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If you haven't given serious thought to what location and industry you've selected on your LinkedIn profile, you're probably leaving money on the table. Why? Because you aren't coming up in the search list when your target audience uses them to search for someone like you.

Most people haven't given this choice a moment's consideration since setting up their profile many years ago. I suggest now is a good time to reconsider what you've selected so you can be sure your choices are helping you accomplish your current goals and your goals going forward.

Note: I will be covering these strategies and so many more at my upcoming two-hour virtual workshop on September 13. Check out the details and register here.


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 and do business nationally or even globally, this can be quite challenging.

(Note: 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.)

In addition, they're extremely important when people search with Google and other search engines as well.

Industry and Location are two of the filter options when you use the LinkedIn advanced people searching function. They're frequently used by people who are looking for your products, services, expertise, and—especially if you're looking for a job—YOU.
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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:
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  • If you're a job seeker and thinking about relocating or working in a new industry, use the new location and industry.
  • If you're 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. This may take priority over your personal industry and location.
  • If you're not seeking a new job and aren't directly selling anything, select the broadest but still correct location (e.g., select Greater Milwaukee Area instead of Thiensville, Wisconsin).
  • If you have multiple industry and location choices that are equally good, consider changing them out from time to time to your alternative choices.
  • Consider mentioning multiple cities, regions or industries in other profile sections to improve your search ranking and your chances of being found. The sections that work well for this would be your About, Job Experiences, Job Locations, Interests, and maybe even your Headline if it's important enough.
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  • Share your thought process for your location and industry choices with others at your company, industry associations, networking groups, etc., and get their feedback. There probably isn't only one correct answer, so getting the opinions of other knowledgeable people who know your situation is a no-brainer.
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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 View Profile button.

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. I suggest you select the larger of the two choices LinkedIn shares with you once you put in your desired zip code.

Select your desired industry from the drop-down menu.

Click Save.

Don't make the mistake your competitors are probably making—not taking the time to carefully choose their industry and location or, worse yet, letting LinkedIn make the location choice for them.

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

A final reminder that I will be sharing a live LinkedIn demo of these strategies and more at my two-hour virtual workshop on September 13. Here is the link to check out the details and register:  https://linkedinsalesfall2021.eventbrite.com

By the way, all registrants get a link to the recording, so you don't have to attend live to get the benefit of this workshop.