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by Patti Wilson
Apr 7 2015
Last year, Linkedin opened up long-form posts to the general membership. Prior to that time only Influencers (famous people, leaders in their field) designated by Linkedin were allowed to write those short, pithy articles that accumulated and were archived on their profile pages. The rest of us had been relegated to ephemeral Linkedin Updates that disappeared into the news thread once posted.
In July of 2014, when the little pen icon appeared on the update box, intrepid trail blazers began posting on their Linkedin Profiles. Overnight, a plethora of short articles, essays, and observations with accompanying images populated profiles.
The posting image along with an attention-getting title are important because posts are displayed on profiles by image and title as well as sent to all your first degree connections. Further, interesting posts that attract Linkedin’s attention, are often chosen for redistribution to millions of Pulse subscribers, the site’s in-house news magazine.
What you have to say might just be the game changer in your career depending upon your career goals and employment circumstances. Aside from attracting attention and raising visibility on your profile, there are three compelling career motivators to do it as well.
1. Thought Leadership
Use posts to build and demonstrate knowledge and expertise in your current business sector and professional field. Anything you do outside your company will reflect back positively inside your company. Posting observations, insights, and a unique perspective improves your stature in your field.
Your post’s topics can open doors to consulting opportunities, create visibility for potential board positions, and generate invitations to speak at conferences. You can position yourself as the go-to expert for the media. This all becomes a virtuous circle that continues to build on your professional reputation.
2. Career Transition
Transitioning to a new industry more often than not requires some background in the new sector. That experience is the unspoken key criteria in an executive recruiter’s search. It could be the deal breaker when it comes down to the choice between you and another candidate for a position. Hands-on experience is not always easy to come by up front. Postings help build the bridge to the new industry or sector.
Write about where you want to be, not where you are. Write about the companies that you have targeted for employment in the new sector. Yes, it takes some research and digging, but then you will be better prepared for interviewing. You will have demonstrated your knowledge up front, and established your credibility in advance by postings on your Linkedin profile.
3. Gaps in Experience
Writing on topics that are considered gaps in your knowledge or experience can move you past objections for a promotion and enable a career move. Rejection for employment and promotion typically lies in a skills or experience gap that doesn’t enable a complete “fit.” The bigger the company, the less likely they are to overlook that.
For example, you may have a solid background in retail marketing for brick and mortar entities but no experience in e-commerce. Or, you have been a CIO for a very traditional company who had no need to use big data, data analytics, and social media in their business.
Whatever the gap, the missing hands-on experience can be supplemented by writing posts about the topic. Rather than trying to sell your value proposition past the gap during an interview, write about it in advance to leverage your credibility.
Since 2008, Linkedin has gained critical mass with now over 1/3 of a billion members. It is the 800 pound gorilla in the job search room. This is not to be trifled with as hiring decisions are rarely made now without at least a glance or even longer review of your Linkedin profile. What it decides to do in terms of its website’s content and style drives the modern-day professional’s career marketing and branding. Postings are its new professional branding initiative for us.
To learn more about leveraging LinkedIn and social media for your executive job search and career, register for the upcoming BlueSteps "Advanced Networking: LinkedIn, Twitter, and More" webinar.