How to Manage Past Positions on LinkedIn
By Elizabeth Mott
The LinkedIn professional network enables you to interact with other people in and outside your industry by building an online set of connections and leveraging them to reach new people. When you manage your LinkedIn profile, you add and edit information about your current and past experience, education, skills, awards and memberships. Keeping your profile current enables you to present a thorough, well-rounded picture of your experience, highlighting your expanding qualifications and emphasizing your value to prospective clients.
Log in to your LinkedIn account and click on the "Profile" link. Scroll down to the Experience section and click on the "Add a Position" link to open the input screen for professional experience.
Add a new past position by entering the name of your past employer, the title you held, where you worked and a description of your responsibilities. Click on the "Choose" drop-down menus to select a starting and an ending month for your tenure in this position, and type the corresponding years in the entry boxes. Click on the "Save Changes" button to add this past position to your profile.
Edit a past position by clicking on the "Edit" link next to its title to open the Edit Position screen, which provides the same data-entry options as its New Position equivalent. However, if you want to change the name of the company as it appears on the position listing, you can click on the "Change Company" link beside it, which deletes the existing name and opens a data-entry field. Click on the "Update" button to incorporate your changes.
Delete a past position by clicking on the "Edit" button next to a profile job title. When the Edit Position screen appears, click on the "Remove This Position" link and the "Yes, Remove Position" button on the window that opens. LinkedIn deletes the job entry from your profile.
Manage multiple titles at the same company in one of two ways. Create a single position entry with a time period that spans your full tenure with the company, and list your titles separated by slashes in the Title field. Use the Description field to summarize your varied responsibilities and accomplishments. Alternatively, you can create an individual position for each title you held at the company, with the individual time periods reflecting your tenure in each position.
Create your past-experience entries in any order you prefer. Because you enter time periods for each position, LinkedIn automatically organizes your positions in chronological order. If you try to create a position entry without specifying at least a starting time period, LinkedIn displays an error message and won't post the information to your profile.
Use position descriptions to focus on the functional areas of your past responsibilities, the milestones you reached or the ways in which your initiatives helped you excel.
If LinkedIn recognizes the name of a company you enter on the Edit Position screen, you'll also see an "Edit Display Name" link, which you can click to change the way the name appears on your profile. If you worked for a large corporation called "Acme Inc.," with multiple product divisions, you can set the display name to "Acme Inc., Widget Division" to personalize your job entry. If you worked for a company that doesn't appear in the LinkedIn database, the Edit Position screen provides a data-entry field in which to enter the company's website, and an Industry drop-down menu from which to select the company's business type.
When you're entering information about progressive promotions at a single employer, the decision to divide or combine your positions can depend on the duties you performed. If your titles increased in seniority but your work still focused in the same functional areas as you progressed, the combined method may accommodate your work. Use individual positions for individual titles when your duties varied significantly, your accomplishments distinguished you differently at each step or you worked in different locations with each promotion.
You can add more than one current position. Leave the ending date blank to signal you still hold the job. To reorganize multiple current positions, scroll down to the Experience section on the Edit Profile screen and drag a title up or down to reposition it. Only current positions offer this capability, and only if you list more than one of them.
If your current position becomes a past position because you add a new job to your experience, update your professional headline to avoid displaying your old job below your name at the top of your profile page.
- LinkedIn Help Center: Editing Your Profile
- LinkedIn Help Center: Changing Title to Current Position Title
- LinkedIn Help Center: Editing Your Professional Headline
- LinkedIn Help Center: Changing the Order of Positions on Your Profile
- LinkedIn Help Center: Showing Self-Employed or Consultant on Your Profile
- LinkedIn Help Center: Adding, Changing or Removing a Position from Your Experience Section
- LinkedIn Press Center: About Us
Elizabeth Mott has been a writer since 1983. Mott has extensive experience writing advertising copy for everything from kitchen appliances and financial services to education and tourism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from Indiana State University.