I ran a workshop for my local CIPD branch last week, which was called Maximizing LinkedIn for Professional Success. I shared the details of the event on LinkedIn and Bobby commented on my post saying he would love to make it but couldn't get to the venue on time. This got me thinking about the fact that there are probably lots of people who might want to learn more about LinkedIn but live miles away from South London, so I thought I'd record this episode to cover some of the content that I talked through at the event last week.
And if you're thinking... But Fay, I'm not looking for a new job. I don't need to be on LinkedIn. I promise that it is well worth listening to this episode. LinkedIn is such an amazing platform for helping your HR or people career in lots of other ways. Its benefits go way beyond job hunting and I promise I'll explain how and why in a moment.
But, before I dive into the main part of today's episode, I'd like to say another thank you, which is to Nick McIntosh. Nick left HR Coffee Time a lovely review on Apple Podcasts the other day. It was such a wonderful surprise to see it pop up on my phone. Thank you so much, Nick. It absolutely made my day to know that you've been enjoying the show.
And now, let's crack on with the main part of the show. First of all, let's talk about why LinkedIn is more than just a job search tool. I have four reasons to share with you that I hope are going to really encourage you to start using LinkedIn more regularly. The first reason is that it helps to raise your profile.
By being active on LinkedIn, you are continually putting yourself on the radar of other people, but in a really subtle way. They see your comments, your likes, your posts pop up, and it just means that you stay in mind. In fact you become top of mind for people in your network and it's just invaluable for future opportunities because even if you're not looking for a job now it is very likely that in the future you will be and at that point you are going to be the first person who springs to mind when one of your contacts is looking for a new People professional for their organization.
The second reason that I think LinkedIn is so much more than a job search tool is that it can help you develop your HR leadership brand. By sharing articles, by commenting on other people's posts with insightful comments, and by sharing your own insights, you give people a taste of your expertise, what matters to you, and you also give people an idea of what you're actually like to work with.
Then the third reason I think it's a great idea to be using LinkedIn is that you can use it to influence your company's employer brand. So this is something that's particularly important when you are an HR or People professional. Your activity not only builds your personal brand, so it doesn't just reflect well on you, by posting on LinkedIn, you can also really add value to your company's brand.
And that in turn influences people who are deciding whether or not to join your team or your company, or whether or not they decide they are really happy staying there. And finally, LinkedIn is just a wonderful tool for networking and learning. You can learn from reading other people's posts and articles, and you can even build valuable relationships without having to leave your desk.
It's a nice, light touch way of maintaining contact with people, without having to commit to lots and lots of face to face time, which you probably don't have available because you're just so busy in your role. Okay, now I've zoomed through the main reasons you should be active on LinkedIn, hopefully I've got you convinced and excited to learn more about the seven types of posts you can share on LinkedIn to help your HR career.
I'm going to run you through them now, and I'm going to use actual LinkedIn posts created by HR professionals to help bring this to life for you. The first type of post I'd recommend is a repost, which used to be called a share. So now, instead of clicking a button to share someone else's post on LinkedIn, you click a button that says repost.
You can start off by reposting a LinkedIn post that has already been created by the organisation you work for, and is probably sitting on their company page on LinkedIn. Or you could start by reposting a post that has been posted by someone else who works with you. That is a brilliant way to get started with this.
Reposting is probably the least intimidating way of posting on LinkedIn, and it's a great way to get started with posting on the platform. I do know and I completely understand how daunting it can be to post something publicly on LinkedIn because it can make you feel quite vulnerable, especially if you're not used to doing it.
And just to reassure you about this, of all the social media platforms... LinkedIn is my absolute favourite because it tends to be a really kind platform. You don't get a lot of the horrible behaviour that you hear about on other platforms. And if you ever did get anyone leaving a nasty comment on a post or being difficult, you can just delete their comment and block them.
At the CIPD event last week, I shared one of Jason Jobling's posts. Jason has a fantastic LinkedIn profile and he uses the platform really well. When he started a new role at Harvey Jones, I noticed that he reposted one of the posts from their company page. I'll read the beginning of the post out to you so you can get a feel for it.
It says, We have a wonderful opportunity for a highly commercial merchandising manager to join us. Please take a look at the link below to our careers page where you'll be able to find out more about the role. I asked everyone in the room at the CIPD workshop what signal this repost that Jason did gave to his new employer and to his network.
