The Easiest Way College Seniors And Grads Can Start Creating Content On LinkedIn (8 Minute Read)

This article was originally published on my LinkedIn profile on February 5th, 2017.

Why you need to hop on the LinkedIn bandwagon (immediately)

92% of job recruiters have been using LinkedIn since 2015 to find the right candidates, according to AdWeek. That means there are a lot of potential opportunities for you to get hired using the social network. But getting started can be tough. Your profile on LinkedIn won’t get any attention unless you put the same kind of effort that you do on Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram — into LinkedIn. That means sharing updates and more importantly, sharing original content.

To make things easier for you, I’m providing:

  1. Techniques you can use to repurpose old essay assignments so you can create content
  2. Quick ways to find new topics to write about
  3. And a short list of benefits for doing all of this, to help motivate you so that you can get started today.

Start by repurposing old essays

No matter what your major is, you can’t avoid getting an essay assignment for homework (I was a music major and still couldn’t avoid them). Assuming that you got good grades on your past assignments or at the very least — they were littered with corrections, you can use those essays as a starting point. Creating meaningful content on a consistent basis can be difficult during your first year, so finding ways to leverage past work you’ve done can help shorten the workload. Putting a focus on using essays that focuses on topics that fit the industry you want to work in, there are several ways you can repurpose them for your profile.

You can start off by shortening your article down to the essential core elements (stripping it down so that it focuses on the “outline” of your essay). Expanding on your what you discussed in the past also helps. Perhaps the opinion that you had in your argumentative essay has changed, and you want to give your reasons why that happened. Or, you’ve left some value insights out of your persuasive essay and wanted to add even more context. The general word count I go for is around 400–1,000 words (which is nothing compared to what we face to the average college student/graduate).

Even better, if you think your old essays is already 100% perfect, just post it! It’s your content; you own it. Just make sure you still cite your sources. And keep in mind; you can hyperlink your sources at the end so that people can do their own research after reading (no particular format is required). If you want to get even more creative, you can take the old content you have and recite it in audio or video format. There are many ways you can approach this; your main challenge will be figuring out the needs of your intended audience (which isn’t your professor).

Starting off fresh

Let’s say you deleted all of your old essays and don’t have any old content ideas to start executing on. Don’t worry, you still have other ways of creating your articles. You can first start by assigning yourself essay assignments.

I’m sure there are questions you ask yourself every day about a whole variety of subjects. Do any of those questions revolve around your career? I often ask myself questions revolving around promoting myself online, emerging marketing technology, and career development. These questions get answered in the articles that I write. I work with the idea that if I have this question, someone else does too.

So don’t be afraid to work for the audience of one (as my favorite podcaster Tim Ferriss discusses in one of his episodes) and create content around questions that interest you. Almost every essay assignment you’ve gotten from a professor stems from a question.You can also collaborate with people involved in your industry and your growing audience.

Every month, when I feel like I don’t have enough content topics to cover, I reach out to my network online. Whether it’s in a Facebook or LinkedIn group, my friends, and family, or through keyword research (this marketing technique may not be viable starting off), I can source various new ideas that I may not have considered. Take your time with this. Join conversations to see what’s being spoken about in your industry. You can search for any industry in LinkedIn groups and find valuable pieces of content that industry experts are sharing. Then you can create content that is a form of commentary on what’s being shared. Additionally, you want to regularly repurpose old content — the landscape of every industry changes rapidly as time goes on.

Lastly, you can just document the journey of your professional career. Over the course of your first two to three years of you beginning your professional career, documenting the lessons you’re learning can make the creative process substantially easier. Almost 60% of the content that I create comes from the daily lessons I’m getting from working with the teams I’m involved with. It’s a good way to show future employers the progress you’ve made, outside of just the average resume document!

The benefits of creating content on LinkedIn

Let me paint the picture for you. The content you’re creating is eventually going to lead to conversations with your future employer through their comments. Ideally, they will also start sharing your content with their colleagues and private messages. Remember, every social network’s purpose is to create conversations amongst its users.

Once you start generating conversations with your prospective employer, your goal is to get the conversation to transfer over to email or a phone call, that then leads to a 15-minute meeting. The key is to never ask for an interview! When you ask for an interview, you stop focusing on providing value, and you don’t stand out from the other job candidates that are competing with you.

And finally, the content you’re creating will help you learn more about your industry!

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