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
Many 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.
Twitter 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.
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?
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.