The answers that I got back were that it shows he's supportive of his new organisation. I bet they were thrilled to see him actively trying to help with recruitment, especially when so many people aren't active on LinkedIn and they don't post on there. It was also a great way of signaling to his network that he has moved on to a new role and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it led to people getting in touch with him to say well done or ask him how he's getting on.
It's always a great idea to stay in touch with your network. I've recorded lots of other HR Coffee Time episodes about why I think networking's so important and why that's a good idea, so I'll link to them in the show notes for you instead of going into too much detail about it in this episode. If you want your repost to have even more impact, you can add a few sentences above it to explain why you're sharing it or what's interesting about it.
The second type of post that can be really good to share on LinkedIn is what I would call an updates post. I have a brilliant example of this to talk you through, which was written by Linda Gent. Linda is an independent HR professional, which means she works for herself and she's not employed by a big organisation. So this example I'm about to share is great for anyone else who's trying to build up their own HR consultancy business. But I think you can also learn a lot from it and adapt the idea if you are employed.
I'll share some of the post with you now. After a busy few months, I am having a reflective period, grateful for the work I have completed over the last few months. This includes completing an HR consultancy assignment with St Barnabas House, implementing a pay and benefits review, amending and updating contracts and supporting with some tricky ER issues along the way.
I'm halfway through a programme of coaching for a secondary school teacher prior to the summer holidays commencing. I delivered a leadership in primary care development session for Lambeth Training Hub. I rewarded myself by going on a swim retreat and fell back in love with the Isle of Wight.
Supporting my CIPD students to complete their studies at GBMET, what a fantastic group they were, applying themselves to learning as adults, working collaboratively and individually, producing quality work and being proud at the end of their course. Not only did they give me heartwarming feedback, they also brought me such thoughtful gifts.
They almost persuaded me to stay longer and teach again, but that door is firmly closed. I supported a school's career event, spreading the word about HR as a career, engaging with some lovely pupils, one of whom said, You're a legend. I'll take that, thanks. I launched my inclusive recruitment guide for NHS Finance EDI ambassadors.
I completed and delivered a review of a discrimination based investigation. And I found time to shop with my sister for my special birthday present, celebrate my wedding anniversary, meet some friends, watch a performance at the Royal Opera House, and learn how to make cocktails.
It's definitely been busy and I am grateful for new pieces of work coming in. Now, as soon as I saw this post, I thought, this is fantastic. And again, when I asked everyone at the event last week, at the CIPD event, why they thought this was a good post, another independent HR consultant in the room said, that post is good for business.
Because Linda has really cleverly shown exactly what it is that she does. She's really spelling it out. She is giving everyone an insight into some of the many different types of projects and issues and challenges that she would be able to support with.
But instead of doing a real salesy post saying, this is what I can help you with, which is likely to get not very much engagement at all. They can be useful posts but they don't get as much engagement as this one will have done. Instead she's done it as a wrap up explaining what some of the work is that she's been doing.
She's also used really good use of emojis, so I can't show it to you unfortunately, but for each different thing that she talks about she has different Emoji that starts off that section. So it means it's nice and easy to read and you can skim through it quite quickly and easily, and it keeps it interesting, keeps it engaging.
What I really love about the post as well though, is that she has woven in some of her personality and given us a bit of a glimpse into what she's actually like. So by sharing things like the swim retreat that she went on, and the fact that she's had a special birthday and went to a performance at the Royal Opera House, you start to feel like you're getting to know her.
It's not just a brochure being shown to you, it's obvious, she's a real person and you're getting to know her as a real person but without her having to share any really deeply personal stuff, I know lots of people, including me, aren't comfortable with the idea of sharing really personal things.
This is all quite high level, but enough for you to start to feel like you're getting to know her. Now, I said that this can be great to use even if you're not an independent HR consultant, because actually I think that We probably don't talk enough about the work that we do, I know I don't, so I could probably take some tips from Linda here, but for you if you, let's say you've just wrapped up a whole employee engagement project and seen scores go up, you could post about that and then everyone's going to know, oh I didn't realise that, I didn't know that they knew so much about employee engagement or that that's a specialist area for them or something they're particularly interested in.
And again, even if you're not looking for a role, a recruiter is going to potentially remember that, or one of your friends, or someone in your network, it's going to lodge in their memory somewhere, so that at some point in the future, when you are ready to move on to a new role, that's going to pop into their mind.
But if you're thinking, I'm never moving on to a new role, I love my job so much, Again, this can be a good thing to do because people who are following you or who look at your profile, if they're thinking about coming to work at the organisation, they'll be able to see some of the things that you take seriously, some of the work that the HR department does, so it can really definitely be worthwhile thinking about using a post like this for yourself.
