Land a Job by Becoming a Thought Leader

Land a Job by Becoming a Thought Leader

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You’ve probably heard that being seen as a “thought leader” can help your job hunt by raising your profile with potential employers. But that’s not so easy.

Most of us don’t have the self-marketing mojo of a Seth Godin or work in a specialty that lends itself to writing a weighty book like Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Fortunately, recent research by Gallup found that while less than 1 in 100 thought leaders are naturals, up to nine in 100 can be “made”—meaning they can develop their influence with the right tools and in the right environment. And there are plenty of shortcuts for becoming one of those nine—without having to elbow your way onto CNN.

Try these strategies. You’ll be surprised by the results.

Publish presentations on Slideshare.

Next time you give a talk that generates buzz at an industry conference, consider sharing your presentation on this social networking site. Providing information that is genuinely valuable–like original research you’ve done or your findings from the front lines of your profession–is a great way to raise your profile. Even better, LinkedIn makes it easy to disseminate your presentations with your network in an instant.

Uncover guest-blogging opportunities inside your firm.

At many firms, the marketing teams who run company blogs are in overdrive, as they try to keep pace with their company’s content marketing initiatives. Many will be thrilled if you offer to write a short post to familiarize customers with a service your department offers or to address the number one questions they have. Even better, if the article runs with your byline, it will show potential employers what an asset you were in raising the profile of your current firm.

Lights, camera, action.

Ready for your 15 minutes? Then create a short YouTube video on a topic that will interest other people in your industry or showcase your expertise to potential customers. For instance, a social-media marketer might explain how to create an attractive Pinterest page, while an attorney who specializes in credit repair might offer three highly effective tips for dealing with creditors. If you’re shy, interview an influential colleague on a topic that’s currently generating buzz in your industry.

Your video could be your first impression on a future boss, so make the most of it. Consider springing for professional primping, like a fresh haircut, before you hit the record button.

Looking like you’re ready for a job interview on camera will never hurt if your goal is to line one up.

Elaine Pofeldt
About the Author
Elaine Pofeldt

Elaine Pofeldt is an independent journalist who specializes in writing about entrepreneurship and careers. She was a senior editor for Fortune Small Business magazine, and her work has appeared in Fortune, Money,, Inc. and Crain's New York Business, among others.

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