Whether you are currently looking for a job (or just thinking about beginning a job hunt) or if you are promoting your own business, it is important to do what you can to stand out of a crowd of people. U.S. News & World Report says there are statistically five unemployed people for every job, compared to an average of 1.7 people for every job in the three years before the recession.
One way to help you demonstrate your expertise is to share your thoughts via LinkedIn’s Answers section.
If you are not familiar, LinkedIn’s Answers offers a venue for people to ask and reply to questions about all different topics. The questions run the gamut; some seem silly, but others are quite serious. A quick review shows the following as current questions:
- Is it time for the Cinema industry to rethink its business plan?
- How will the recent tax bill effect solar and renewable energy finance?
- Pick a letter in the alphabet and write a sentence using letters in the alphabet in order… Example: “A big cat does everything”…
- Looking for virtual purchasing guest lecturers in GA 400 Corridor.
To find questions to answer, follow the MORE tab along LinkedIn’s top toolbar. Select Answers. (See the figure below.) To search based on topics (For example: Administration, Business Operations, Business Travel, Career and Education, Conferences and Event Planning, etc.), select Advanced Answers Search (right next to the Answers Home tab). Select the topics of interest and click on SEARCH.
Read through the questions, choose the ones you are interested in answering and reply in the form provided. LinkedIn allows you to suggest other LinkedIn contacts to answer the question and offers the opportunity to share a link in reply to a question. If you have a blog, you may consider replying via your blog and sharing the link. Or, you may already have a post that provides a good answer; share that link.) You can even reply privately to the questioner if you do not want your answer to be public.
Answering questions and demonstrating your expertise will help alert others in your industry and those interested in your work (whether you are a job seeker or entrepreneur) that you are willing and able to serve as an expert. In fact, I connected with my very first online client after answering some career oriented questions and hired my first web developer after he answered my question
One way to keep track of questions you might want to answer is to subscribe to the RSS feed of a topic of interest. If you are not familiar, RSS stands for really simple syndication. It is a way to receive information either via a “reader” or in your email, so you don’t need to personally visit every website or blog you enjoy to see if there is new information (or a new question). Common Craft has a great video to describe RSS.
(If you don’t use a feed reader already, maybe it is time! I use iGoogle, which you can use by signing up via your Google account. The video points out how to get started.)
Here’s how to subscribe to LinkedIn’s Answers:
From LinkedIn’s top toolbar, select MORE, then select ANSWERS.
On the right side of the screen, you will see a column called BROWSE.
Select any topic from the list. (For example, “LAW AND LEGAL”).
Once you selected it, scroll down again.
Subscribe to new question in:
Law and Legal
Click on it.
Select the feed reader you use, for example, I use GOOGLE.
Choose to add to your reader or your homepage.
Subscribe to as many as you’d like, or just plan some time every week to review questions in LinkedIn.
Stay tuned for more ways to demonstrate your expertise and stand a head above the rest!