There are three levels of industries and let me show you what I mean. If you go over here to this on this article, underneath LinkedIn Recruiter help, not the regular help. LinkedIn makes a lot of money from Recruiters. So the answers under Recruiter Help sometimes can be a little different than what you’re going to see elsewhere.



If you are looking for a new job or you’re in sales and you use LinkedIn to find people you need to watch this video.  Most people know how to use LinkedIn filters. You just come over here, you’re looking for People, you go to Filters.  You come down here to Industry classification, but here’s what you probably don’t know…


3 Levels of Industry Classification

There are three levels of industries and let me show you what I mean.  If you go over here to this on this article, underneath LinkedIn Recruiter help, not the regular help. LinkedIn makes a lot of money from Recruiters.  So the answers under Recruiter Help sometimes can be a little different than what you’re going to see elsewhere. 


Sub Classifications

There’s a level one, two, and three, and if you choose the things that are in level one it is a level automatically going to give you everything listed underneath level two and level three.


Now here’s the other thing you need to know.  The opposite is not true, meaning, if I pick everything that is right here underneath level three, it is not necessarily going to give me everything that is above it in level two.


Meaning Food and Beverage Services in this example…there is going to be a couple of companies that are listed as Food and Beverage Services that do not neatly fall into any of these level three buckets. 


LinkedIn Inudstry Classification 3 levels
LinkedIn Industry Classification 3 levels


Example Industry Search: I.T.

So let’s use I.T. as an example. I.T. is a subcategory of Professional Services.  I.T. Services and Consulting is a level two all these other types of I.T. are level three underneath that.  When I go over here to search the industry in I.T., type in I.T. Services and Consulting is the level two.  There’s nothing that tells me that’s a level two and that all these other things are included underneath it.


Same thing if you search on Sales Navigator.  If I come over here and I type in I.T. you see all these different things that come up and there’s nothing that tells you that you have to choose I.T. Services and Consulting to get the level two, which includes all the level three things that are underneath it. 


Don’t Pick the Wrong Level

Now it gets a little bit more squirrely from there.  But this does explain why sometimes you pick something that you think makes sense and there’s 60 million people that fit that industry category.  And other categories just seem suspiciously small.  All right.  Well, it’s because you don’t know which level it is.  You probably picked a level three.  Or one time you picked a level one and didn’t realize that you caught all this other stuff, but then your search results are going to be totally wrong because it includes a bunch of things in that bucket that you just didn’t realize that included.


You’ve got to go back and look at this article and look at the levels.  I’ll include a link below the video so you can take a look yourself.  Make sure you copy and paste the name of it into the industry classification, so it’ll come up now.


Now It Gets Complicated

Here’s where it gets crazy.  Lets say like my wife, you happen to have a Recruiter Lite account.  And I come over here to industry, and I go I want I.T. just like you did…


Oh! What?  “No industry found?” What’s going on?  Then you type in “Information Technology Services”….Wow.  So, you have to manually type out the word “Information Technology” to get that to come up.


I’ll tell you another one that’s even crazier I have found. Yeah.  In the copying and pasting sometimes, an ampersand (&) will get the category to come up and the word “and” will prevent it from coming up or vice versa…depending upon which platform you’re on.  If you are on Recruiter

or are you on regular or you’re on navigator.  So when you’re using this category list, use it as a guide, ok?  Look at those levels, but remember you may need to switch out an “and” for an “&”

and you may have to spell something out (like I.T.) if it’s not coming up like you think it should. You might have to play with it a little bit, but hopefully that’s enough of a head start in understanding how to use the industry filters to correctly find the right person.


Good luck!


Official LinkedIn Industry Classifications

According to LinkedIn, “We are currently updating our industry taxonomy to align with the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) standards.”  Not sure when they will be there, but meanwhile, here is the link to the official chart:


More Ways to Acquire Leads

Recently I was on a podcast for Mr. Biz where I reviewed how to Build a Lead Engine.  The complimentary video with screen share where I walk you through more advanced lead acquisition techniques can be found in the special link I make for Mr. Biz listeners called “Automated Lead Gen for Mr. Biz Listeners.”


Getting More Out of LinkedIn

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other article I wrote about LinkedIn called 4 Step System to Master LinkedIn Posts.  I’m not saying I’m a master by any means.  But I do reference the advice of various LinkedIn masters in the article.  In fact, this is one of the articles I’ve bookmarked for myself and I use it as a guide regularly.


Outsourcing the Work: SDR Agencies

Using filters to improve your customer segmentation is mission critical.  However, sometimes all this searching and sorting isn’t the best use of your time.  In that case I would recommend you consider outsourcing to a (BDR) Business Development Representative Agency.  Some also call them a Sales Development Representative (SDR) Agencies.   I’ve written a good number of articles lately about how to leverage BDRs.  One such article is “Maximizing BDR Sales: Strategies for Success.”


If you are trying to choose a BDR Agency, please also see our article 10 Outsourced BDR Agencies Compared


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Author Bio

Picture of Benjamin Arritt

Benjamin Arritt

Global B2B sales & marketing executive that loves a fast-paced, customer-centric, high tech entrepreneurial environment. We help 50+ fractional CFOs and 93+ fractional CMOs find more work. Hire someone who has already done what you are trying to do. Follow me on X: @grokketship
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