Showing multiple careers on LinkedIn

I went to art school and have been working in the creative industry for about five years now. I am going back to school this Fall for nursing though because I didn’t want to purely do art for the rest of my life. I see myself has having dual careers, nursing as the main one (day job) and art as the freelance one.

My question is about my LinkedIn profile!  Should I make my LinkedIn profile for nursing only? Art jobs boil down to the portfolio, so I think having a separate online presence will be enough for freelance. Yes, I think I answered my own question. I don’t think I should mix the two because it will confuse nurse recruiters.

2 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    You’re right – you answered your own question! A good rule of thumb for people who have two, distinctly different careers is to put the on on LInkedIn that is mostly highly recruiter. There are a some careers that don’t involve recruiters – art and farming come to mind. In those cases sometimes people want to find you online, but they know there are better ways than LinkedIn.

    Some people have many different things they’ve done in their career and that generally looks bad on LinkedIn, because LinkedIn favors a more linear career path — most of the profile tools on LinkedIn are oriented to a linear progression. If you can tie your various careers into one cohesive story at the top of your profile, that’s a great idea and then it gives recruiters a way to understand where you fit.

    The bottom line is that LinkedIn is best used for showing recruiters what you do best. Recruiters use LinkedIn obsessively to find exact matches for jobs they are trying to fill. If you do not say clearly what you are an exact match for on LinkedIn, then you end up being an exact match for nothing.

    Of course, it’s not always easy to market yourself so clearly. Often someone who rewrites resumes can help you with something like that as well– it’s a process of seeing yourself differently.


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