Can Posting on Linkedin Help Your Job Prospects?
If you’re anything like me, you’ve noticed your LinkedIn feed filling with original content posts and wondered, vaguely, if you should be writing posts instead of obsessively scrolling through the jobs board.
The answer is yes, yes you should. Especially if you’re looking for a job. Here's why:
LinkedIn is, fundamentally, a professional networking site. In order to deepen your pre-existing connections and form new ones, you need to be active on the site in the same way you need to be physically present for networking events in order for them to be productive.
Posts you submit on LinkedIn will appear on your contacts’ homepage, your profile, and the account of your recent activity. If any of your contacts interact with your post (like, share, comment), your post will then be visible to all of their first degree contacts, thereby broadening your network (And your network can grow to be very, very large - LinkedIn recently announced that it has half a billion users.).
Good networking is all about making yourself repeatedly visible (email, call, call again,
show up with food). This is for a few reasons.
Increasing your visibility in a professional setting increases the likelihood the individuals in your network will think about you - Including the recruiters and hiring managers. Not only that - Studies on the mere-exposure effect suggest the more frequently others are exposed to you or your digital you, the more likeable they will find you. And guess what? The more likeable hiring managers find you, the more likely you are to be hired. So, as a supplement to all that in-person networking you’re doing, posting your content on LinkedIn can keep you at the top of your contacts’ minds and in their good favor (without the stalking).
Acknowledging your value-adds
While networking, you should strive to make every connection mutually beneficial. Delineating your knowledge base will position you as an authority and signal to others in your network what needs of theirs you can meet. LinkedIn posts give you the perfect context in which to do this.
Building a portfolio
As a professional, you are a business of one. If an organization hires you, it is, effectively, purchasing your business’ service. But it’s hard to sell something to an organization that it knows little about. A portfolio, in effect, serves as your commercial, demonstrating your value to the workplace. Forming a collection of original works on LinkedIn is an excellent way to build a visible portfolio, especially if you don’t have a personal website or if your website isn’t getting a lot of traffic.
We’ve established that you definitely should be posting original content to LinkedIn. Now let’s talk about what that content should include.
Though it is appropriate to post unoriginal content on LinkedIn, you should take care to ensure that content is always cited and that you have permission to share it, lest LinkedIn disable your account. Mind that “sharing” content is a different matter entirely to “posting” it.
Share your professional wins and insights, as well as your field-specific knowledge. Pick topics that are (generally) positive and that pertain to you as well as (at least some of) your network. Bonus points for novel insights on trending topics.
Share your knowledge. The bulk of your readership is going to come from individuals seeking knowledge for themselves, so ensure that at least half of your posts are informative in some way.
Personal details (wisely)
Used well, these posts can give potential employers a better idea of your values and focus. Used poorly, these can become Facebook posts. Be mindful about when you share personal information and why - This article by Scott Behson on working dadhood is an excellent example of how personal details can give depth to a piece.
Users are more likely to click on your post if you include an image. Consider that the images from your three most recent posts will also show up on your profile, enhancing your visuals. In terms of readership, a delineative graphic or two can actually help your readers comprehend and retain the information better as well as encouraging further engagement with your post (think likes and link clicks).
Before you begin your LinkedIn posting storm, there are a few things to be aware of.
Content rights. You will maintain the rights to your content. LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform Guidelines state, “Content published on LinkedIn's publishing platform remains your work. You own the rights to any original articles you publish.”
They do, however, maintain rights to “distribute your content, annotate your content (e.g., to highlight that your views may not be the views of LinkedIn), and sell advertising on pages where your content appears.”
Posting time. There’s no perfect answer to this, as LinkedIn users often pop on and off the site as work permits. A study by Hubspot, however, found that the best times to post are Tuesday-Friday before 5pm. There’s an extra sweet spot from 10am-11am on Tuesday. To get it just right, LinkedIn recommends doing some testing to find a time that works best for you and your desired audience.
Frequency. The same Hubspot study found that publishing two to five times per week is optimal, but that publishing more than 5 times per week decreases return on investment.