One Critical Career Mistake You Can’t Afford to Make on LinkedIn

critical career mistakeHave you given serious thought to what location and industry you’ve selected on your LinkedIn profile? if not, you’re probably leaving money on the table and making a critical career mistake.

Why? Recruiters often use location and industry when searching for someone like you. So you aren’t coming up in the results list; you are never seen!

Industry and Location are two of the filter options when you use the LinkedIn advanced people searching function. They are frequently used by people who are looking for your products, services, expertise, and—especially if you’re looking for a job—YOU.

Most people haven’t given this choice a moment’s consideration. After all, they set up their profile many years ago, perhaps before this feature existed. That makes now is a good time to reconsider what you’ve selected. That way, you can be sure your choices are helping you accomplish your current career goals.

The options are limited but very important.

LinkedIn allows you to choose only one industry and one location. Since many of us wear more than one hat, this can be quite challenging.

Currently the industry you select is not displayed on your profile. But it’s still important because it’s one of the most used search filters. Also, selecting the industry is also extremely important when people search on Google and other search engines as well.

Here’s how to avoid this critical career mistake…

How to Choose the Best Location and Industry

Start by putting yourself in the shoes of people who are searching for you or someone like you. What location and industry might they put in the advanced search boxes?

Here are some strategies to help you get started:

  • Are you a job seeker and thinking about relocating or working in a new industry? Use the new location and/or industry.
  • Are you a sales professional who sells your products and services in a certain part of the country or world or to a specific industry? Consider using that location and industry. In other words, think about your customers’ industries and locations, not yours.
  • Seeking a new job? Select the broadest but still correct location (e.g., select Greater Milwaukee Area instead of Thiensville, Wisconsin).
  • Have multiple industry and location choices that are equally good? Consider changing them out from time to time to your alternative choices.
  • Also, consider mentioning multiple cities, regions or industries in other profile sections to improve your chances of being found. The sections that work well for this would be About (previously called your Summary) and Job Experiences. Job Locations are important. And, insert your location into your Headline if it’s important enough in your job search.
  • Finally, share your thought process for your location and industry choices with others at your company. Same with contacts in industry associations, networking groups, etc. Get their feedback. There probably isn’t only one correct answer. So, getting opinions of other knowledgeable people who know your situation is a no-brainer.

How to Enter or Adjust Your Location and Industry

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll greatly improve your chances of being found by your target audience.

  • Go to your profile by clicking the Me icon in your top toolbar.
  • Click the pencil to the right of your profile photo.
  • Select your country from the drop-down menu.
  • Type in your postal code.
  • Select either a region or city that is provided from the Locations within this area box.
  • Select your desired industry from the drop-down menu.
  • Of course, click Save.

Don’t make the critical career mistake your competitors are probably making. Or, worse yet, letting LinkedIn make the location choice for them.

Granted, because of LinkedIn’s limitations there’s probably no perfect answer. Still, making a thoughtful decision about what location and industry to choose is sure to give you a leg up on your competitors.

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For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula.

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Wayne Breitbarth AuthorAbout the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and also the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.

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