By Katie Smith
A career is more than employment, university students can enhance their careers by contributing to the online professional community with their innovative voices through LinkedIn publishing.
I present workshops to university students to enhance their online professional identity and I thought it was time that I venture into the world of LinkedIn publishing. I’m excited to do this as I’m eager to learn and find my voice online. I’ve been researching to find what approach I could take and what topic I could write about, which lands me here to share what I have learnt.
Benefits of Publishing Articles
- Build your personal brand identity: Employers value self awareness in candidates and LinkedIn is a great place to build your personal brand identity.
- Develop an online presence: Have a voice and contribute to your industry.
- Network online: Publishing gives you the opportunity to e-meet people from your industry and expand your network.
- Develop your professional vocabulary: Words/phrases common to your profession may start rolling off your tongue such as internal stakeholder relationships, building credibility, customer centric, disruptive behaviour etc.
- Learn about hot topics in your industry: Follow other Publishers LinkedIn makes it easy to get an understanding of what the hot topics are in your profession.
- Job opportunities: Publishing on LinkedIn may lead to job opportunities.
- Exposure for startups: If you’re an Entrepreneur you have the opportunity to post on issues relevant to your business or potential business and possibly gain exposure.
- Make your writing purposeful: Identify – Who is your target audience? What do you want to achieve? How often do you want to post?
- Relevant topic: Leverage what you’ve already written about in an assignment or write about a topic you are passionate about and the words should flow.
- Use data: I have an undergraduate degree in Business and Psychology and studied Statistics on my exchange program in Vancouver, Canada. I had a great study group that got me through the subject as well as a very passionate Lecturer. I’m not going to lie, I did not fully understand why my Lecturer was so passionate at that time but now I have a great appreciation of the value that adding data to a conversation can have.
- Easy to read: Make formatting your friend; use bolding, bullets, headings, subheadings etc.
- Give credit where credit is due: Thanks to my colleague for introducing me to the
- term e-meet.
- Proofread: Use spell check, read your article out loud and get a friend, colleague and/or family member to read your article.
- Get inspired: Follow other Publishers or Bloggers, find a Mentor, join a social club at university relevant to your profession and start having more conversations about professional topics.
- Link to other articles or rich media content: You can be selective about what you write and link to other articles for example there are some great resources that can help you publish articles here, here and the video explanation below –
- Show you’re human: LinkedIn Members are humans so share your personal experience, write to engage and in a logical manner, use an authentic voice and reply to comments.
Just Do It
- Overcoming nerves: Be brave and think of the benefits of publishing on LinkedIn.
- Don’t underestimate yourself: You may not be an expert on a topic but your observations are likely to be valued as you may see things in new ways and your thoughts may be valued for being disruptive.
- Be a fan of learning from your mistakes: It took me a while to be a fan of learning from my mistakes and whilst I try my best not to make mistakes, I’ve realised it’s pretty much inevitable. If you make a mistake, spend time learning from it and come up with strategies on how to prevent it from happening in the future (I’m also a fan of checklists).
- Accept: With LinkedIn having 380+ million users you may have to accept that someone is likely going to have a different opinion, don’t let that stop you from posting.
- Stand out: Any LinkedIn member can do it, get your voice out there. Whether you’re a millennial or mature aged student, LinkedIn has provided you the opportunity to reach audiences that you may not of previously had access to, why not take advantage of it?
Lastly, I leave you with this; imagine after you publish an article, you secure an interview for your dream job and that ever so common daunting question comes up “What are your weaknesses?”.
Now imagine that you can answer this question confidently and display self awareness. You could provide the example that the area of development that you felt needed attention was that you lacked presence in the online professional community. You could then suggest that the way that you would improve this was to develop an online brand identity and to start contributing through publishing articles on LinkedIn.
Featured image courtesy of Pexels.
Article originally posted on LinkedIn.