official record of your professional life, it's a way of presenting yourself.
If you maniacally describe every one of your moves, any hole will stand out.
If you chose to present only what contributed to the expertise that you want to display, that's what will be seen.
And you can always rewrite the whole damn thing any time you are looking for a different position.
It's a stage. Play.
posted by bru at 7:40 PM on May 14, 2009

Don't worry about it. I know the detailed career histories of hundreds of people (that's what you get when you combine a head for trivia with networking since before it was cool). The vast majority of them leave out substantial elements of their work and/or educational history on their LinkedIn pages. These are successful, honest people with nothing to hide -- and in any event the details omitted are typically things which they know any halfway diligent background check would quickly reveal. It's simply a permitted and expected thing to put up only the details that occur to you to be most interesting and relevant to a potential connection.
posted by MattD at 8:57 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

« Older Refinancing Question!   |   Mythical and mysterious places of the Northwest? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.