In the previous article in this series, I discussed how executives who are looking for a new role can publish on LinkedIn to demonstrate knowledge, prove credibility and get noticed.
Publishing can powerfully showcase your knowledge to recruiters, HRs and to key people at your employers of choice, leading straight to a job offer.
Here’s my three step process to developing compelling content that facilitates this.
- Create a strong personal brand
The purpose of a personal brand is to differentiate you and communicate the value you can bring to an employer. This is vital in the highly competitive job market to ensure you stand out in a sea of candidates with very similar qualifications and experience.
When you’re looking for a new role, it’s essential that your personal brand is built around skills and experience that are relevant to employers.
Don’t focus your brand on team-building if you’re in a shrinking industry sector where companies are cutting costs to stay afloat. Think about the problems a prospective employer is facing, and build your brand around your ability to solve one or more of those problems.
The point is, if you can convince a company that they need your skills, they will employ you, whether or not they are hiring, whether or not they are in a tough market.
- Align the content of your article to your personal brand
If your brand is based on your ability to implement change in a legacy workforce, your articles need to be focused on that topic. It sounds obvious but people ignore this rule all the time.
Remember, you need employers to understand the value of your skills.
So if you’re all about how strong teams create success, don’t write about advances in payroll systems. If you’re all about how automated systems can save on operating costs, don’t write about cultural change.
When you’re really influential in your area, you can range over broader topics, but for now – while you’re looking for a new role – you need to stay focused.
- Write your article with care
Use a structured format for writing.
Don’t pour out a stream-of-consciousness draft. You’ll read it over, realise it’s a mess and abandon it forever.
Here’s a simple format I frequently use with my clients:
- identify the problem
- give an example of the impact of the problem
- clarify the real issue behind the problem
- identify the solution
- describe the benefits
- describe the outcome with the solution in place
Use around 80 to 100 words for each element. That will yield an article of around 500-600 words, which is a good length for LinkedIn.
Keep the topic specific, with a narrow focus. Otherwise, your article will be too general.
Don’t try to cram all your knowledge and experience into one article. Keep your powder dry for your next articles.
Think writing is too hard? A fast and easy method is to dictate your responses to the above 6 points. Many of my time-poor C-suite clients dictate. It’s efficient and it stops you over-thinking it. Get your audio file transcribed and you’ve got your first draft.
If you can, use an editor to clarify your writing and give it polish. Waffling or confusing writing damages your brand. At the very least, you must get someone to proofread it. Spelling and grammatical errors also damage your brand.
In the final article in this three-part series, I’ll show you how to use your article to connect with employers of choice and with helpful people.
Stay tuned for details on my upcoming webinar and workshop for Arete Executive clients on “Publishing on LinkedIn for the Executive Job Seeker”. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.
* Wendy Pavey is a leading personal brand strategist who works with executives to build them a compelling digital profile to help achieve their career goals. She partners with Arete Executive to co-deliver career coaching for executives seeking a new role.
Wendy has an outstanding track record in creating brands and is best known for the GoVia name for Brisbane’s toll road network, used for 90 million journeys annually. She co-founded the multi-award-winning brand consultancy Lumino®, which is now part of the international Fleishman Hillard network.
Prior to Lumino, Wendy enjoyed a stellar career in marketing communications, advising iconic global brands such as Apple, Nokia, PepsiCo, Gatorade, Gillette and Raid.
Her book Executive Brand: How to Build a Powerful Digital Profile will be published in 2015.