Thought Leader
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Use LinkedIn to Become a Thought Leader

If you want to put yourself on recruiters’ radar and build your professional brand, use content strategically to position yourself as a thought leader.  

By Phaedra Brotherton, JCTC, CPRW, CDC 

One of the best ways to get employers offering choice job and career opportunities to come to you is by positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry or profession.  

What exactly is thought leadership? “Thought leadership is a way for a brand to position itself as a leader in a certain field or sector by demonstrating its values or expertise,” notes Muse writer Felicity Barber

Demonstrating your expertise is one of the best ways to interest executive recruiters who prefer to approach passive candidates (those who are not actively looking for a new job) and industry stars. Establishing yourself as a thought leader involves these three steps:

  • Determine what subject or specialty area you want to be known for. 
  • Decide who you want to be aware of your expertise.
  • Choose where and how to share your expertise. 

If you’re on LinkedIn and have an optimized profile and network, you’re in luck (and if you don’t, I have a checklist that can get you there). Here are three simple ways to showcase your expertise:

1. Post regular updates related to your area of expertise. Share inspirational or thought-provoking quotes, alerts and news about events and research, or links to your guest articles or blog posts on the topic. You can share content from other experts as well—adding your informed comments and opinions.

Demonstrating your expertise is one of the best ways to interest executive recruiters who prefer to approach passive candidates and industry stars.

2. Participate in relevant LinkedIn groups. Start joining and commenting in relevant, active LinkedIn groups where you can find others in your profession and industry. A bonus: Recruiters often hang out in groups looking for industry leaders.

3. Publish expert content. You don’t need to have your own blog to be a thought leader. You can use LinkedIn’s “Write an Article” feature to share your original content on industry trends, best practices, and case studies. These become part of your profile and are shared with your connections. Members not in your network can follow you from your article, which is searchable both on and off LinkedIn. 

By sharing your expertise, you can build professional visibility and enhance your reputation. At the same time, you’ll also be giving back to your industry as you share your insights with others who will benefit from your experience and perspective.  

Phaedra Brotherton, a certified career coach and principal of Resumes and Career Strategies, partners with association professionals to help them develop the strategies and tools they need to land a job they’ll love. She can be reached at 

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