Q. I see people using terms like “Ex-Apple” or “Ex-Lyft” in their LinkedIn headlines. What do you think of this approach?

The last firm I worked for IS a household name but I hate to make them so prominent in my brand. I don’t want to say, “I must be competent because this big company hired me.” But maybe I should. What do you think?

A. Your trusty gut knows best, and it sounds like your gut gets a little queasy at the idea of branding yourself “Ex-[whoever]” because that branding diminishes you and elevates your ex-employer, who doesn’t need the help.

A reader only has to spend another fraction of a second on your LinkedIn profile to see where you worked. “Ex-[whoever]” is never your strongest branding choice.

Think beyond the organizations that have employed you so far. What do you do professionally, and why are you good at it? Here are some LinkedIn headlines that got their owners new jobs:

– Recruiting-focused HR pro looking to help an SMB grow

– Software Product Manager/Go-to-Market Specialist

– Office Manager/Business Air Traffic Controller looking for an over-stressed CEO to make sane

What do these headlines have in common? They make it clear what you intend to do in your next job. They might show a bit of your personality, too. That’s a great combination!