I want to minimize PII (personally identifying information) online. However, as one with little work experience, I also want to maintain a public profile (e.g. LinkedIn) with information to help with getting jobs. My area of work is Information Security, namely Penetration Testing (aka pentesting) and Threat Hunting.

Even in general conversations, I try to minimize talking about my background, only discussing subjects of interests in work and studies. I usually don't even say where I'm from or past education and profiles. I just prefer to remain unknown, working behind the scenes, with minimal personal information available to the public.

I do put my contacts in applications forms, CVs and resumes. However, the only things I've put on my LinkedIn profile are an email address made specifically for business (not with my real name) and a brief education and work history. (Even just letting people know roughly where I'm from the schools and companies makes me kinda uncomfortable with it.)

If possible, I'd like to use an alias that I'm also using to interact with people online. I generally don't use my real name online, and I generally don't post anything personally identifiable. Most of my online activities is tied to my alias (online name) but I always submit my real name and personal information in formal documents and forms.

What's an acceptable level of anonymity for my online profile for getting jobs (LinkedIn)? Would it be a good idea to use an alias for my profile, only linking to said profile in formal documents? (e.g. real name "John Doe" in my CV but my online profile as "Bob Bubbles" is listed in my contacts) How should I list my education and work history, such that I maximize anonymity while still providing potential employers something attractive?

  • 3
    No one wants to hire secret squirrel...
    – Kilisi
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 6:43
  • What information are you trying to hide? what are you willing to disclose?
    – Rsf
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 10:17
  • @Rsf I want to hide as much as possible (ideally, I'd be working jobs with no attachment to my real name and get paid anonymously, and credibility would be tide entirely to an alias). However, since it would be hard to find everything, I'm looking for things I need to disclose to have a good rise in chances of being hired, while keeping what's not absolutely necessary to a minimal. Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 12:22

2 Answers 2


How should I list my education and work history, such that I maximize anonymity while still providing potential employers something attractive?

If you are not comfortable with LinkedIn then don't use it, it's perfectly fine.

However, what would not be ok would be to put misleading (false) information or aliases as a profile on LinkedIn. So, either go for a profile there with your actual info (so you get the benefits of doing so) or opt out.

If you want to balance "anonymity" and reach to possible employers at the same time, then perhaps you should consider finding a recruiter agency that can match you with job options (sparing you to post or even give CV and info without need).

  • 1
    Yeah better not to use linkdin then put false info if you're using it for job search
    – Kilisi
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 8:00

One method I use is I use my real name but a transliteration of it in another language.

So my name is Kilisi, but that's not the English spelling of it. Many Asians do similar by picking an English name rather than using their real one. I have Asian colleagues whose real names I have probably read at some point but long forgotten.

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