LinkedIn is a vital tool to marketing yourself and ensuring that potential employers know about you. While I used to believe that this was exclusive to certain industries, that is no longer the case. Even if you are pursuing a career in creative industries, like I am, having a LinkedIn profile is an invaluable resource to creating traction in finding that perfect job and building a career.
One of the most important ways to have an effective LinkedIn profile is to have plenty of connections. LinkedIn is the modern way to network, and just as it has always been, networking is one of the most successful ways to find a fit for yourself. However, networking is a skill and there comes some finesse with it. As Laura Shin for Forbes says, it is key to make sure you are connecting with strategically picked individuals. Having a lot of connections is great, but having relevant connections is more important. It is also important to seek out people you don’t know on LinkedIn, but not to waste your opportunity to get to know them better. It is important for me, especially being new in the entertainment industry that I would like to work in, to not only introduce myself to individuals in a message, but to engage with them, seek out advice, and hopefully trigger something in them that will warrant a response. Making an imprint on fewer individuals is key, rather than being a faceless presence to many.
Another key aspect of using LinkedIn to find a job is not just looking at it for the short term, this is a place to find a building block for a career. And with that, as USA Today writes, my headline and summary should reflect the job that I want, not just a job I would settle for or a job that I have now. If I do not use this space as a chance to advertise my goals, where else will they go? It is impossible for employers to read your mind or to get to know your real goals from an application or resume, so this is the next best thing to meeting and telling them yourself. Sometimes employers may even see a better fit for you based on your summary than the position you are applying for. This is something that I must keep in mind when using my LinkedIn to it’s best potential.
My LinkedIn profile is still not perfect, I am waiting on professional head-shots to come in, and I need to build up the confidence to use it to it’s potential to actually seek out connections. However, if I can stick to a plan of seeking out the career I want, not just a job, and if I can use those goals to seek out meaningful connections that will aid my career search, LinkedIn will prove to be a valuable resource for me in the next few months.