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Starting Your LinkedIn Journey

Acing LinkedIn

Breaking into the creative industries after graduating can be challenging, so it’s really important to maximize online and offline networking strategies to give you an upper hand in the hyper-competitive job market. A great online platform for networking is LinkedIn which has over 800 million users in 200 countries! LinkedIn used to be looked at us more for the corporate world, but it’s now heavily used in the creative industries, so you don’t want to miss out!

Are you new to LinkedIn? Don’t worry, it’s never too late to show off your abilities and experience, and the sooner you sign up, the more benefits you will generate from this platform and the more meaningful connections you will make. According to Jessica Miller-Merell, Founder of Workology, “Being a modern recruiter means being more flexible and finding new ways to locate the best and most qualified talent before the competition gets their hands on them. LinkedIn is crucial as an effective tool for job seekers and recruiters alike.” 

According to best-selling author Bernard Marr, “Filling out a profile isn’t difficult, but you should follow some important best practices to make sure your profile is as powerful as possible.” Here are some tips to set you up for success:

  • Use a professional headshot. Ensure that it is a clear photo that shows your face. Use an uncluttered background to not distract from your photo. Make sure that you’re dressed professionally, if your industry has a casual dress style than you can match that, just make sure that you look at established professionals’ photos first to get a sense of what the industry standard is.
  • Compose a powerful headline. Speak to who you are as a professional without overused buzzwords. Here is an example of a powerful headline for a new graduate, “Highly driven and organized film production graduate looking for Production Assistant Opportunities.” 
  • Complete the “summary” section with your most significant achievements. If you have little to no work experience, highlight your other successes. Don’t be shy about using data. “My capstone video game has been downloaded over 1,000 times and is highly reviewed” 
  • Add visuals to your profile. You can add photographs and documents such as your resume to your profile for added exposure. Think of your graduation pictures or a class project. 
  • Finish your profile. In order to increase your views, highlight your skills, volunteer work, education, union memberships, licences, micro-credentials, and short courses. Make sure that your profile is complete. 
  • Ask for written recommendations. Endorsements are acceptable, but recommendations show that people will take the time to recommend your work and your character by writing a proper reference for you. 
  • Share industry-relevant content. To get noticed, share, like and thoughtfully comment on industry professionals’ content and their postings. 

How to Make LinkedIn Work for You 

After you’ve completed your profile, you’ll need to expand your network. This can be accomplished by setting up informational interviews with industry specialists in order to learn more about the field you want to enter. The ideal strategy to arrange an informational interview is to first research organizations of interest and contact industry professionals. Join communities and groups to network with professionals in the creative industries, such as influencers, recruiters, and management. The larger your network becomes, the easier it is to add new people to it.


Building your Network 

The next challenge many LinkedIn users face is connecting with people. It is highly recommended to send a personalized note as part of your connection request. Once the person has accepted your request, send a personalized follow-up message as a way to initiate a professional relationship. Try these simple approaches: 

“Hello, I’m a recent graduate of graphic design and am looking to learn and connect with professionals in the industry. I was hoping that I could add you to my network. Thanks” 

“I enjoyed your article on trends in screenwriting, thanks for sharing! I was hoping to connect with you to see more of your great content.”


Celebrating your Success 

Congratulations, you now have a one-of-a kind profile and access to a platform with over 800 million professionals! It’s time to expand your professional network and make yourself known in the creative industries! Remember to hunt for high-quality contacts rather than connecting or accepting connection requests on the spur of the moment. Not everyone will want to connect or engage so make sure to respect people’s boundaries and don’t be pushy. With LinkedIn connections quality is more important than quantity.