LinkedIn Tip: Your Profession And Your Industry Are Not The Same!

Kelly Dingee Audacious Ideas, Kelly Dingee, Sourcing

I live and breathe LinkedIn. Daily. I could be chief cheerleader if they were hiring one. Big fan… huge.

For years I’ve prattled on to our team about relying on user-generated content and how we have to think about our candidates and how they think when they enter profile information into LinkedIn. Which is not always easy.

One thing many people do not get on LinkedIn is the difference between their profession and the industry they work in.

For example, I’m a sourcer, technically a Director of Strategic Recruitment. My profession is a subset of Human Resources. When I worked for TTC, I was in the Telecommunications industry. Now I work in retained search, so my industry is Staffing & Recruiting.

Dawn Hrdlica-Burke gets it spot on—she’s a VP of People at Daxko. Her industry is Computer Software, not Human Resources.

It’s not just HR people who misclassify; it’s the average Joe, too. Whenever I’m doing an IT Director search in the nonprofit industry, I have to not only search the nonprofit industry, but also IT directors in the Information and Technology Services industry who work for an association or nonprofit or society or foundation or think tank or even a non-governmental organization. Just to be thorough.

Sometimes LinkedIn fails its users. Particularly when you get the world of associations. Marketing professionals probably really want to classify themselves correctly, and many of them work for Trade Associations, not nonprofits. LinkedIn doesn’t provide a Trade Association category, so where are they choosing? Marketing and advertising.

It would be grand if everyone would get on this party train and understand the difference between profession and industry, including the powers that be at LinkedIn. Perhaps they could rely on NAICS industry designations. It would definitely increase the average Joe’s findability! As for the user, it is always better to have a job served up to you on a silver platter rather than having to hunt. Think about your industry versus your profession, and edit your profile!