If social media platforms were food groups, LinkedIn would be vegetables. You don’t go there for a quick sugar high like Instagram or Twitter, you go there because you want your career to be healthy twenty years from now.
Every entertainment professional should put some energy into creating a good LinkedIn profile. The platform was apparently designed for more corporate job holders, but there are effective workarounds. And you shouldn’t underestimate how much it’s used by producers and other employers in the industry to vet the people they choose to invest in as employees and creative workers.
When someone googles your name, your LinkedIn profile is likely to show up as one of the top listings due to the platform’s widespread influence. Because you control the content that anyone who clicks on that link sees, you have an amazing opportunity to showcase your professional life on LinkedIn on your own terms.
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As someone responsible for hiring and hiring 50+ people in a typical year, I’ve learned a lot about profiles by looking at them. Below are my top ten tips to make your profile stand out.
LinkedIn’s “header” appears with your name when you post or comment on the home page feed. This doesn’t have to be your current job title, and often it shouldn’t be. Entertainment professionals are multitaskers. Come up with something that encompasses the totality of your professional skills. Read this for tips on creating an effective headline.
- The banner behind your headshot is valuable property. Use it for a photo of you on a red carpet or a shot of you working on set. Or promote your latest film or podcast. Search “free LinkedIn banner” and you’ll see various services that make it easy to create a beautiful graphic that fits LinkedIn’s specs perfectly – I use Adobe Spark and have heard Canva is great.
- LinkedIn’s “About” section is a great place to showcase your storytelling skills. When you write in the first person, you give readers a glimpse of your professional journey—where have you been and where are you going? What drives you? Don’t be afraid to mention that you have a main job or a side job. Few people in showbiz survive without one. Make sure you relate positively to your job – it adds to the skills you bring and should not be portrayed as a source of bitterness. Please do not throw your Playbill or IMDb bio in this section! “About” isn’t a list of credits…it tells someone why they should have a longer chat with you.