If you’re like many of my clients, you know you need to be more active on LinkedIn. But, you feel like you don’t know where to start. Right?
Once you get a professional headshot up and your summary written, there’s a lot to tackle. Should you be more active in LinkedIn Answers? Participate in discussions in Groups? Start listing the books you’ve read? Where to begin?
To avoid feeling overwhelmed, you might want to start with the familiar. You are probably already on Facebook (as there are now almost one billion users, it’s kind of hard to avoid). If you feel pretty comfortable posting status updates to your friends, why not start using LinkedIn with that same approach?
It’s not terribly different. You’re sharing the things that interest you, or that will be helpful to the people you know. It’s just in the professional realm instead of the personal. (Although if you are in an industry that relies on a personal connection, I think it’s OK to blur the lines slightly.)
Just like Facebook, you are sharing things that represent your interests and personality. The difference is that you’re keeping it professional and building your personal brand. If you’re not familiar with personal branding, you can learn a bit about this by reading my post, “Why You Should Care About Personal Branding.”
Basically, it’s the essence of who you are at work. Your posts on LinkedIn can be a huge tool in promoting your brand. It can help your network get to know what you are all about professionally. With the right types of posts, they’ll soon appreciate your expertise!
So, back to the question, where do you start? And, if you are going to start with status updates, what posts should a job seeker be making? Well, I can tell you what you don’t want to post!
Please do not post, “I’m in a job hunt, anyone have leads for me? Who’s hiring?” This screams desperation. Plus, it’s not specific enough to have your network help you.
So, to let the world know you are looking, without saying it directly, you’ve got some options. Post about:
- Networking events, meetings, or seminars you are attending. (“Having a great time at my weekly job club!”)
- People you are meeting in your search. (“Got some great tips from my job search coach today!”) Give them kudos and recommendations, when appropriate.
- Links to helpful articles, websites, blog posts, or videos written by well-respected subject matter experts that your network will benefit from. (“These are some insightful points about the rebound of the _______ market.”)
- Links to blog posts or articles you write to showcase your skills and knowledge. (“I’d love to know your thoughts on this newest technology…”)
- Continuing education classes you’ve signed up for, certifications you are working on, or conferences you are participating in. (“In the final stretch to completing my Academy Certified Resume Writer.”)
- Companies that you are interested in. Interviews you are preparing for or have completed. (“I’m very interested in opportunities at Dell. Does anyone have experience interviewing with them? Please send me a message!”)
- Questions you have that your network can help you with. (“What’s your best answer to ‘Tell me your greatest weakness?’”)
A lot of people shyly ask me, “What do I have to say about those things that people will really want to read?” Everyone has a unique perspective. Yours might be from an angle others hadn’t thought of. What unique experience do you have with this subject? Don’t sell yourself short!
It does take a bit of guts to put yourself out there to the world. Doing so could lead to a great opportunity for you! Through these more subtle posts, it’s just a matter of time before a contact asks if you’re available for an interview, or you get contacted by a recruiter.
I’ve seen it happen. Take the leap of faith!