Let's move on to the third type of post you can use on LinkedIn to help your HR career, and this is what I call a Behind the scenes post. People tend to absolutely love these types of posts, and what I mean by behind the scenes post is it's just a post that gives a snapshot of what you've been doing either outside of work or at work, and you'd normally have a photo with it.
So the posts that I've already mentioned, the ones from Jason and Linda, they didn't have photos with them. You don't have to post photos at all ever on LinkedIn if you don't want to, but behind the scenes posts. do tend to work well with a photo, and I can give one of my own posts as an example here. I recently shared a photo of me standing at my new sit stand desk in my home office, and I wasn't really sure how the post would be received, but I was blown away in a really positive way by how much engagement it got.
I had so many people commenting on the post to say that they had a sit stand desk or they'd been thinking about getting one. I also had people recommending treadmills that go under the desk and I even ended up buying one of their recommendations, although I've been pretty terrible at using it. I do love my sit stand desk but I'm not so good at using the treadmill.
I think I've only used it once so far. When I had a think about why that post had been so popular, I decided it's probably because people don't often get to see what my home office is like. They're used to hearing my voice behind a microphone, they're not used to really seeing very much. And it will be the same for you and the organisation you work at.
People will want to get a feel for what it's really like to be there with you, what it's really like to work there. So it's another good way of enhancing your employer brand. of giving people a glimpse of what it is actually like behind the glossy website you might have or any glossy brochures that you've got.
The fourth type of post is to use Awareness Days to share interesting information. And if you have a copy of my HR Planner, you'll know that it's packed full of Awareness Days for you to help you think about ways that you can promote certain things at work. I absolutely love the way that Joanna Jacobs, who works for Twinings, posted about an Awareness Day.
And she also very cleverly combined it with a behind the scenes approach. In fact, I think this is one of the best LinkedIn posts from an HR professional I've ever seen. And when I shared it at the CIPD event, it got a wonderful reaction. I'll talk you through it now.
There are three photos that go with the post. They're all beautifully taken. One of the pictures has got a picture of what looks like a cocktail glass, or an old fashioned champagne glass. Not the long, thin, stemmed ones, but the wider ones. And it's full of a drink with a slice of lemon in it, and behind are three boxes of twinings.
balance tea. And next to them there's a bouquet of beautiful flowers and you can see faintly in the background some people milling around and some other glasses and some other boxes of tea. In the other photos one of them is of two, I'm trying to think what they're called, big glass containers of what looks like iced tea that you can pour out and more flowers and banners everywhere.
And then you see someone in the third photo pouring themselves a drink. And the post says, Closing off the week feeling proud of the role twinings can play in supporting women's health, as showcased this week on International Women's Day. Our social hub came alive with our cooling station, with mocktails made from our Balance and Menopause blends.
We sip these whilst being inspired by our medical herbalist, Pamela Spence, who we learnt so much from around the role herbs can play at all stages of a woman's life, from puberty to menopause and beyond. Brackets. Hint. Rose is our hero herb. Close brackets. A big thanks to the fabulous team who made it all happen.
And then, Jo has tagged in several members of her team. Now this post is good for so many reasons. First of all, she is elevating the Twinings brand from an actual overall brand perspective, not even just an employer brand perspective. I had no idea that Twinings has got all of these kinds of well being teas and that they have a medical herbalist that they employ to help them with these things. I didn't know that there's any sort of focus or knowledge that they're sharing around how these teas and different things can help with things like the menopause, so I learned a huge amount about the brand very very quickly in quite a short post. From an employer brand perspective, how wonderful that they're having these inclusive events that aren's just everyone goes down the pub, which of course aren't all inclusive at all if there are people there who don't drink or who find it difficult to go out after work.
I just thought gosh this is amazing as far as employer branding is concerned. But another thing that Jo did really well here is that she tagged in the people she was mentioning. So she's also showing what a supportive leader and colleague she is. She's not just saying Twinings is great, look what we did, she's really sharing and spreading awareness of the great work that people are doing in her organisation. She's helping raise their profiles as well. And I mean, who wouldn't want to go and work for an HR leader like that?
