Changing LinkedIn Industries

From the reader mailbag this week – Niki would like to know about her “Industry” setting

She’s been in one industry but wants to move to another, and already identifies with it, but doesn’t want to misstate that on her profile.


First – let’s consider the LinkedIn Industry tag – and that is all it is.

It’s a self selected identifier that tells other people what industry you identify with.

I’d use the words LinkedIn uses to help you select one, but they don’t use any!-)

Forward looking

My simple answer to Niki was that she should select the industry she feels aligned with, the one she wants to be identified with.

If she were finishing an education in a certain field, it would certainly be acceptable to say she was in this new field – even if she has not yet worked a day in that profession.

Findability and Image

She wants to create her new “brand” around where she is headed, not her past.


And here’s the bridge

Let’s say the former industry was manufacturing, and the new industry is publishing.

She can clearly talk about all of the things that deal with publishing – for a manufacturer – in the descriptions of her previous jobs. Then the transition becomes natural in the reader’s mind – and consistent.

No explanation needed

And she didn’t ask, but there’s no reason to get defensive or event explain why she is talking in this fashion.

This is me, this is where I’ve been, and this is where I’m headed – and it’s all good.

That’s the kind of statement you’re looking to make with your LinkedIn profile.

To your continued success,


Steven Tylock