Friday, October 13, 2017

Advice for Creative Professionals on LinkedIn

You've heard the expression, "dress for the job that you want - not for the one you have", right? Apply that logic to your LinkedIn profile (and all of your social profiles online). Your profile tagline should show a title related to what you want to do professionally, not just your current job title. I assume that you don't intend to continue being a clerk at a Vap store, right? I would recommend that you remove that sort of job experience from your profile entirely. Prospective employers in creative industries know you have to make ends meet, but they don't want to slog through a profile that forces them to read all about it.

Only include jobs that show a chain of experience that leads up to a your current career goals. If you don't have something that you can show as "current employment", then create an entry called "Schmuckatelli Productions" (or some-such) and include either the names of some of your freelance clients, or even add some brief project descriptions of the kinds personal projects that you have done for yourself. Mark it as "current". Do NOT mark it as "Self-Employed". That could be mistaken by some prospective clients/employers as "Not-Employed". It's sad, but true, that most employers like to hire people who are already employed. Also, remember to be honest. You're shining a positive light on things that you have actually done, not making up false entrees.

Avatar/Profile Picture: When in doubt, change it. In most industries you want something that looks fairly professional, like a proper head shot meaning a close-up, high-resolution photo. Your eyes should never be covered, and the background should be fairly minimal and neutral (the interesting thing in the picture should be you). In creative industries you can either do a head shot, or you can go wild and put a piece of your art or a cartoon; the caveat being that it needs to be relatable and/or fun (no images of a cool part of gun you modeled in 3D).

Lastly, make sure that you add links to a reel or portfolio site. If someone is interested in finding an artist, they don't want to waste time searching for your work or contacting you for that info. They want to see it now. Make sure that all of your sites have current contact information prominently displayed at the top of the page.

Follow these suggestions and you'll get a lot more traction on LinkedIn, a lot faster.


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