HOW TO: Show Your Credentials After Your Name on LinkedIn

There’s an article about LinkedIn going around right now that says that LinkedIn only allows first and last names in profile name fields. Further, it says that LinkedIn might shut your profile down for 30 days if you don’t comply with this aspect of its user agreement.

Pretty scary stuff – especially since another social media site, Google Plus, has deactivated users who don’t comply with their name policy.

However, the article referred to above, while well meaning, is not quite right. LinkedIn does allow you to use suffixes and certifications in your profile’s name fields. See what the company says about that, and how to do it, here.

You earned your credentials.  It’s smart for you to show those that are relevant to your current career and job search in your profile’s name fields. (Note: It’s also a good idea to feature your most relevant credentials in your LinkedIn headline. More on that here.)

The learning here? Go to the social media site’s own documentation when you have questions about what is or isn’t allowed.

BTW, please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn here. My email address is I love connecting with people who read my blog!

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at or call me at (208) 721-0131.

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Comments 2

  1. My question is… does it dilute any SEO value for your name? If my name is John Smith and I put in the field John Smith MBA CPA, wouldn’t it dilute the value of the shorter term John Smith. I’d like to see some actual before/after examples of users putting in other terms and NOT losing the strength of just their name.

    It’s extremely powerful for someone’s LinkedIn Profile to appear within the top 5 positions on Google for search of their name. I’m worried they will lose that visibility/search rankings by adding more words to their name field.

    Hi Larry, Great question. My experience has been that adding info helps with LinkedIn SEO. I have not experimented with Google SEO. I think it’s important for people to experiment with the sites they want SEO from and then, because SEO algorithms change, re-experiment periodically. I would love to hear what others have to say on this topic. Donna

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