Making the Most of Linkedin….

Linkedin more than just a place for your CV…..its a place to be seen as a professional….

With over 175 million members worldwide Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com is one of the fastest growing social media sites for professionals.

Put simply, LinkedIn helps you to receive and exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities within your professional sector. Linkedin’s functions enable you to: upload your CV and portfolio, visualise your professional network, find new contacts,  follow sector groups, search for jobs,  research companies and their employees and be visible to them.

With such as professional focus, Linkedin is a fantastic tool to showcase skills and abilities in a career context for students and new graduates.  Many employers are now using Linkedin to help them to find, research and approach potential employees. As Denise Taylor recently highlighted within her Guardian careers blog,  ‘Has Linkedin taken over from the CV’ http://careers.guardian.co.uk/linkedin-better-than-cv, your  Linkedin profile will  build an active and developing CV and career portfolio that can be endorsed by others as well as  be constantly refreshed and updated.

Most students are aware of Linkedin, often taking the steps to build a short CV on their Linkedin profile but not fully exploiting its potential. If you do have a Linkedin profile make sure that it is helping you to establish your career. Key points to think about are:

  • Including a professional photograph of yourself, as this will build trust and help you to be found easily.
  • Building a great summary about; who you are, your skills and your practice and keep it updated.
  • Asking for recommendations and endorsements of your skills from your current network.
  • Ensuring that your profile is reflective you, your motivations and your skills as a professional by including your portfolio, your showreel, your most recent projects and activities.
  • Using active language and all the word count available to ensure that your Linkedin profile is 100% complete.
  • Joining groups and being active on them.
  • Regularly searching for jobs to build your sector knowledge and understanding what current employers are looking for.
  • Constantly building your professional network in a focused way.

Remember that Linkedin is a professional online environment, be aware of your etiquette at all times and never do anything online that you wouldn’t do in person. Check out the Linkedin Grad guide:http://careerservices.linkedin.com/LinkedIn-Etiquette-Guide.pdf for advice.

Want to find out more about how to use LinkedIn professionally, email careers@gsa.ac.uk and ask for the companion handout and come along to Linkedin event on Wednesday 24th October 2012 4-5pm Bourdon Lecture theatre or make an appointment to speak with our careers adviser directly.

Key Resources:

Introduction to Social Media

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Introduction to Social Media

What is social media?… social media is a catch all term used to describe interactive,  web based platforms that enable individuals /groups to share ideas, communication, networks and content online. Social media platforms like: Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, WordPress, Instagram are fast becoming an essential element in everyday life. Last week facebook reached its 1 billionth user, if it was a country it would be the 3rd largest in the world!

Being a competent user of social media is becoming an important graduate attribute.  A recent Guardian report, suggested that graduates who have social media skills are more likely to get promoted than those who don’t. Guardian careers

http://careers.guardian.co.uk/careers-blog/social-networkers-ahead-workplace/.  However, social media is much more than a tool for career advancement, great social media skills will support you to; build fantastic sector networks, gain up to date sector knowledge, manage your online professional persona, highlight your skills to employers and keep you ahead of trends.

So the main question is, are you using social media to its fullest?

If you are new user to social media and not sure what it is about why not take some time to reach various platforms. There are differences in social media, for example; Facebook is a social networking site ( which is great for posting comments, up loading images,  creating pages etc) while twitter is micro blogging (where you create content in 140 characters or less, fantastic if you are short on time!). You may find that one approach suits your style more than others. Creativeboom has a range of support and advice to get you started on developing a social media approach to your practice. See the academy pages on http://www.creativeboom.co.uk .

Whatever way you choose to engage on social media there are a few golden rules to follow,  or what Creativeboom calls ‘netiquette’ http://creativeboom.co.uk/tips/netiquette-the-rules/ , that will help you build a great reputation online.

The Golden Rules:

  1. Stay focused on what it is you want to say, be sincere, polite and positive and give people a reason to follow or like you.
  2. Don’t be competitive, negative or critical of others, remember when you post online is it is permanent.
  3. Get talking, sharing and caring, remember it is social media, avoid broadcasting and build relationships. Don’t forget to respond to comments, contacts or questions.
  4. Update your activity regularly and be aware of the quality of your posts.
  5. Enjoy it, innovate it and keep going with it…

Want to find out more about social media and your practice? Why don’t you email careers@gsa.ac.uk and ask for the companion handout and come along to Introduction to Social Media event.  Wednesday 17th October 2012 4-5pm Bourdon Lecture theatre.

