LinkedIn has an application called Answers (go to LinkedIn page – option More – Answers), when we can create any type of question and send to our contact. I have been thinking a lot about my profile on LinkedIn since last week, because I had to create an account for my class – journalism 65 / Social network for journalist.
I have 15 years experience with communication in general, but that happened in Brazil. I worked with communication before/during/after I got my degree in Journalism and Advertisement. I move to United States 5 years ago to study and since I’m here, because language barrier I couldn’t work with communication as I did in Brazil. I wrote few articles, but my experience was limited on that. I’m a student and I would say I’m learning a lot since I’m here many things related with my classes in Spanish, English, Arts, Multimedia, Business and Communication because I go to school.
Than, when I was filling up my profile I got stuck in one point: if my experience working in a restaurant and bakery would be relevant on my profile on LinkedIn. I posted my question to few people from my network: “I have good communication experience in Brazil. I’ve been working in a coffee shop/ restaurant for the last 5 years, just to pay my bills. I wrote articles here in the U.S, and I’m a full time student. Should I post restaurant experience here?”
A Ph.D Career Counselor at University of California, Debra Behrens, answered me and said, “Yes, you should use the restaurant experience because it shows a consistent record of employment, and you could also think about any informal responsibilities something like this for example: trained new employees, key responsibilities, opened and closed restaurant, demonstrated customer service skills, used bilingual skills English and Portuguese”.
I think she is right. I don’t think it is negative for my profile and I certainly I can prove by this job my ability to communicate with people from different background; I do can use English, Portuguese and Spanish as a language tools. I do also meet a lot of people from that place and they expand my network. Moreover I can prove I am a person of trust and responsible able to manager different situations with people from different background and skills.
Jane Wardini, Urban Environmental Planner, said, “Short answer is you don’t have to put in you restaurant experience unless you want to offer people to use that experience. Instead you can put more detail on relevant classes, articles etc from your student experience.”
I also agree with Jane I have to put more focus on my student experience and that is what I’m trying to do. But I still think the restaurant / bakery is a relevant experience. In addition I would say it is important to mention it but not important to write too much.
What do you think?