job search samples

You might have heard that sharing examples of your work could be helpful when you’re interviewing. But is it really a good idea? How do you decide whether to share?

In some professions—like journalism—sharing a portfolio of your work is a critical part of the hiring process and is usually part of the initial application process as a prerequisite to garnering an interview.

In many fields, however, it’s not that common to provide work samples. If you’re trying to decide whether to provide work samples, here are three things to consider.

1. Don’t share anything that you don’t have your employer’s or former employer’s permission to share (or reasonable confidence that it would be acceptable).

For example, don’t share anything that might be confidential, especially if the company in question is a competitor.

A good question to ask yourself is how your current or former boss, colleagues, and senior management would feel if they found out you provided the samples in question to another company. Even if you think there’s no way they could ever find out, why take the chance?

2. Think twice before doing actual work to create the sample without being compensated.

If a company wants to have you create something specifically for them to demonstrate your abilities, keep in mind that this could be an exploitative ploy to get work done for free.

An example would be a marketing plan you developed for a product similar to one the prospective employer will be launching. They might just decide to “borrow” your marketing plan and not bother to hire you.

You should probably be compensated if the work will be extensive. Do a careful analysis of how long you think the work will take, as well as the likelihood that the employer will simply use your outstanding work for their benefit, but without hiring you.

Sometimes a candidate will create a 30-60-90 day plan for an employer. This is a fairly reasonable request for an executive candidate. The document helps show that you’re ready to step into the new role and hit the ground running. However, only take the time to do this if the interview confirmed your interest in the position, you truly want to get an offer, and you believe the employer is sincere.

3. Think carefully before volunteering to provide samples.

If the interviewer hasn’t asked for work samples, don’t proactively volunteer to share work samples unless you truly have stellar samples you’re highly enthusiastic about sharing.

You might be thinking that a proactive offer to share samples will be a nice touch to mention in your post-interview thank-you note or to mention as you finish up an interview. But think carefully first. If you’re going to offer samples, you should assume that the interviewer will take you up on your offer. Make sure you’re prepared to follow through.

When in doubt, you could ask a trusted colleague for objective feedback on just how strong the work is. An outside perspective might be helpful, because it’s hard to evaluate your own work objectively.

If you’re being asked for samples rather than offering them proactively, it might be tricky if you don’t have relevant samples you’re really proud of. You could simply say that you don’t want to share them without permission (if that would be a believable answer).


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A colleague you’ve been friends with for years is ready to move up in his career. Or, he’s scared because of a looming layoff. Whatever the scenario might be, you want to help.

In that vein, you share some tips, offer to serve as a reference, and even send him the shiny new executive resume you just paid a professional to write.

“Maybe my new resume will give you some ideas!” you tell him.

I speak from experience when I say that it might be more than just some “ideas.”

What I’ve seen

I’ve seen it happen multiple times now over the years. Someone books an initial consultation with me to discuss the possibility of becoming a client; they say they were referred by one of my past clients.

Before the call, they send me their resume. I open it up, and WOW! Boy, does it look and sound familiar.

Not only have they used the same format that I created for their friend’s resume, but they have, ahem, “borrowed” a lot of the wording.

What’s the problem?

You might be thinking that this is no big deal. You want to help your friend, and you shared your resume with the hope that it would be helpful to them.

However, if you’re in the same industry or profession as someone, there’s a decent chance that:

  • Some of the same recruiters might be looking at both of you.
  • You might be applying at some of the same companies.
  • You might end up interviewing for some of the same jobs.

If your friend’s resume looks and sounds the same as yours, this could lead to confusion. Let’s say you send your resume to a recruiter and she opens it, then mistakenly confuses it with your friend’s resume that she looked at several weeks ago. “Oh, that guy again?” she thinks to herself. “He wasn’t the right fit for that EVP search I’m doing, so no need to waste my time talking to him again.”

