Recap: LinkedIn Presentation

Last week, during the DMBA residency, recruiters from LinkedIn came in to talk with us. Their comments ranged from no-brainer to helpful, and I’ve recapped the presentation below:

LinkedIn has new features for creative people: Display artwork, show portfolios in your profile.
LinkedIn’s new capacity to easily display images and portfolio projects throughout your profile should be taken advantage of. Most recruiters will spend about 15 seconds rushing through a profile if there is not work displayed in the profile, and a little longer if there’s portfolio work displayed.


1. Your Picture: If you work in the creative field, you can be a little creative with the picture, but should still be professional.  People make a connection if you have a picture– recruiters are more likely to click through. If you do not have a picture, your chances of getting an interview decrease substantially.


2. Your Headline: This is the second thing people look at. “Design Student at CCA.” Okay to be somewhat creative in the creative field, but needs to be professional. This should accurately reflect your current position, and speak to what you’d like to do.


3. Your Location: It is important for this to be updated, so the right people look at your profile.


4. Summary: The third thing people look at, after your headline and your picture. Needs to have who you are now, and what you want to do. Keep this concise and to the point. Bullet points can be helpful. You can incorporate visual projects into your summary section, but should only put work in the portfolio that you’re proud of.  You can put design inspiration as part of the media you share (TED talks, etc.) The summary is an appropriate place to link your portfolio.


5. Job Descriptions: This is your online resume, so include descriptions similar to what you’d include on your resume. Recommendations are important, and recruiters do read them. Summaries should be to-the-point and real.


6. Skills and Expertise: These endorsements are a new feature, so most recruiters look at this, but it’s not their first stop.


7. Volunteer Experiences and Causes: Especially relevant to include if you don’t have a ton of experience and if your volunteer experience and causes align with what you’d like to pursue.


8. Education: If you’re currently in school, it’s important to include your graduation date for recruiters.


  • Be particular with who you connect with, make sure you actually know them. It is better for you to have a clean profile. As a basic screener, you should have had at least a 15 minute conversation with each person you connect with.
  • Make sure to include key words for your skills and talents in your summary, skills, and job descriptions so that your name comes up when recruiters are searching large numbers of profiles. The keyword searches go through all portions of your resume.
  • You don’t need to include your entire work history on your profile. Assess your professional goals, and how your job history reflects on that.
  • You can go into your settings so that your connections are not notified when you update your profile.
  • Use LinkedIn to get to know your interviewers before an interview, and do company research before submitting an application and do more before an interview.
  • Title should be low on your totem pole of priorities when looking at jobs. It’s far more important to find a company with a mission you believe in, and a culture you love.
My Thoughts:
LinkedIn is a great platform for basic screening for recruiters, and a great place to have a public professional profile. That said, customizing materials for each job you seek is important, and LinkedIn doesn’t have that capability, nor would it necessarily be appropriate to have multiple profiles for different firm sizes and job focuses. It seems like the best use of LinkedIn is to share enough information that firms can get an idea of your experience, strengths, and general interests, while leaving position-specific information for when you submit a cover letter, specific resume, or discuss in the interview.
It’s true that LinkedIn profiles are becoming more important, and a heavily used tool in recruiting. Some firms and degree programs are only requesting LinkedIn profile urls, in lieu of a traditional resume.


Blog posts/articles about the use of online resumes:
The Death of the Resume (Betts Recruiting)
LinkedIn Analysis (Framework)

Recommended Baking Adventures Aug-Sept 2013

I’m starting to love our new kitchen. (Pictured below.) I was originally skeptical because the cabinets are awkwardly sized, there’s not a ton of counter space, and the oven is almost too small for our baking pans. A few knife racks and an IKEA kitchen island later, things are looking up! These are some of the most successful adventures in the new kitchen.

Aforementioned new kitchen.

Aforementioned new kitchen.

