Published: November 30, 2020 by Jillian Collins
It’s always a good time to maintain your career kit. You know that you need to tailor your template résumé and generic cover letter to specific job openings and keep your LinkedIn profile current, but how do you grab attention to create and build your personal brand? There are three online tools I use that I’d like to share with you because they’re easy to learn and use quickly, and they’re free! Those tools are 1) the LinkedIn Publishing Platform, 2) Canva graphic design platform, and 3) professional photographs from Unsplash.
The Craft of a Creative Career Kit
Show, don’t just tell. The skills you have on paper should be used to prove effective use. And these ‘free-sources’ are just what you need:
- Use LinkedIn to publish original content. The LinkedIn Publishing Platform is a terrific way to gain professional visibility. Beyond connections and crafting your profile, actively creating content to publish on LinkedIn works as a portfolio that amplifies your interests in the LIS world. The feature works like a blog, and I encourage you to think about what you see as relevant to your expertise in Library and Information Science. The profile you have on LinkedIn can showcase more than the digital résumé. When you use LinkedIn Publishing Platform, your work is put into action. Creating new content to share on LinkedIn using the free feature provided to you, the type of action that seriously impresses networks and potential employers.
- Use Canva to design and create images. Canva is an online, graphic design all-in-one. It is perfect for presentations, social media content creation, and other neat things that boost your digital design knowledge. You can upload content to use, and you can download what you create in any file format. Even creating a banner for your LinkedIn profile, placing attention on you, and your personal brand. I could go on, but the bottom line is that everything you want and more is included in the free version! Canva allows you to make a visual statement. Learning to use it also adds “graphic design” as one of your marketable skills.
- Use Unsplash to find photos. Unsplash offers free use of stunning images, taken by professional photographers. There are so many reasons to use Unsplash as a professional tool. For example, I use it to find photos that illustrate the topics on this blog, and recommend it if you are at writing an article that you’ll post using the LinkedIn Publishing Platform. Plus, if you’re so inclined, you can also create a portfolio on Unsplash to showcase your own photographs.
The Benefits of a Creative Career Kit
A résumé and cover letter show your skills and how you use them. Your LinkedIn profile is a combination of the two, just presented to a wider audience. Getting attention on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform with articles on topics that combine your interests and how you apply the skills you have articulate a direction that gets employers interested. Canva is a brilliant edition to your career kit as a skill, and using it actively gives you the opportunity to create a personalized professional presence. Adding the images from Unsplash always gets someone to start reading and looking at the presence you have online.
Show initiative that you are going to change the game, and the employer who sees that initiative will want you on their team.
Quick Jot from Jillian
More than anything, I find the ability to create to be a strong trait of success. Information creation is an extension of our studies, after all. It’s daunting to even think of adding that “one more thing” to your schedule: keeping a blog, making social media marketing materials, finding images…but it’s easier if you think of it as increments of experience.
LinkedIn Publishing Platform is free and already associated with your professional online presence. Canva has so many options to become familiar with graphic design, and it is so user friendly I want to make it a friendship bracelet. What attracted me to Canva was that even the free version made me feel like a fancy professional graphic designer. I use Unsplash to locate the images to add to my career blog posts, and find that creativity is transferable from their original photographers to my own motivations.
You find success with your voice, so stand out with your LinkedIn account. You make impressions with impressive skills – so make full use of Canva. The story you tell may require images that impact – so use Unsplash to retrieve them. You never know what you can do, until you try it. Especially with these ‘free-sources.’
Selected Career Opportunities
- Reference & Instruction Librarian. California Institute of Integral Studies.San Francisco, CA. Apply on CIIS
- Video Library Specialist. Oracle. Redwood City, CA. Apply on SimplyHired
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