Social Media: Using LinkedIn for Design Professionals
By KristenHarris on January 30, 2011
LinkedIn is the most widely-accepted social media platform for business. Anyone who is an employee, employer, student, freelancer, business owner, job-seeker or otherwise involved in a professional endeavor should have a complete and current LinkedIn profile. It’s the site where recruiters find candidates, employers check out potential employees, freelancers connect with future clients, former coworkers reconnect, and business contacts find opportunities every day.
To make the most of LinkedIn, make sure you have a very thorough profile. The basic profile is essentially a resume or overview of past experience, but feel free to add interesting information and details that will engage the reader. Also be sure to use a descriptive professional headline that explains who you are and what you do, not just your job title.
Once your profile is set up, there are several specialized tools on the site that can be very useful to design professionals. All of these can be found under the Profile set-up or Applications:
- Portfolio Display – An embedded application that lets you show your creative portfolio. This option supports multimedia content and is a great way to showcase your work.
- SlideShare Presentations and Google Presentations – Two embedded applications that allow you to upload and display presentations, also great options for adding a portfolio to your profile.
- Recommendations – It’s good to have a few recommendations in this section, people like to hear that others have nice things to say about you. Ask for recommendations from people whose word will hold weight, such as satisfied clients, co-workers and former supervisors.
- Website – If you have a personal website, include the link. Viewers tend to be more interested and likely to click if your link has a descriptive name like “John’s Portfolio Site” rather than just the URL. Also, if you’re using Facebook or Twitter for business, include “John’s Twitter Page” here as well to encourage people to spend a bit more time getting to know you.
- Wordpress and Blog Link – If you have an industry-related or professional blog, sync and embed it on your profile. If your blog is purely personal or just for fun, consider if embedding it will enhance or detract from the professional impression you are trying to make.
- Groups and Associations – Find creative friends here, both people you already know and new contacts. Many local and national organizations have LinkedIn groups that you can join, in addition to online-only groups of people with similar interests.
- Reading List by Amazon – This is a great way to share design books and other sources of inspiration, which gives viewers more insight into who you are and what you’re all about.
By creating an engaging profile that showcases your professional experience and creative work on LinkedIn, you can gain access to more than 65 million users located in more than 200 countries. Start making your connections now, you never know where they might lead!
This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included. ©2011 Kristen Harris, Portfolio Creative, LLC.
Kristen Harris is co-founder and owner of Portfolio Creative, a workforce innovation firm that was named a fastest growing company in by Inc. magazine in 2009 and 2010. Portfolio Creative helps companies streamline and innovate their creative workforce to save time, energy and money. www.portfolioiscreative.com.
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