The bottom line

Standing out from the pack is critical when you’re competing for sought-after executive roles. If you invested in professional help with your executive resume and LinkedIn profile, one of the primary reasons was probably so you could differentiate yourself. Think carefully before doing anything that would negate the time, effort, and money you spent on differentiation.


This article first appeared on

hidden job market

You’ve probably seen or heard the term “hidden job market” at some point. It gets used a lot, but you might be wondering what it truly means—and it doesn’t help that there’s no official or standard definition.

The lack of an official definition means that various sources have different explanations—sometimes misleading. Then, there’s people who try to debunk the concept using a straw man argument, perhaps because they have their own understanding of what the term means, while others mean something different when they say “hidden job market.”

However, the truth is that there ARE some scenarios where an upcoming job opportunity might be considered hidden in some way.

One of the most well-known situations is executive search; for a senior executive role, it might not be posted publicly because a retained executive search firm will be hand-picking the best candidates.

However, there are also other situations in which a job might not be posted, usually because the role in question isn’t yet open and it’s too early for it to be posted. It will be posted at a later date, but by the time it’s posted, the decision maker might already have a couple candidates in mind. And in some rare cases, the decision maker might not want to deal with the time and hassle of fielding an influx of applications.

In this article, I’ll explore examples that don’t involve executive search firms.

Example A – Upcoming departure

The SVP is disappointed that her VP Operations for a major facility hasn’t been able to turn around the under-performing site. If things don’t change soon, the SVP will be will be looking for a replacement.

If the SVP meets anyone interesting at an industry conference this year, she might keep that person in mind for when the time comes to hire a replacement. At that point, the job will be posted (per company policy), but she might have already decided she wants to invite this person to an interview if he is interested, meaning he’s already one big step ahead of the herd of 100+ applicants who will likely apply.

This isn’t just a stroke of good luck for this potential candidate. He made the wise choice to attend the conference; he pushed himself out of his comfort zone and schmoozed with lots of strangers at the conference; he bravely asked many of them if it would be possible to keep in touch afterwards; and he followed up with LinkedIn connection requests and thoughtful notes sent via LinkedIn or email to continue the relationship. Having the right connections isn’t about luck—it’s about strategy and execution.

Example B – Upcoming expansion

The company’s Head of Sales for the Americas knows the company will be launching a new division next year. When the time comes, he’s going to need a VP of Sales to build and lead a brand new sales team for the new division. He might try to promote from within, but he’s open to considering external candidates—especially since existing internal talent lacks experience with the product the new division will be selling.

While playing golf with a former colleague, the Head of Sales asks his former colleague if he knows any sales leaders who have experience with this type of product. This leads to a warm introduction to a potential candidate long before the job is ever posted–and he ends up hiring her.

Once again, although this might sound like good “luck” for this candidate, the reality is that she was very strategic about maintaining relationships with her former bosses, coworkers, and classmates—resulting in her being top-of-mind when the golf buddy was asked if he had any recommendations.

Example C – Small business

The owner of a small business currently has 16 employees and several part-time contractors. He knows he could use one more FTE, but he’s hesitant to advertise the position. The last time he advertised an opening, he was besieged with candidates who weren’t a good fit. As a small business owner wearing multiple hats, it was a stressful experience since he’s too small to have an HR department. In the end, he hired someone who was referred by one of his employees.

After hearing that an outstanding manager at one of his vendors is being laid off due to a merger, he’s intrigued by the opportunity to snag a top-notch leader he already knows, likes, and trusts. He takes a look at her LinkedIn profile, and it’s filled with content that demonstrates her expertise in the industry and passion for her work. He requests her resume, invites her to an interview, and ultimately extends a job offer–all without ever posting an opening.


Bear in mind that the examples above are merely examples—there are many similar instances that my clients have encountered. To increase your chances of having these types of “hidden” opportunities, make sure that human-to-human interaction is a component of your job search strategy.

The human interaction could include keeping in touch with professional and social connections, getting introductions, being involved in a professional association, attending local events, going to conferences, doing speaking engagements, and similar types of activities.