The fifth type of post you can share on LinkedIn is to share any awards or achievements that your organization, you, or your team have received. I've seen both Linda, who I mentioned earlier, and Jo, who I just mentioned, do this.
nda Gent, Engaging Excellence:
as a finalist for the National Facilitator Awards in the Engaging Excellence Category. Humbled to be among esteemed colleagues. Hopefully you can see straight away why this is a good idea. For me personally, I hadn't really realised that Linda does much facilitation. So it's telling everyone in her network, not only does Linda do facilitation, but she's extremely good at it.
he Investors in People awards:he Investors in People Awards:
The sixth type of post is a thought leadership post. This is where you share your own knowledge about a particular topic. And the posts that will carry the most weight are usually ones where you can link to somewhere you've been published or quoted externally. I have two posts that I'm going to talk you through that are examples of this.
The first one is from Hannah Starkey. She recently shared a post that is a link to an article she wrote for the HR Director magazine, and it says,
Thank you to the HR Director magazine for featuring my article on happiness at work. Proud moment. Follow the link below to read my thoughts on employee happiness. So you can see it doesn't have to be a really lengthy post at all, but Hannah is drawing attention to the fact that she knows about happiness at work.
She has got some expertise in this area. And actually she's so credible that a magazine, the HR Director magazine, are publishing her. So this is a great way of raising her own personal professional brand. And in fact she talks about the company that she works for in the article. So she is representing them brilliantly as well and doing their employer brand some great service so that people will think, oh I'm going to be happier at work if I go and work for them.
The second example of one of these posts is from Yvonne Walsh. That name might feel familiar because Yvonne was a guest recently on HR Coffee Time. She recorded episode 101, which was How to Build Confidence with Networking for HR Career Success and Yvonne writes I am delighted to extend my thanks to Fay Wallis for inviting me to be a guest on her award winning weekly podcast, HR Coffee Time.
I hope listeners enjoy hearing about how the power of networking has enhanced my HR career and that my reflections and tips can inspire others. So again, it's a great signal to Yvonne's network that she has got expertise, the fact that she has been on the show. It was really lovely having her here, so this is quite a nice post for me to be able to include when talking you through the different examples.
Last but not least, the final type of post, the seventh one to mention to you, is one that probably you won't be able to use very often, but when you do, it can have a real impact. And that is to share a testimonial of what it was like to work with you in some way. So, examples of what you can use is if you've been written a thank you card for being a wonderful boss or colleague, or if someone has written a recommendation for you on LinkedIn, that can be great to share as well.
They are two of the things that spring to mind instantly. Or if the organisation had a fantastic review on something like Glassdoor. I know people often use Glassdoor as just somewhere to complain, but if not, if they're using it in a positive way, you could share that as well and talk about it. And I do, again, have some examples for you, so I have shared a testimonial myself on LinkedIn fairly recently.
Someone wrote a LinkedIn recommendation about my group program, Inspiring HR, which was very much appreciated. So I shared a screenshot of what they had written and then I talked about it in the post. And then Linda, I'm using... Linda again as another example. She has done another great post. She shared some images of a thank you card that she received for some work that she had done and she said, always lovely to get thanks and good feedback.
The post did say more than that but I'm realising that this episode is running on for quite a long time so I had better start to wrap it up. I really hope you've enjoyed taking a bit of a deep dive into LinkedIn today. As a quick reminder of what we've covered today, the seven types of posts to share on LinkedIn that will help your HR career are Number one, to do reposts of other people's posts.
Number two, to do updates of what you've been working on. Number three, to create behind the scenes posts. Number four, to post about awareness days. Number five, to post about awards and achievements. Number six, to share thought leadership posts. And finally, number seven, to do testimonials or thank you posts.
That brings us to the end of today's episode. I really hope you found it useful. I always love hearing from you. As this whole episode is about LinkedIn, if we're not already connected on there, please feel free to hop on and find me on there and send me a connection request. My name is Fay Wallis.
which is F A Y, I haven't got an E on the end, and Wallis is W A L L I S. And if you'd like me to run any LinkedIn workshops for your organisation, I would be very happy to help. As well as having created a LinkedIn online course for job seekers that has now been used by hundreds of people. I have run all kinds of LinkedIn workshops and webinars over the past few years, pretty much since becoming a bit of a LinkedIn geek.
I'm often asked to do it, and this is probably one of the only times I think I've actively spoken about the fact that I'm very happy to do these workshops. I really enjoy getting everyone excited and confident about using LinkedIn. If you're interested in having a chat with me about it, just drop me a note through the contact page of my website, which is Bright Sky Career Coaching.co.uk
Thank you for listening all the way to the end of the episode. Have a great week and I'm looking forward to being back again next Friday with the next episode for you.