A friend recently called saying she needed to find a new job and asked me to provide a referral to a former boss. The first thing I did was ask to see her portfolio, resume and of course (as we were speaking on the phone) took a look at her LinkedIn profile. As I was clicking on her name, she proceeded to tell me, “Don’t look at my LinkedIn profile since it’s not updated and I’m still trying to figure out what it should really say.” If that wasn’t enough, she said that her resume hadn’t been updated in years, and her portfolio wasn’t current either.
Hmmm…she didn’t sound too serious about a new job, nor did it seem like she would be a marketable job candidate given her current state. So how can you maintain or develop your professional persona or brand to get your career where you want it to be?
Simple! Invest in yourself. And it starts by taking a few minutes to read our 5 tips:
- Clean up your LinkedIn profile – Recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn to check out your professional profile as a complement to your resume and other credentials. If it’s outdated or not aligned with your resume, you’re doing yourself a disservice. While you’re updating, ask your colleagues for a few endorsements and recommendations that will speak to your credibility as a valuable asset to any team. And it goes without saying, but be sure your resume is always up to date.
- Sharpen Your Skills – Fill a void in your skills gap with online learning to strengthen your skills or bridge the gap to expand your career. How Design University has great options for creative and designers.
- Network – Relationship building throughout your career is a must. If you haven’t reached out or attended a formal event in a while, then it’s time to get to it. Setting a goal of adding and interacting with new professional contacts on a regular basis is all part of maintaining your marketability.
- The Business Side – Marketers are expected to leverage data; teams need creatives who can effectively communicate with internal and external teams, deliver killer presentations, understand ROI and have superb time-management skills. In many creative roles, business acumen is just as important as your creativity, so take stock of where your deficiencies may be and work to develop and improve these skills now.
- Be Well Read – Understanding industry trends via social media and picking up a book that other creative professionals are reading will help to round out your professional growth. A couple of our favorites are The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry and Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series) by Jocelyn K. Glei.
As you finish reading this article, set a date on your calendar for a month from now to revisit your professional development. It’s a good way to check in with yourself to be sure you’re following through.
Self-improvement is always a good idea, so let us know how you’re doing!