LinkedIn’s Ugly Tombstone Logo Box
If your profile displays an unattractive gray box next to any of your job titles, it’s time to learn how to add a company page and logo to LinkedIn. I know I probably just lost half of you with that idea, but stick with me on this — it’s easy.
I (too) often see the gray box on profiles because the profile owners haven’t attached each of their jobs to a LinkedIn company page. No attachment, no pretty logo next to your job title.
Why Should You Care About Company Logos on LinkedIn?
Starting with a little history, when LinkedIn first introduced logos, they weren’t a big deal. That was then. Fast forwarding to now, if your profile sports too many gray boxes it says, “I haven’t worked for viable companies. I’m not a player. I don’t even play with players.”
That’s not the meta-message you want to send via your profile.
In addition, you will only be found in company alumni searches if you have connected your profile to an organization’s company page.
What’s the Root Cause of Missing Logos?
It’s good to be aware of the types of situations that cause your profile to have a gray box(es). I see four common situations related to missing logos:
- A previous employer no longer exists.
- An employer exists but hasn’t set up a company page on LinkedIn.
Company Logos for Unemployed People
Let’s start with unemployment. Annoyingly, LinkedIn gives you two dings when you show yourself as unemployed. First, LinkedIn pushes your profile down in search results. Second, you get a gray logo box.
If you’re unemployed and not self-employed, I recommend showing yourself as still employed at your former company until you find a new job. It’s pretty common for people to lag months or years on updating their profiles. Thus, it’s not a big deal.
However, reflect your employment dates accurately on your resume. Those matter.
Company Logos for Self-Employed People
Next, let’s talk about self-employment. I encourage anyone who consults between jobs to set up a bare-bones company page on LinkedIn and upload a logo to the company page. LinkedIn gives you easy-to-follow instructions on how to create a company page here.
If you want to see what a company page looks like, you can visit mine here. You will see it’s pretty basic, but it gets my logo onto my LinkedIn profile.
Download the 3Plus International Podcast: Why all women need a strong LinkedIn profile
Company Logos for Companies That No Longer Exist
But what if your former employer has disappeared? Companies no longer exist because:
- They get acquired.
- They go out of business.
First, if you can’t find a company page for a former employer that has been acquired, then you can link to the company that bought it and make a note in the related experience section. (Example: Employed by Sun, which was acquired by Oracle in 2010.)
Second, if you worked for a company that went out of business, and you owned it, go ahead and set up a company page for it now. It doesn’t matter that it’s no longer in business. You might describe its products and services or you might just give it a logo and call it good.
If you worked for a company that went under that you didn’t own, you’ll probably have to live with a tombstone. If you’re especially bold, you could create a company page for it, but I don’t recommend it.
You will notice that the gray box problem gets bigger as you move back in time to the “before LinkedIn company pages” and “before LinkedIn” eras.
Fortunately, once a company has a page, LinkedIn is a stickler about making them keep it. Currently, they will only let companies with fewer than 100 people delete their pages.
Company Logos for Existing Companies
Now, what if you have a job but your company doesn’t have a LinkedIn page?
First, check again. I had an instance this week where one of my clients said his employer didn’t have a LinkedIn page. When we looked, we found that one had finally been set up.
If you don’t get lucky like that, Marketing or HR usually owns the LinkedIn company page. You can suggest to the CHRO or the head of Talent Acquisition that they create a LinkedIn company page as an employer branding asset. Show them some good pages as examples.
If they’re reluctant, volunteer to do the project for them. You might even dive into company page analytics and show them how they can be useful recruiting tools.
Where to Get a Logo
It’s good to know you need a logo, but how do you get one? It’s pretty easy to find designers on Upwork and social media sites who will make you a credible logo for between $25 and $100. While I love beautiful commercial art, our primary goal here is to eliminate the gray box!
To do it yourself, you can use:
1. The Canva Logo Maker (free).
2. The Wix Logo Maker ($20-plus, not an affiliate).
Try them; they’re fun!
I also find that many of my clients “know someone.” They come back with beautiful logos. So you can also simply ask around.
How to Choose a Logo
Once you have a designer and they give you a few concepts, you have to make a choice. Consider asking your network for their thoughts via a LinkedIn status update. Share your top two or three choices and ask them to vote.
When you’re done, post a second update thanking your network for their help and pointing them to your profile for a quick look.
How to Add a Company Logo to Your Profile
After you get your logo(s) and set up your company page(s), here’s how to link the company page(s) to your profile:
- Go to your profile and the relevant job.
- Click the edit pencil at the top right of that job’s section.
- Start typing the company name into the dialog box.
- Click the appropriate company name when it comes up.
- Make sure it populates the dialog box with the company name and logo.
- Click “Save.”
- Check your profile to be sure it took.
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