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30 LinkedIn Tips: #17/30 – Are you in the right industry?

30 short, useful, actionable LinkedIn tips in 30 days from Doctor David Petherick. #30by30 #TheDoctorisIn

#17/30: What industry are you in?

  • Originally written: October 17, 2017
    Text & Images Updated: June 30, 2020

That's right - what industry are you in?

It's not a trick question, but it's worth thinking about it.

Take me, for example. I write LinkedIn Profiles. So am I in the Writing and Editing industry, or am I in the Marketing & Advertising industry? Or is it Online Publishing?

These days, with a new LinkedIn interface from 2017 onwards, your industry selection does not show up on your profile, so you probably don't think it's that important.

You are wrong. Your industry is important on LinkedIn.

It's all a question of where people are likely to look first, and what they will think of naturally. What happens when people search on LinkedIn is the key.

Industry is important in LinkedIn Search

Industry is important in LinkedIn Search

And on LinkedIn, Recruiters and potential customers use industries to power their searches.

If you work as a designer for Apple, your industry is Consumer Electronics, not Design or Research. Isn't it? If you're looking for a good consumer electronics designer, where will you look? In Consumer Electronics. If you chose Design, you won't be found in a search there.

Now, I can't choose the right industry for you, but try taking a look at what your colleagues and competitors are using.

And at this point, it's also worth making sure your work colleagues actually are all working in the same industry!

I recently did a Profile Audit across one company with just twenty nine employees: they claimed collectively to be working in seven different industries!

(I fixed that for them, now they're all aligned. I even had 29 professional profile photographs taken, so they look more professional, and singing from the same songsheet.)

If you still can't find a definitive answer, try doing a search (an advanced search of course) based on the industry you think fits best. If the results align with your expectations, you just found the right industry. If not, keep looking.

So where do I edit my industry?

You'll find it by editing the top element of your profile, where your name, headline and so forth appears - what LinkedIn now calls your 'intro'.

Choose your Industry on LinkedIn

So where's the industry list?

You’d think LinkedIn would make it easy to choose your industry. You know, by having a page where you can assess all the industry choices and maybe just click to choose yours.

But you'd be wrong. No such page exists.

Instead, you have to choose from an alphabetical drop-down list. And of course, you can only see a few choices at a time, as shown here.

So, I thought: why not do something useful here, young David, and publish a list of all the industries LinkedIn uses?

Then people can make their choice of industry without any pressure of time, and see all the options available. It's an easy way to be sure you made the best choice.

So, here's the list:

Complete List of LinkedIn Company Industries / Industry and Company Classifications used by LinkedIn (As at 30-June-2020):

  • Accounting
  • Airlines/Aviation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Alternative Medicine
  • Animation
  • Apparel & Fashion
  • Architecture & Planning
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Automotive
  • Aviation & Aerospace
  • Banking
  • Biotechnology
  • Broadcast Media
  • Building Materials
  • Business Supplies & Equipment
  • Capital Markets
  • Chemicals
  • Civic & Social Organization
  • Civil Engineering
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Computer & Network Security
  • Computer Games
  • Computer Hardware
  • Computer Networking
  • Computer Software
  • Construction
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Consumer Goods
  • Consumer Services
  • Cosmetics
  • Dairy
  • Defense & Space
  • Design
  • Education Management
  • E-learning
  • Electrical & Electronic Manufacturing
  • Entertainment
  • Environmental Services
  • Events Services
  • Executive Office
  • Facilities Services
  • Farming
  • Financial Services
  • Fine Art
  • Fishery
  • Food & Beverages
  • Food Production
  • Fundraising
  • Furniture
  • Gambling & Casinos
  • Glass, Ceramics & Concrete
  • Government Administration
  • Government Relations
  • Graphic Design
  • Health, Wellness & Fitness
  • Higher Education
  • Hospital & Health Care
  • Hospitality
  • Human Resources
  • Import & Export
  • Individual & Family Services
  • Industrial Automation
  • Information Services
  • Information Technology & Services
  • Insurance
  • International Affairs
  • International Trade & Development
  • Internet
  • Investment Banking/Venture
  • Investment Management
  • Judiciary
  • Law Enforcement
  • Law Practice
  • Legal Services
  • Legislative Office
  • Leisure & Travel
  • Libraries
  • Logistics & Supply Chain
  • Luxury Goods & Jewelry
  • Machinery
  • Management Consulting
  • Maritime
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Market Research
  • Mechanical or Industrial Engineering
  • Media Production
  • Medical Device
  • Medical Practice
  • Mental Health Care
  • Military
  • Mining & Metals
  • Motion Pictures & Film
  • Museums & Institutions
  • Music
  • Nanotechnology
  • Newspapers
  • Nonprofit Organization Management
  • Oil & Energy
  • Online Publishing
  • Outsourcing/Offshoring
  • Package/Freight Delivery
  • Packaging & Containers
  • Paper & Forest Products
  • Performing Arts
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Philanthropy
  • Photography
  • Plastics
  • Political Organization
  • Primary/Secondary Education
  • Printing
  • Professional Training
  • Program Development
  • Public Policy
  • Public Relations
  • Public Safety
  • Publishing
  • Railroad Manufacture
  • Ranching
  • Real Estate
  • Recreational
  • Facilities & Services
  • Religious Institutions
  • Renewables & Environment
  • Research
  • Restaurants
  • Retail
  • Security & Investigations
  • Semiconductors
  • Shipbuilding
  • Sporting Goods
  • Sports
  • Staffing & Recruiting
  • Supermarkets
  • Telecommunications
  • Textiles
  • Think Tanks
  • Tobacco
  • Translation & Localization
  • Transportation/Trucking/Railroad
  • Utilities
  • Venture Capital
  • Veterinary
  • Warehousing
  • Wholesale
  • Wine & Spirits
  • Wireless
  • Writing & Editing

And we're done. Choose yours!

If your industry is not there, you're just going to have to choose the closest one you can find - but you need to choose one - it's mandatory on LinkedIn that you make a selection. Choose wisely.

You are welcome.

I'm reading David Petherick's 30 Tips in 30 Days for a better LinkedIn Profile.Click To Tweet

About David Petherick

Doctor David Petherick is In. David writes LinkedIn profiles for a living and offers online and in person 'surgery'. He makes your online presence visible, legible and credible. Follow David on Twitter at @petherick. Click mzs.es/free to book a free ten-minute call, zoom or skype with David today for confidential, impartial advice on how you can improve your LinkedIn Profile.