Current employer “Confidential” on LinkedIn

I have noticed a lot of folks put “Confidential” against their current (past) employer name on their LinkedIn profile.

I want to ask these simpletons – Why?

Either these people are conceited or they just don’t get it. You already have your photograph, past employment history and everything else up on LinkedIn. You’ve been sharing intimate details of your personal & professional life on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc but your current employer is confidential? Really? Should you look at growing up, just a little, please!

Ok, now that the rant is over, let’s hit this with a bit more objectivity. What’s your purpose of joining LinkedIn and then putting up your profile?

  • To connect with people. People are more comfortable connecting with people they know more about. As a rule I don’t connect with anyone who has “confidential” in their profile. If you’re lucky I’ll message to find out more about you before trashing your connection request or worse reporting it to LinkedIn as spam! Hiding your current employer – not helping you connect with people!
  • To seek out new employers. Potential employers/recruiters like to see which company you’re working with right now. Especially if it’s a competitor or is from a “list” they want to hire from. As a headhunter I never approach a candidate with “confidential” in their profile. To me it’s like holding up signs which say – “not available/interested”, “not confident”, “too conceited”, etc, etc. Hiding your current employer – not helping you finding a new job!
  • To seek out new employees. Any one you message or try to connect with as a future employee can’t see where you’re working and therefore your message to recruit is not credible. If I got a message from a “Confidential Company” employee I wouldn’t even bother to get back (not to be confused with a headhunter who is cautious about disclosing his clients name). Hiding your current employer – not helping you find new employees!
  • To find more business. Really, you seriously think a client will approach someone to offer them or even discuss business who has “Confidential” as current company? Clients do business with you, your company and then your product/service, “confidential” turns the switch off on 1 & 2. Hiding your current company – definitely not helping you create more business opportunities!

One reason for the “confidential” tag could be that you’re trying to hide your “job search” from your current employer, then why the bejesus are you posting your mug-shot, email and phone number all over your profile? Trying to connect with every head-hunter alive, on and off LinkedIn? And worse, have your “broadcast updates to all” turned on!

Maybe “confidential” really means “out-of-a-job”. Well if that is the case why hide behind a veil? Let your LinkedIn network know you’re out of a job and get the network working to find you a new one. Hiding your current employer – not helping!

I think I get it…Maybe your current employer is Enron or WorldTel or Barings and you’re so ashamed of working there that you just can’t name them on your profile! Nope that can’t be it, this is 2014 and each of those companies wound up at least a decade ago! And unless you were the person that brought them crashing down no need to be ashamed.

So my dear “my job is top secret” person, unless you are secretly “The Joker” or some other super-hero or supervillain or super-clown (who may all need to hide where they work) get off your joke-mobile and remove that “confidential” tag from your “current employer” you’ll find much more business, new employees, potential employers and make many more connections!

If you think there is possibly some logic to putting “confidential” in your employer tag on LinkedIn, please, do share your wisdom, because I am just not getting it!

P.S. I have some other “LinkedIn Profile Pet Peeves” to share, but those are for another post…

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