Two Ways to Quickly Build Industry Credibility

One of the most frustrating things when job searching is hearing about an available position and knowing it would be a great fit for you, but feeling as though your resume or past experiences do not clearly demonstrate your ability to do the job. For students, this feeling may be common since employers are not always able to see how your campus, internship, part-time or other work experiences relate to the post-graduate working world.

So how do you build credibility in your field? Let’s take a look at two ways, both of which can be implemented fairly quickly:

1. LinkedIn Answers

sb5420Many students and new grads look past the “Answers” section on LinkedIn because they think that it’s only for more experienced professionals, or they don’t even know this section exists. 

The “Answers” section allows users to post questions to the entire LinkedIn community. By posting a thoughtful question related to your industry, you demonstrate your engagement within your field and a willingness to reach beyond the bubble that sometimes exists around college campuses.

Answering questions is one way for you to share ideas related to your field and it gives you an opportunity to connect with  industry professionals. In addition, you can showcase your professionalism and writing skills. You don’t have to be an expert to answer a question – just have an opinion. In the Answers section of LinkedIn, your ideas count- regardless of your work experience.

LinkedIn users can rate the answers provided for each question. A couple of highly rated answers can really boost your credibility. Regardless of rating, the questions and answers you post will be linked from your profile, so those that visit your page will see your activity.

The “Answers” section is divided into different categories to help users focus on specific types of questions. Use this search tool to find questions most relevant to your interests.  Most groups also have a discussion section where you can post questions and answers specific to that particular group’s topic if you want to target a certain population among LinkedIn users.

2. Twitter

sb123065Twitter nay-sayers often complain that they don’t want or need another tool to let the world know the trivial details of their lives. Guess what? No one else wants to hear the insignificant details of their lives, either.

What the anti-Twitter folks don’t understand is that Twitter is much more than a status update. It is an opportunity to provide, in a public setting, helpful information to followers with similar interests and passions.

Students can build credibility on Twitter by tweeting ideas and links related to their major or career goals. Search and find other industry professionals and strike up a conversation through which you can exchange ideas and, again, demonstrate that you have relevant and valuable thoughts to share regarding your industry of choice. Don’t waste the opportunity to build your brand as someone who is knowledgeable and engaged in their industry by only tweeting about that awesome party you went to over the weekend or what you had for lunch.

Not sure how to get started on Twitter? Check out this post by Cassie Holman. Also review Dan Klamm‘s tips on what not to tweet about.

Next week, we’ll take a look at ways to build credibility over time. Until then, what other quick fixes have you used to build your reputation?

(Thanks to Lindsey Pollak for sparking the idea for this post during her presentation at the WI-ACE conference. Be sure to check out the advice on her blog!)


Kelly is a career advisor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she assists undergraduate business students with all aspects of their career development. Kelly received her masters degree in Higher Education/Student Personnel Administration from New York University, and her bachelors degree from UW-Madison, where she majored in Political Science and Women’s Studies. Connect with Kelly on Twitter, LinkedIn or BrazenCareerist.

Related posts:

  1. Blog to Build Your Industry Credibility
  2. Build Relationships to Build a Career
  3. Let Others Do the Talking: Branding Through Testimonials

5 Responses to “Two Ways to Quickly Build Industry Credibility”

  1. avatar Bret Simmons says:

    This is great advice, Kelly. Twitter is so misunderstood but it is a powerful platform. If your behavior on Twitter is that of an informer as you suggest and not a meformer (e.g. I’m eating breakfast now), you can make some fantastic connections. Twitter is also a much more active platform than Linkedin.

  2. avatar Kelly Cuene says:

    “Informer” versus “meformer”. I like that! Thanks for your thoughts, Bret!

  3. avatar Zack Zaban says:

    can you please print this blog post out, make 7,250 copies and distribute them across the UW-Madison campus?

    I cannot stand when my friends and peers say that Twitter is just a list of “status updates.” I think the fact that users can trace information from one user to another via retweets and replies sets Twitter apart from other social media networks.

    My roommate is a biochemistry major and swore-off Twitter until I went onto his computer, made him a profile, downloaded Tweetie (desktop client) and showed him how to send a tweet. Now he is addicted and will either call, email or text me with a story that he found about science or sports.

  4. avatar Kelly Cuene says:

    Zack – Ha! Let’s cover the campus with studentbranding posts! :)

    Thank you for your comment! I agree that Twitter is largely misunderstood on our campus and, probably, many others. Your roommate is lucky to have you around to show him the ropes! I do my best to talk with students about Twitter’s usefulness, but I’m sure it means more when the info comes from a friend or roommate.

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