First Challah: A combination of this recipe and this video. The video is especially brilliant. I chose the four strand braid. The wash is a combination of honey and egg. I specifically wanted a small loaf, so the recipe quantity was great for us, but might add more sugar or other flavoring next time. The round shape is in recognition of Rosh Hashanah, which we celebrated last week. Happy New Year!

First attempt at challah, and braided bread overall. The video tutorial is amazing.

First attempt at challah, and braided bread overall. The video tutorial is amazing.

Vegan Scones: We became responsible for breakfast for a small gathering, and needed to make sure we were conscientious of food allergies. (No one in this group had gluten allergies.) The solution: vegan, nut-free scones! As with all things vegan and amazing, Isa Chandra Moskowitz was my champion. The recipe I used was from Vegan Brunch, but this recipe from her website for marionberry lavender scones is very similar. These scones are scrumptious. For real. They may even be better than the buttery, creamy ones I usually make. I used rice milk, which doesn’t curdle, and they still turned out deliciously.

These are raisins, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and ground cloves.

] These are a variation with raisins, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves.

UPDATE: I tried these again with whole wheat flour, soy milk, and subbed chopped apples for the raisins. They were less sweet, but still delicious! A little heavier overall. 10/6/13

The Design Journal: Getting it Started Again

I’m a notoriously bad journaler. I love having journals, and have a collection of empty ones. Often I start a diary or journal, only to stop a few days later, and tear out the pages and shred/recycle them when I read them a few years later in mortification.

Last year one of our first assignments as first-year DMBA students was to keep a design journal. Not only would we need to keep a design journal, we needed to turn it in on occasion. Terrifying, true, but also a great opportunity to build a good habit.


First page of my first design journal. Note the cut-out pages from a prior journaling attempt.

Most people want to be the kind of person that keeps a sketch notebook, design journal, writing journal, or diary. Keeping a written or sketch journal is purported to increase creativity, release stress, enable us to better understand our thoughts, and to explore ideas in a non-threatening way. Carrying a small journal with you enables spontaneity and encourages us to be thoughtful of our surroundings, finding inspiration unexpectedly. I found, however, that owning a blank notebook and calling it a “design journal” did not immediately confer these benefits. Journaling/sketching/keeping a diary must be cultivated, like any other habit.

At first, I stuck with word maps, process diagrams, keeping notes on readings and lectures, and occasionally forcing myself to make small sketch accompaniments. As this was an assignment, we needed to make entries at least once a week. Sometimes the entries were uninspired, and sometimes I was enthusiastic about it. Sometimes I could barely manage to make one entry a week, and sometimes it was easy and natural to make several. As time went on, I incorporated colors and visual diagrams. By the end of second semester, I graduated to a new journal.

It's not pretty, but I even started more sketch-heavy entries.

It’s not pretty, but I even started more sketch-heavy entries.

When my journal had a more defined focus– exploring ideas, not trying to be brilliant, it became very comfortable. It was helpful to think of the journal as a personal tool, not intended for public consumption and recognize that not every note made in a journal offers insight or inspiration, and that it’s okay. My journals became lighter and smaller so that I could carry them everywhere and inconspicuously get them out to make a note/observation. Unfortunately, I fell off the design journal bandwagon this summer, but am hopping right back on. Although new habits are hard to build, or even re-build, this one is worth it. Virginia Woolfe puts it well:

“I got out this diary and read, as one always does read one’s own writing, with a kind of guilty intensity. I confess that the rough and random style of it, often so ungrammatical, and crying for a word altered, afflicted me somewhat. I am trying to tell whichever self it is that reads this hereafter that I can write very much better; and take no time over this; and forbid her to let the eye of man behold it. And now I may add my little compliment to the effect that it has a slapdash and vigour and sometimes hits an unexpected bull’s eye.”

Here's to new beginnings!

Here’s to new beginnings!

For more on the benefits of journals (the articles are endless, but these are my favorites):