This article first appeared on


Artificial intelligence (AI) is truly woven into the fabrics of our lives, including job search. Most mid-sized to large employers are using technology and AI tools in the recruiting and hiring processes, and there are also tools that job seekers can take advantage of, as well.

For example, one such tool that I introduce my clients to is Job Scan, which will compare your resume to a job description you’re going to apply for. This helps you tailor your resume to that specific job posting. Even if you’re working with a recruiter on a job not publicly advertised anywhere, this can still be handy.

In a future post I can explore the nuances of how this tool works and why tailoring is preferable to using the exact same document every time without any changes.

There are also other AI and technology tools that are more questionable and less helpful, of course. (Also worth exploring in future posts!)

For now, what I want to address is how to handle a robot’s advice. While AI is an amazing advancement, it also has its limitations.

Here’s the problem: software is only as good as the people who created it, and most robots we deal with in everyday life don’t excel at everything we throw at them.

For example, if you’re having a complicated marital problem, would Siri be a good source of advice? Probably not. She can find information on the Internet for you, but don’t expect her to give the kind of advice you could get from a marriage counselor or a friend who’s been married for 35 years.

Robots are lacking when it comes to analysis that requires common sense, empathy, and emotional intelligence.

Limitations of resume software

One of my executive clients ran her resume through Job Scan to tailor it for a job posting. A recommendation popped up saying that her resume was over the recommended length; however, what she didn’t notice was that it said “unless you are applying to executive jobs.”

Not only did the software not recognize that she was an executive-level candidate based on VP titles in her resume, but the software is simplistic with determining if the length is acceptable. If you’re one word over the software’s recommended word count, the robot says it’s too long; one word under, you’re good to go! Seriously? Bear in mind that there is no universal rule among employers for resume length, so this recommended word count is an opinion.

Let me be clear: the difference of a couple words isn’t going to disqualify your application when you apply for a job.

Sure, I see resumes all the time that are too long; executives will send me three-page and four-page resumes they’ve developed on their own, and these are almost always too verbose to be effective–nobody wants to read that much in an era of short attention spans. Guidance about keeping the length reasonable is certainly needed, but deleting an important bullet point to get a resume under the “magical” number a robot recommends is just silly.

These types of guidelines from an AI tool are usually based on best practices that are applicable to the lowest common denominator of people. Your needs might be slightly different, depending on your industry, level of seniority, target employer, target job, career history, and unique career situations.

You could think of it like government dietary guidelines. They’re based on what will probably work best for most people, but your needs might be slightly different if you’re an athlete, diabetic, celiac patient, or have a food allergy. In those instances, you could work with your physician, dietician, or trainer to determine what will be best for you.

Another odd glitch I’ve seen with this software is that in some cases it may say that the formatting of dates isn’t acceptable, even though in other instances it found the exact same date formatting to be fine (and I’ve tested the same date formatting in the most popular applicant tracking systems used by employers–Workday and Taleo–and it was fine, in addition to being consistent with best practices in my industry).

Handling a robot’s advice

At this point, advice from robots needs to be taken with a grain of salt. This is one reason it makes sense to work with a professional on your  resume. You can get input from a human based on their experience helping other clients land positions.

Speaking of humans, that’s actually how most people land great jobs–not by applying online for an advertised opening. I’ve written in the past about navigating networking introductions (as a relationship-based job search approach) and problems with advertised openings.

It’s usually relationships that lead to the best opportunities–particularly at an executive level–and relationships help you get beyond the herd of 100+ other applicants who will likely be applying for those advertised openings along with you. Having a referral from an employee helps you snag an interview in these competitive situations.

The bottom line: AI job search tools range from useless to helpful, but even when they’re helpful (like Job Scan), you also need to balance their advice with the opinions of human experts and your own common sense. Oh, and while you’re at it, please don’t replace your marriage counselor with Siri. 😉

This article first appeared on

When you’re in the job market and the phone rings, it’s impossible not to wonder if it’s a recruiter or employer–especially if the area code matches an employer you’re interested in.

