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Slightly related to another question, yet I have to ask separately.

I have a quite special personal project I'm working on for more than a year - it's related to creative activities: writing, art (including video games) and so on. It's kind of like a product of my talents and skills and thus, I consider it at least partially worthy to communicate as a project for professionals. That I'd really like to work in professional environments by exploiting the talent I've also exploited in this project (both technical and artistic) led me to this assumption.

On the other hand, the project itself, both in context and in structure, lacks the clean and professional aesthetics and it's definitely visible that it's a personal hobby-project for entertaining others - with varying degree of success. Because of this reason, I'm unsure if I should share it on LinkedIn.

My experience is that the résume is what keeps more strictly professional, and LinkedIn is what can be slightly loose, hence I decided to add my hobby-projects there - so this question can actually be extendable to any other personal projects, as usually they can ben qualified the same way. (=made by exploiting own talents, yet usually lacking professionalism)

How do I determine the best way to handle this topic?

  • @JoeStrazzere if I thought my hobby is fascinating, I wouldn't have asked this question. :) I just wonder if my hobby would add anything to my value as an employee in general. – Zoltán Schmidt Aug 11 '16 at 14:10
  • So eventually, the evaluation is up to me, right? – Zoltán Schmidt Aug 11 '16 at 14:34
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LinkedIn is a professional network.

Would you like your business colleagues to know what you do in your spare time? Would it make them more likely to want to do business with you?

e.g, if you're a web developer, and your hobby is contributing to open source projects, then go for it. If your hobby is 18th Century Needlepoint**, then perhaps it isn't professionally relevant.

** Other hobbies are available

4

Don't ask yourself if this hobby provides yourself value in general.

Ask yourself is your hobby provides added value for the specific job you're aiming for.

EDIT after comment : if you're looking for a broad array of jobs, but your hobby still leaves a positive impression for the whole category of jobs, then go for it.

  • The thing is that I'm open to any career possibilities in which my skills I used in hobbies are involved. In this particular case, for example, I'd like to prove that I'm not only a "plain programmer you meet at every corner", but that I'm also capable of doing creative and maybe even artistic activities. – Zoltán Schmidt Aug 11 '16 at 14:21
  • 9 times out of 10 it was my 'extra curricular' programming activities that got me interviews and offers, and not the things that I had done at other companies. Most places want people who are excited about what they do - if you can demonstrate that passion through outside projects, then you should. As a hiring manager I always pick the person who is pursuing his trade for fun in his free time over someone who clocks in 40 hours a week and never does anything else with his skills. – Mark Aug 11 '16 at 14:31
  • @Mark what do you mean by 'clocking'? Otherwise, it was insightful, thank you! – Zoltán Schmidt Aug 11 '16 at 14:33
  • @ZoltánSchmidt I was referring to someone that uses his skills only during his Day Job (IE: 'on the clock' or getting paid for his work) versus someone who also tinkers with his skills on his own for his own purposes. But it's worth noting that the advice in the other answer about hobbies being relevent is important. – Mark Aug 12 '16 at 17:59
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What is the right thing to do about this topic?

Your resume/LinkedIn is an advertisement for you. It represents your personal brand and is how people will view/evaluate your abilities. When determining if you should add something to them, you basically need to consider:

  • Will this information add positively to the image I am trying to convey?

Keep in mind you will also start showing up in key-word search results for whatever is on your LinkedIn. The answer to this question will always depend on:

  • The individual person reading your resume/LinkedIn
  • How it's presented
  • The industry norms and relevancy

There really isn't a way to universally answer here. Some pieces, such as previous employment, are more universal. Hobbies do not fit that category.

Ultimately what you need to do use your judgement about whether it would be beneficial, given your target audience and industry. You may have good luck involving a mentor figure or experienced person in your chosen industry and asking them their thoughts. Someone in this position has likely reviewed hundreds of LinkedIn profiles or resumes and could provide more specific advice.

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