If you do this on your LinkedIn profile your boss may know you are unhappy

As long as you are either unemployed or do not care if your boss knows that you are looking for a new job, I always recommend to career counseling clients to include “Open to New Opportunities” in the “Headline” that appears after their name on their LinkedIn profiles. It’s a good way to advertise. Granted, you will be inundated with pitches from resume writers, career counselors and recruiters, but that’s the price you have to pay.

This article is not about “Open to New Opportunities.” That’s a conscious decision on the individual’s part to advertise the fact, if they are employed, that they want out. What this article is about is the unconscious decision people make when writing their profiles which lets their boss and the world know that they may not be happy with their job or career.

While working on a project for a LinkedIn marketing client, I began to notice an interesting trend. People list their job as one thing and their “Industry” as something totally different.

With the new user interface on LinkedIn, sadly, you can no longer see a person’s “Industry” when viewing their profile. “Industry” is now only a filter when doing a search.

There are people who get confused. For example, they may be an accountant at a marketing agency. They put “Marketing and Advertising” as their “Industry” because that is the industry of their employer. But a LinkedIn profile is personal. The question is not which “Industry” your employer is in, but rather which “Industry” you are in. So, in this hypothetical case, the individual should have listed their “Industry” as “Accounting.”

But I have found people who list their job as one thing and their “Industry” as something completely different – and unrelated to their employer’s industrial sector. For example, a fashion model listing her profession as “Law Practice.” Then there is the “Sales Associate,” working for a luxury retailer who lists his “Industry” as “Financial Services,” as do a “Skin Care Consultant” and a “Personal Chef.”

If you do not identify with your true “Industry,” that can be an indication that it might be time for a change. If your boss sees it, she will definitely know, or think she knows, that you will not be with her for long.

Bottom line, impression is reality. You do not want to give the impression that you are not happy with your job and wish you were in another line of work…unless, of course, you do!


Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter and career counselor. He has helped scores (thousands if you include attendees at his presentations) of people, including veterans, not only change jobs but, on occasion, change careers. Having successfully transitioned from academia to non-profits to the recruiting industry, he has been there and done that!

Bruce is a recognized authority on job search and career issues, having been quoted in over 700 articles, appearing in some 500 publications, across the United States and in more than 30 foreign countries. His posts on LinkedIn have been read over 350,000 times and have garnered national and international media attention, including television appearances on Fox Business Network and Headline News (CNN).

An advocate for the protection of job seekers, visit the homepage of his website, www.hsstaffing.com, to read about questionable offerings of so-called job search assistance companies and to learn about his upcoming speaking engagements.