Answering the phone right away would seem to be the best option, but not so fast!

What could go wrong?

Noise and distractions

Take stock of the situation. Are you in the car? In a noisy public place? Outdoors on a windy day? Any of these environments are NOT optimal for a cell phone conversation. Reception might be bad, or there might be too much background noise. Also, you might be distracted.

Even if you’re at home, noise from pets, children, and the TV can be equally problematic.

Not being prepared

Even if you’re in a very quiet place with excellent reception, you also need to be in the right frame of mind for an effective conversation that will convince the recruiter to move you forward in the process.

If it’s not a scheduled phone interview, the call is likely just an initial screening call to see if you might be a fit.

You won’t get a formal interview unless this initial screening goes well.
Potential problems can include:
  • You seem confused about the job you applied for. “Can you remind me what job this is again?” That employer (and recruiter) absolutely prefer candidates who are genuinely excited about their opportunity. Their dream would be a candidate who only applied for that job, and hasn’t been applying with any other companies!
  • You’re unprepared and discombobulated. You fumble and mumble because you didn’t have a chance to clear your head and refresh your memory on how you’ll answer key questions.

It’s simple: let the call go to voice mail

Listen to the voice mail, and make your way to a quiet place. Collect your thoughts before calling back. Think carefully about key points you want that person to know. In all likelihood they just want to schedule your screening interview, not conduct it on the spot–so plan on that, but be prepared to answer questions on the spot if needed.

If they called in the morning or early afternoon, try to call back the same day if possible. If they called later in the day, the following morning is acceptable.

No matter what, call back, even if you’re not interested in the job. Relationships matter. (And it’s the kind thing to do.)

Job search networking by phone (businessman talking on phone)

Building relationships does NOT have to take place in person. This has always been the case, and it’s especially true now that remote work has become more common and executives have embraced digital tools more than ever.

However, many executives still associate the word “networking” with face-to-face interactions. I often hesitate to use that word, but often fall back on it out of laziness and habit.

I once mentioned networking to a prospective client. He sounded surprised. “Do you really think it would be worth my while to attend mixers after work?” he asked. I was blown away–I hadn’t said anything about attending any type of event! But, he had a preconceived notion about what “networking” means.

In my mind, “networking” is simply a synonym for leveraging business relationships: establishing relationships, building relationships, nurturing relationships, rekindling relationships, and ultimately leveraging them to achieve your career or business goals.

Looking at it from that standpoint, there are a lot of ways you can leverage relationships (aka “network”) without being face-to-face with people. Here are what I consider the top five.

  1. Arrange phone calls with new and existing contacts. Come up with a reason for the call–such as setting up a short call to gather information or catch up. If you can specify “5-10 minutes” or “10-15 minutes” (depending on how well you know them), that will make it easier for someone to say “yes” to a call since it doesn’t seem like it will be a big disruption.
  2. Exchange email and LinkedIn messages with new and existing contacts. This can be a great way to stay in touch after a phone call or to rekindle an existing relationship rather than asking for a phone call out of the blue.
  3. Post and comment on social media. Maintain an active presence on LinkedIn; “like” and comment on the things your connections post (be sure to keep it professional!). You can also leverage Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. A comment on LinkedIn isn’t going to land you a job, but similar to #2, this can be a way to stay in touch.
  4. Ask for introductions. The adage “who you know is more important than what you know” should really be “who you know and who your contacts know.” Your existing network might not be enough to land that dream job. Use LinkedIn to find out how you’re connected with companies of interest and ask your contacts for introductions to the people they know at those companies.
  5. Attend virtual events. There have already been virtual events for years, but now there are more than ever. This can include webinars, conference calls, Zoom meetings, and virtual conferences. Find out what the professional associations in your industry are doing to help people learn and stay connected.

This article first appeared on

I’ve heard it so many different times from clients in all different fields, from logistics to marketing to nursing: “Well, I never thought about doing this before, but they found my resume online and they really want me–they said I’d be great!”

