Last year, Linkedin opened up postings 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 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, the little pen icon appeared on the update box, and intrepid trail blazers began posting on their Linkedin Profiles. What is a post exactly? On Linkedin, a posting is short article, essay, or observation on a topic of your choice with an accompanying image.
The posting image along with an attention-getting title are important because your posts will be displayed on your profile by image and title as well as sent to all your first degree connections. Further, if you have written an interesting post that attracts Linkedin’s attention, they may choose it for redistribution to millions of Pulse subscribers, the site’s in-house news magazine.
What you have to say might just be the differentiator for success depending upon your career goals and employment circumstances. Aside from writing posts because they attract attention to your profile and raise your visibility on the site, there are three compelling career motivators to do it as well.
1. Thought Leadership
Build and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in your current business sector and professional field. Anything you do outside your company will reflect back positively inside your company. Writing on your observations, insights, and unique perspective improves your stature in your field.
Your post’s topics can open doors to consulting opportunities, creates visibility for potential board positions, and generates invitations to speak at conferences. You can position yourself as the go-to expert for media interviews. This all becomes a virtuous circle that continues to build on your reputation within your field or business sector.
2. Career Transition
Making a career transition to a new industry more often than not requires some background in the new sector. That experience is the unspoken key criteria in a recruiter’s search that 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, but postings helps 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. 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 easily accessible postings on your Linkedin profile.
3. Gaps in Experience
Writing on topics that are 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 bricks 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 various aspects of it. Rather than trying to sell your value proposition past that gap objection 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. What it decides to do in terms of their profile presentation, content and style drives the modern-day professional’s career marketing and branding initiatives.
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 profile. Worrying about privacy and jeopardizing your current employment status should be a non-issue now. The loss of momentum in your personal marketing out- weights your employer’s critical judgement. Once you have a robust profile in place, as your career progresses it is easy to use it to enhance and facilitate your success.
At a certain career stage, rising young professionals want to know how to be appointed to a board of directors. Unlike a job hunt where you should be the active party seeking a position, a board seat is supposed to come to you. There are, however, some things you can do to help the process along to gain a seat at the table.
Keep in mind that you have to be at the right level for the size, scope and type of enterprise seeking a board member. A small business owner might be invited to a local non-profit board in their town simply by starting to volunteer. But, a corporate executive would more likely be on a regional or national non-profit board through business colleagues. Board positions of privately held or public companies are a greater level of difficulty to achieve as your network needs to include those decision-makers and stake
Here are some tips to get you onboard:
It is tough getting on boards. The small startup companies want people with either access to venture capital and private equity money or star power in the field. The mid-sized and big public companies want experts and top executives to guide and support their company’s top executives. Private company boards, especially small ones, tend to be an inside job, in that the board members are family, friends, and members of their support system.
The best strategy is ongoing networking in the right place with the right people, so that eventually it is the right time for you to be asked.
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