add company logo linkedin

Outsmart 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:

  1. Unemployment.
  2. Self-employment.
  3. A previous employer no longer exists.
  4. 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.

Company Logos for Companies That No Longer Exist

But what if your former employer has disappeared? Companies no longer exist because:

  1. They get acquired.
  2. 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!

One idea, I’m a fan of Indera Devi’s work (not an affiliate). I like her samples and how she promotes herself on LinkedIn. In addition, she makes eye-catching, animated logos that work well on the site. Andy Foote writes about those at the bottom of this post.

Another idea, use the Wix Logo Maker (not an affiliate) and do it yourself. You can get a very nice logo for $20 or $50, depending on what you buy. Plus, you have the fun of making it.

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:

  1. Go to your profile and the relevant job.
  2. Click the edit pencil at the top right of that job’s section.
  3. Start typing the company name into the dialog box.
  4. Click the appropriate company name when it comes up.
  5. Make sure it populates the dialog box with the company name and logo.
  6. Click “Save.”
  7. Check your profile to be sure it took.

Next

All done? Good. Now let’s talk about your LinkedIn background image:
How to Use Canva to Make a Perfectly Sized, Custom LinkedIn Background Photo

Updated May 2019

© 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 7

  1. 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…

  2. Andy,

    You’re welcome.

    There’s another good lesson here, “LinkedIn giveth and LinkedIn taketh away.” Thus, it’s always smart to move on a good feature ASAP!

    Donna

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. Hi Donna,

    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!

    Thank you,

    Donna

  6. 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?

  7. Hi Adrian,

    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).

    Best,

    Donna

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *