BLOG: Tips for using LinkedIn as a musician
“I have a LinkedIn account, but I don’t get how it is useful for someone in music.”
If that sounds like you, here are five ways that LinkedIn can be a useful social media tool for your personal and professional life as a musician.
- A virtual resume. Your LinkedIn profile is, simply, a virtual resume. But did you know you can add links to your profile showcasing your work, reviews or your other social media? Or that your LinkedIn connections can enhance your profile by writing short (paragraph sized) recommendations about your work and/or giving you a “thumbs up” on key skills that you possess? Those endorsements and recommendations are gifts of networking, as networking is a mutually beneficial relationship (so, if you are on LinkedIn, give some of those endorsements to your connections). Are those endorsements important? Yes, as they give potential employers a sense of what others think of your skills. Creating, updating, and giving your LinkedIn profile some love now may also save you time when applying for positions, as more employers (and graduate programs) are giving applicants the option to apply using LinkedIn profile information.
- A virtual business cardholder. When you receive a business card now, what do you do with it? Maybe you have a drawer of business cards that may no longer be up-to-date with where that person works? Whenever you get a business card or meet someone professionally, connect with them on LinkedIn. Not only does that connection expand your network, but most folks will update their LinkedIn profile when they change jobs or are promoted. That makes your list of connections on LinkedIn a constantly updated virtual business cardholder. You will see updates about your connections on your LinkedIn home page. When your connections get those new jobs or promotions, send them a short “Well done you!” message through LinkedIn. That nurtures your network.
- An internship and job search engine that connects the dots. Can you guess how many U.S. jobs are posted in LinkedIn that have “music” in the job title or job description? 47,416 (on 11/7/19). Try that search and explore the careers section. When you look at an internship/job posting in LinkedIn, LinkedIn connects the dots by also showing you how you know someone, through your connections, who works (or worked) at that organization. This gives you someone to contact to learn about that organization, the position that is posted, and maybe even to see if they could put in a good word for you as an applicant. Flashes help out flashes; use your KSU network.
- Company, organization, and interests news updates. LinkedIn is not just for individuals. It is also for companies, universities, professional associations, organizations, and groups. What is your guess of how many groups have the word “music” in their name within LinkedIn? 7,877 (on 11/7/19). That does not include music organizations or companies you could follow; search for your favorite music organization, click “follow,” and you will see news and updates (often including internship and job postings) on your LinkedIn home page. This is an easy way to keep up on news in your field; however, if you are in the hunt for an internship or job, following your potential employers on LinkedIn gives you information that you can use in your application and interview, which can show that you have done your homework. While you are adding organizations to follow, don’t forget to follow the Kent State University Hugh A. Glauser School of Music.
- Super cool networking tool. If you have read this far, I am going to reward you by sharing one of the coolest features of LinkedIn. In the search box within LinkedIn, search “Kent State University.” Then click on the school page for KSU. Then click on “alumni” in the left-hand box of KSU’s LinkedIn page. You just turned LinkedIn into a database that will let you search KSU alumni. Moving to a new city? Search “where” to see KSU alums who live there. Applying to a specific organization? Search that organization and see KSU alums who work/worked there. Wondering what other music alumni are doing? Search by field of study. Not sure what the “1,” “2,” or “3” means next to a LinkedIn profile? Those are the degrees of separation between you and that person. 1 degree of separation means that person is on your list of contacts. 2 degrees of separation means someone you know, knows that person (and LinkedIn will show you who, so you can work your network). 3 degrees is, well, you get the idea. LinkedIn does not give you the full “6 degrees of separation” (but don’t let that stop you from searching for Kevin Bacon).
If you would like to meet and go over LinkedIn questions, or other career issues, simply make an appointment with LuAnn Coldwell, Career Adviser, Visual & Performing Arts through KSU Advising or by calling 330-672-8388 or emailing email@example.com.
Written by: LuAnn Coldwell