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Common questions regarding LinkedIn – Do I list my current industry or where I want to be instead?

We interviewed one of our LinkedIn experts to find out the answers to some common questions about updating a LinkedIn profile and how to handle some uncommon situations. For example, if I’m unemployed, what do I put in my summary at the top? Or, if I want to change industries, do I list my current one or the one I want to get into?

What do I list as my title under my name (in the profile box at the top) if I’m looking to change industries?

  • This is your brand and should only be your current title if you are seeking that type of position. If you are looking for something different than your current industry, list that position and industry instead. If you have concerns about your current employer viewing your updated profile, use keywords in your summary that blend your current experience and skills as they are relevant to what you want to do in the future. Keep in mind, keywords in your profile are more effective than a job title for branding and recruiters searching LinkedIn. So if you need to leave your job title as is, that’s ok.

What do I put under my name, in the profile box at the top – and in the summary section – if I’m unemployed?

  • Under your name in the profile box at the top, you have 2 choices: You can say “Seeking position as XX in XX industry”. Or you can list volunteer, part-time or pro-bono work as your current experience.
  • In the summary box: List previous experience relevant to the positions you are looking for.

What should I say in the summary section if I’m interested in or open to relocating?

  • In the profile box at the top, you must list where you currently reside. If you are looking to relocate or are open to doing so, mention that in the summary section, being as specific as possible about your desired location. If you do not have a specific location determined, you can say “open to relocating.”


  • Be sure to list here the education you want to appear first, the most relevant to the jobs you’re applying for. One of our clients listed a Dale Carnegie course as his most recent educational experience and as a result, it appeared at the top of his list as if that was his only degree. Be sure to review your profile one more time once you save your profile information after entering it, to ensure it looks the way you want it to.

Summary info – can I make changes here?

  • This is pulled from what you enter in the more detailed sections below it and for the most part, cannot be altered; however, LinkedIn has recently offered more flexibility in the arrangement of content under each section. For example, you can re-order your work experience so that the top position will appear in your summary box and first in your experience section.

How do I customize my public profile so it’s not a jumble of random characters?

  • To customize your public profile URL
  • Click on Edit next to the given URL
  • Second box in the right side column – click customize your public profile URL
  • Delete the random numbers and type in your name
  • Include your customized link as a footer in your resume.


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