Some useful resources to get you thinking:

Artists guide to twitter: http://www.squidoo.com/ArtistTwitterGuide

Facebook for Artists: http://www.artbusiness.com/facebook-tips-help-protocol-etiquette-and-instructions-for-artists.html

Youtube Linkedin Grad Guide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocp1MNpSkWs

Best tumbler blogs for designers: http://www.creativebloq.com/inspiration/best-tumblr-blogs-for-designers-1233429

Thanks for the Image Good Wives and Warriors ! http://www.goodwivesandwarriors.co.uk/

Self Marketing for Creative’s

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Self marketing for creative’s Learning to blow your own trumpet!

In today’s competitive market, relying only on producing great work is risky and will not help you to find, engage or build audiences or employer’s interest in you or your practice.

No one else can sell, tell and engage others about your work as well as you can. Deploying simple marketing approaches to your practice will help you to manage how others perceive you as a creative professional.  A good marketing strategy should aim to;

  • Make you visible to others.
  • Help you stand out from the crowd by differentiating your practice from your competitors.
  • Build trust in you as a creative.
  • As well as help you to find and engage with audiences and/or employers.

When marketing your practice there are some key things to consider such as; your audience, your message and the outcome that you want from your marketing activity.  ARTQUEST has a range of great resources on how, why and when to market your work. For further details see;http://www.artquest.org.uk/articles/view/how_to  or request the companion handout, ‘Self Marketing for Creative’s’ from the GSACareers careers@gsa.ac.uk

Artists, Designers and Architects all market their practice in some way. Undertake some research on how other creative professionals get their messages out there. See Design Trusts how to research the market: http://www.thedesigntrust.co.uk/the-design-doctor-how-can-i-do-market-research/  Record; what works, what doesn’t and what elements can be adapted to meet your needs… Check out Creativeboom’s inspiration pages to get you started. http://creativeboom.co.uk/inspiration/

Still not sure about marketing your practice, here are my top six ways to market creative practice to get you started;

  • Business cards: Is probably the simplest way of self promotion. Make sure that you have a business card with you at all times. Make sure that your business card features; your name, contact details and information about your creative practice. You would be amazed about how many business cards I have seen that have some of this information missing! Business cards don’t have to be fancy and are fairly inexpensive but worth every penny!
  • Social media: Connect with like- minded practitioners, employers and audiences to find out about opportunities, trends in your sector as well as to research other /competitor’s approaches within the sector and don’t forget to tell others about your practice. For more information on using social media to promote your work see the academy pages on: Creativeboom http://www.creativeboom.com .
  • Networking:  meeting people is a great way of marketing. If you know what you have to offer, talking about your work to others will become easier and help you to ‘sell’ your unique points more effectively. For further details see Artquest http://www.artquest.org.uk
  • Newsletters: Build up a list of family, friends, and audience, and with their permission, send out  newsletters that highlight; your practice, projects that you are working on and developments in your career.  Remember to keep it interesting and supportive of your brand, network and your reputation.  See Artbiz blog for further advice: http://www.artbizblog.com/2012/05/newsletters-stink.html
  • Press releases: Press releases are a great way to; expand and reach new audiences, highlight your work to media when you have something to announce, build up-to-date content for your website as well as enabling others to share your information. Find out more about writing press releases on Artquest http://www.artquest.org.uk/articles/view/media-releases
  • Website: When building your website make sure you are clear in its purpose. Attract audiences by linking your social media activity to it and ensure your site is picked up by search engines. (Become educated in Search Engine Optimization- SEO- which will help you to build your online presence.)  If building a website is not possible, why not try blogging instead…..

Finally, if you are not promoting your work, who will?  So don’t be shy……

Want to find out more about marketing your work email careers@gsa.ac.uk for the companion handout and come along to Self Marketing for creative’s event.  Wednesday 10th October 2012 4-5pm Bourdon Lecture theatre.