How can people cover two professions in a single LinkedIn profile?
That’s a fairly common situation these days, according to certified executive coach Tim Toterhi, founder of Plotline Leadership and author of “The HR Guide to Getting and Crushing Your Dream Job.” Your LinkedIn strategy “depends on how overtly you want to advertise your second gig,” he says.
“If it’s a clear second job approved by your primary employer, simply list it as a concurrent role. If it’s a personal side gig such as freelance writing or coaching, for example, list your company and the services you provide,” Toterhi advises. In those cases, he says to make sure the summary and intro you post “reflects both professions in a single brand.”
Carla Deter, founder of LinkedIn Profiles & Executive Resume Writing Service in Washington, D.C., says she’s worked with many clients in similar situations. And while LinkedIn isn’t set up to accommodate more than one career (and in fact prohibits having a second profile), the platform “can be strategically manipulated to work for the dual position dilemma.”
Before you jump into creating your profile, Deter suggests asking these questions:
1. Does the secondary business/job belong on LinkedIn at all?
2. Are people simply not going to be looking? For example, if the second job is as a waitress at a small diner on evenings and weekends, it is unlikely to be something employers who frequent LinkedIn to find potential employees would be interested in.
3. Is it OK if the main full-time employer knows about a second business/side interest?
4. Where does the primary source of income come from? “If it is from the full-time position, be sure to show that one clearly,” she says.
Once you’ve decided to list information about more than one job, Deter offers this advice:
–Create a LinkedIn banner that shows your expertise in both fields. Someone who is an IT professional by day and a writer by night could design a custom image that shows a professional view or abstract, and then a pen and notepad. “An image can give an idea of the professional in a sense,” Deter says. There are several online options to help you get started; spark.adobe.com/make/banner-maker/linkedin is one.
–Include a creative headline. With a 120-word limit, creativity is key, Deter stresses. “The default should be the persons’ job title — where the main source of income comes from. Then add a few keywords [related to] the second position,” she says. “It does take some thinking of how to best come up with the keywords that mesh the full-time position with the evening/weekend work, but it can be done.”
–Spend time on the summary. “The summary can be sectioned off with spaces in between paragraphs,” says Deter. For an IT professional who moonlights as a writer/musician, it might look like this, she says:
Compelling track record with 17+ years of experience pioneering corporate platform technologies while working alongside cross-functional, multi-dimensional teams.
Also, works as a writer and musician:
Innovative and creative thought leader who has brought visionary zeal to live performances including orchestral, rock/blues/rhythm and blues bands, and community orchestras.
–Make the most of the experience, skills & endorsements, and articles & activities sections. Deter suggests using the second experience box to show the side job; include a list of skills that relates to both jobs; and post articles you’ve written, links to related websites or blogs, and images and media mentions that showcase the work you do on the side.
(Article written by Kathleen Furore)