If your profile displays unattractive gray boxes next to any of your jobs, it’s time to learn how to get rid of them. You do so by connecting to a company page.
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 boxes on profiles because one or more jobs haven’t been attached 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 bit of history, when LinkedIn first introduced logos, they weren’t a big deal.
But 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.
Moreover, you must connect to a company’s page to appear in its employee and alumni search results.
What’s the Root Cause of Missing Logos?
Thus, it’s good to be aware of the situations that cause your profile to have gray boxes.
I see 4 common reasons for 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 2 dings when you show yourself as unemployed:
1. First, the LinkedIn algorithm pushes your profile down in search results.
2. Second, you get a gray logo box.
If you’re unemployed, show yourself as employed at your former company until you find a new job. It’s pretty standard for people to lag months or years on updating their profiles. Thus, it’s not a big deal.
That said, reflect your employment dates accurately on your resume — those matter.
Company Logos for Self-Employed People
Next, let’s talk about self-employment. If you’re self-employed, set up a bare-bones company page with a logo.
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, visit mine here. You will see it’s pretty basic, but it gets my logo onto my 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 an acquired employer, link to the company that bought it. Then, make a note in the related experience section. (Example: Employed by Sun, which Oracle acquired in 2010.)
Second, if you owned a closed business, set up a company page for it now. You might describe its products and services or just give it a logo and call it good.
If you worked for a closed company you didn’t own, you’ll probably have to live with a tombstone. If you’re bold, you could create a company page for it. If you’re lucky, someone else will have already done it.
The gray box problem gets bigger as you move back in time. Think of 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. They 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 they had finally set up a company page.
If you don’t find one, Marketing or HR usually owns the LinkedIn company page. You can suggest to the CHRO or head of Talent Acquisition that they create one. It’s an essential employer branding asset.
If they’re reluctant, volunteer to do the project for them.
Where to Get a Logo
It’s good to know you need a logo, but how do you get one? You can find designers on Upwork who make credible logos for $25 to $100.
While I love beautiful commercial art, our primary goal 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 ask around.
How to Choose a Logo
Once you have a designer and they give you a few concepts, you have to choose.
Consider asking your network for their thoughts via a LinkedIn poll. Share your top 2 or 3 choices and ask people to vote.
When you’re done, post a second update thanking your network for their help. Then, point them to your profile for a quick look.
How to Add a Company Logo to Your Profile
After you get your logo and set up your company page, here’s how to link the company page 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.
That’s it. You’ve just strengthened your profile!
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Updated January 2023
© 2019 – 2023, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts.
She is a Fast Company Contributor and has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, US News & World Report, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, and Business News Daily.
Let her expertise inform your job search strategy and decision-making.
Contact Donna here to learn more about her resume and LinkedIn profile services and fee structure.
Thanks for the shout out and link to my ‘8 Stunningly Clever LinkedIn Hacks’ article Donna! Unfortunately, the animated company logo hack is currently unavailable, even though people who did this scan still benefit, LinkedIn has closed the door to users hoping to do this. Not sure if this is just a temporary restriction…
There’s another good lesson here, “LinkedIn giveth and LinkedIn taketh away.” Thus, it’s always smart to move on a good feature ASAP!
BTW, if you want to get rid of your tombstone logos, but don’t want to wrap your head around setting up a company page(s), Andy Foote (not an affiliate) is a great resource!
Thanks for the inspiration to get more company logos on my LinkedIn Profile! I agree! The tombstone sends a negative message to your Profile viewers. I wasn’t able to get rid of all of them, but I eliminated about 5. My Profile looks better already.
When I reviewed my Profile, there were quite a few companies and educational institutions that didn’t have a logo when I added them a few years back, that have logos now. So I was able to add the logos now.
And, this advice was helpful:
“. . . 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.)”
I was able to add the logo of the acquiring company on my “Director Of Quality / Leadership Coach” job.
Thanks for the great tips! I know our clients will benefit from this post also!
My pleasure. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments that add perspective, insights, and more tips. I always hope the conversation here in the comments will be [at least] as informative as the post!
Great post Donna! I have another situation and would love to have your feedback.
I freak out with the gray logo situation, and cannot stand that I have one in my LinkedIn profile. It has to do with the Executive Program I did while attending Singularity University. I tried everything, but if you type Singularity University on the EDUCATION SECTION, no logo will appear, while if you do it in the EXPERIENCE SECTION, a logo from their company page will appear. I asked Singularity to fix it, and they told me that since they don’t have the .edu domain, they cannot get the company page to show the logo in the education section.
