One of my favorite country music songs as a kid was "All My Ex's Live in Texas" by George Strait. Because that's where they should live, not in your LinkedIn profile headline!
I don't know when the trend started, but not a day goes by where I don't see a LinkedIn profile headline with "Ex-Apple," "Ex-Google," or some other ex former company.
I understand the reasoning for putting it there - I just ultimately disagree with it.
I think the reason people put their exes in their LinkedIn headline is because they feel like that brand enhances their professional profile. And sure, there are inevitably jobs out there and recruiters out there that are looking for talent that worked at these companies.
But here is why I disagree with it.
- You're not providing new information by putting your exes in your LinkedIn profile headline. If I'm reading your profile, odds are that I'm going to see you held a position at Google or Apple or wherever you used to work.
- While there are certainly recruiters and jobs looking for talent that worked at Apple or Google, I'm willing to bet that makes up a very small percentage of job openings.
So what should you do differently? Your job search should be forward thinking and so should your LinkedIn profile title. Consider putting a brand statement like the one below.
"Senior Accountant | Delivering cost savings and financial solutions at ABC Company."
It's a great opportunity to talk about what you're going to bring to the table, certainly more than a few years at Facebook or Google.
As the song says, "All my ex's live in Texas. And Texas is the place I'd dearly love to be. But all my ex's live in Texas. Therefore I reside in Tennessee." Let your LinkedIn profile "reside in Tennessee" with a brand statement instead of your exes.