Know Your Stuff
Where are the proof points? Where do you keep examples of your work?
It is no longer acceptable to tell prospective employers that you accomplished X or Y—you need to demonstrate it. This is especially true if you are trying to make a pivot into a new area with new skills or into a new industry.
Building a Portfolio
I used to think that having a portfolio of your work was for creatives. When I taught High School math, the school system encouraged us to build a portfolio of lesson plans and teaching aids that we had developed. You then could use that portfolio to demonstrate that you knew your stuff.
Portfolios are not just for creatives anymore.
Rich Media on LinkedIn
You can now connect your LinkedIn profile to anything on the Internet. Rich media links can be attached to your LinkedIn Summary section and within each position in your LinkedIn Experience section. Plus, you can link to YouTube videos, presentations on Slideshare, articles you’ve written or been quoted in, or anything that demonstrates that you know your stuff.
You can also upload files to your LinkedIn profile. These could be PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, or anything the demonstrates that you know your stuff.
A good example of this was Steve, who I wrote about in the post, Introverted Sales Guy Job Search – Case Study.
Steve was an account manager working for a company that made very specialized manufacturing equipment. We linked his LinkedIn profile to product pages of the products that he had the greatest success with. We wanted to demonstrate that he knew how to sell very complex products.
What if your work is proprietary in nature, or you do not own the material? Having worked for two tech startups, I have seen that first hand.
You need to get a little creative.
Create a Blog or Website
Create your own repository for material that demonstrates that you know your stuff. A great example of this is TechnicalProductManagement.com, and he went about interviewing thought leaders in his new industry (Clean Tech). He built a repository of information that demonstrated that he had enough expertise in his new industry to be considered for a position. More on this in a few weeks.. I will be writing about Daniel’s pursuit of changing industries as a product manager in the coming month. Daniel needed to demonstrate his expertise as a technical product manager. He created his blog called,
Daniel’s blog is a classic example of creating a portfolio. He published on a regular schedule, once a month, and over time it became quite apparent that he knew what he was talking about!
Alexander wanted to move into the world of digital transformation. This was an area that he had a lot of expertise in but no practical experience. He created the website DigitalTransformationBlog.com where he published a whitepaper, blog posts, and videos that he could point to and say he knew his stuff.
It was from this website that he was invited to speak at multiple industry conferences about digital transformation, and later he landed his next job from being seen on stage at one of these conferences.
I know you are saying to yourself building a website is a lot of work. Rather than publishing on your own property, you could publish on a rented property or a publishing platform. A good example is LinkedIn Publisher. Another option is Medium.com.
Let’s talk about LinkedIn Publish which is a free service that allows you to publish your own articles. They will appear on your LinkedIn profile. It is a professional, simple, and a low-cost way of demonstrating that you know your stuff.
It is very likely you have read one of these LinkedIn Publisher posts:
5 Things on Your Resume That Make You Sound Too Old (599K views)
Each of these posts can be found on my LinkedIn profile. They are found via Google search every day.
Whether you choose to publish your work using LinkedIn Publisher, Medium or some other platform, you have a way to publish written content that you can point to that clearly demonstrates you know your stuff.
There are podcasts on just about any topic. Heck, there is even a Chameleon Breeders podcast. Podcasts hosts are always looking for guests to interview on their shows. It does not matter if the podcast is not very popular or is very new. Your goal is to get on a show that is well produced and do a good job in the interview to demonstrate that you know your stuff.
Recently, one of the members of the Career Pivot online community who is making a pivot into virtually and augmented reality (AR/VR) industry was able to procure a slot on an AR/VR podcast. He did a great job and that episode is now published on one of the major podcasting platforms, available via iTunes where anyone can listen to it. It was a great way for him to demonstrate he knows his stuff.
Think about creating your own podcast. I am a big fan of Pat Flynn and his website Smart Passive Income. Pat has a whole set of tutorials on creating a podcast. I am also a big fan of Dave Jackson and the School of Podcasting. I listen to both Pat’s and Dave’s podcasts every week.
Building an online portfolio of work products is the best way to demonstrate that you know your stuff! This is a lot of work.
This will not happen overnight. Be persistent and the fruits of your labor will pay off.
What is the best way for you to demonstrate that you know your stuff?
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