Are you aware of this situation? Do you have a hack to find a way to add the Singularity University logo?
I would add it to Licenses & Certifications, where it does work (I just tested it). There’s no legit way to get it into Education and I don’t know that there’s an illegit way anyway. Licenses & Certifications carry much more weight than they used to as employers are acknowledging alternative forms of education. Higher ed is choking itself to death with irrelevant, incredibly expensive products (with apologies to higher ed).
This is all good, but are we simply not able to add a logo to a former company that has since been bought-out or acquired and no longer exists? The former company’s profile is already setup in Linkedin, and appears on my page as a tombstone, but does not have a logo. I just want to add the logo. There is no answer online on how to do this. Is it not possible?
This is so frustrating, but if there’s no logo there’s not much you can do without going rogue and setting up a company page with the logo yourself (not recommended).
Thanks for the info. I just started my own business (sole proprietor) and thought I would simply be stuck with the gray default box. Thanks again.
I’m glad this post was useful. No one wants to be stuck with LinkedIn’s gray box.
P.S. Congratulations on starting your business!
This was very helpful, thank you. Death to the grey box!
how do I get several company logos in the introduction section of my linkedIn profile (because I have several jobs ) ?!
You could use Canva to make a montage of them and then upload the montage as a featured item at the bottom of your “About” section.
This was really very helpful and easy to follow, thanks very much!
I’m glad to hear that!
I recently read the above article “Outsmart LinkedIn’s Ugly Tombstone Logo Box”. Unless I am overlooking something, I did not find an answer on how to replace some of my Tombstone logo boxes in my “Experience Area” as the companies don’t have a logo for various reasons. Is there something I can do?
I don’t understand why LinkedIn doesn’t simply have a “Choose Logo” option. I have two Ugly Tombstones that I want to get rid of, and I found actual logos online after a fair amount of researching.
By the way, I know how to add a custom logo for my own company (1st listing w/ Tombstone)
Please see the options described under the section heading “Company Logos for Companies that No Longer Exist.”
Thank you Donna for writing this article, your instructions are clear and easy to follow. Much appreciated!
You’re welcome. Those tombstone logos don’t do anything for anyone’s profile!
So are you saying that it is not possible to have a logo when a company page does not exist? For example, I am a volunteer school board director for school district and I don’t believe our school district has a LinkedIn page so there’s no way to get our school logo on my experience? Thanks
Yes, that’s what I’m saying.
This is good…. except when a company changes their logo on their linkedin page and I would rather stick with the old logo. It would be good to be able to edit the logo that shows up on my resume. Eg. I could upload the logo that I would rather use.
I understand your frustration.
If it’s related to M&A activity, you can add the company you want to reference in parens after the “official” LinkedIn company name.
Hi Donna. I’ve created a company page and when typing in the company I work for (Exercise Equipment Installation) it pulls the logo but when I hit save it does not take. I’ve tried several times over several days and still nothing. Any ideas?
Hi Chris, I don’t know what to tell you. I just tried adding it to my profile and it worked perfectly. Have you filled out all of the required fields for the position? Best wishes, Donna
Thanks for the information and instructions!
My pleasure, Andy. Thanks for dropping by! Donna
when I want to add my German profile to existing English one, I see that for education, the logo of university appears but for the same university if I want to have the logo for my postdoc job, it will not appear?
I’m not sure I understand the question.
If you’re putting your postdoc in your Experience section, you should be able to show the university as your employer, along with its logo.
If you’re putting it in your Education section, make it a separate entry and LI should show the logo.
I just tested both of those approaches on my profile; they worked.
If I missed your point, please let me know.
I’ve tried creating a basic logo using png, jpg, pdf, for freelance work – saving after entering all the info for “creating a company page+” but I’m left with the square multi-blue, gray square.
When clicking “home” link at the top page the logo shows under “My Items” with the banner image I created, but it doesn’t appear after clicking my name to view “Experience.” It only shows the generic square. I even added the extra options when creating company page.
What am I missing?
Please email me the company page link and your profile link and I will take a look.
This was well written! Thank you for taking the time to share. I will be following your page for further updates!
Coming from sales myself, I appreciate your direct style and starting with a compelling intro.
Kara, Thank you! Donna