After hearing this from a lot of different clients over the years, I hate to break it to you: they’re picking you and a whole lot of other people.

The job they’re all talking about? Life insurance sales! While it may seem flattering that a big-name life insurance company has picked YOU, please understand that their outreach is part of a continuous and robust recruiting effort.

Why do they recruit so aggressively?

This area of sales is one of the highest-turnover jobs out there: about 80% turnover! So they constantly need to replenish their workforce and find new blood.

The reason for the high turnover is simple: being a life agent is usually 100% commission, meaning you don’t receive a base salary. It’s an easy job to land, but a hard job to succeed in. It’s only suited to hard-core salespeople who love networking, cold-calling, and selling.

The industry’s willingness to bring in people who’ve never done sales means that many of them won’t last long at all.

These companies are avid users of job boards and they often target recently unemployed people who have uploaded their resumes to job boards.

One thing should be clear: don’t allow yourself to be overly flattered by receiving recruitment messages for these positions.

If you’re going to move your career in an entirely different direction, it should be based your long-term career goals, not based on the mere fact that a company is desperate for new recruits and gives you the impression they’ve chosen you because you’re special.

Is it right for you?

If you’re in sales and love it, but want to change industries, this could certainly be an option. You’d be selling a very meaningful product that can make the difference between a good quality of life and a terrible quality of life for families when they face tragedy.

Do your research first to learn more about the pros and cons of working in the industry, and also compare it to other industries.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, life insurance agents make a median wage of $48K a year, with the lowest-paid making less than $26K and the highest-paid making more than $117K a year. The creme de la creme can make multi-six-figures, but we’re talking about a select few.

I suspect that many of the lowest paid ones are folks who do it as a side hustle and retirees who do it as a part-time source of income to supplement their savings, investments, pensions, and social security.

Could this be a temporary source of income?

If you’re thinking of doing this while you’re in between jobs, you need to understand that this is NOT the type of job where you can reasonably expect to start making good money right off the bat.

You could put in 40 hours a week and make $0 if you don’t close any deals. (Meanwhile, working that many hours could also stymie your search for an ideal permanent position.)

Commission-only sales is similar to being a solo entrepreneur or freelancer in many ways. It takes time and effort to build the business, and very few people make a good living in their first year. (Let’s just say I did NOT make six figures during 2009, my first full year of being 100% self employed.) Over time, it’s possible to do well with the right strategies, execution, and work ethic.

What other temporary options are there?

There are other ways you could make money while you’re in transition. If you have experience and contacts in a particular industry, you could try picking up consulting or freelance work relevant to your profession.

For a marketing executive, this could mean filling in for a fellow marketing exec who’s on maternity leave. A logistics executive could consult on the redesign of a distribution network. This experience can be incorporated on your resume and LinkedIn profile to fill the gap as long as you make it clear it’s temporary.

If you’re really strapped for cash, have limited options, and need anything you can get, there are also “gig economy” jobs like Uber, Lyft, and Instacart–or you could get a job delivering pizzas. While these jobs might not have the white-collar vibe of insurance sales, they can produce immediate income rather than the mere hope of possibly making commissions.

Industry associations are a job seeker’s best friend—or at least they should be.

There are thousands of associations that cater to professionals in virtually every industry, from the American Society of Civil Engineers to the American Marketing Association. Name a profession and it probably has a group, and there might be a local chapter in your area.

Unfortunately, in my experience, not enough people join these groups, and those who join often fail to take full advantage of their membership.

Don’t make that mistake! Here are my tips for making the most of a professional association’s local chapter (these can also apply to involvement in the national associations, too).

1. Join a committee, serve on the board or volunteer in an individual capacity.

I know what you’re thinking. “I don’t have time for that. I’m busy looking for a job!” However, these activities are not mutually exclusive. Did you know that interacting with other volunteers is a great way to build relationships, which can lead to connections with employers of interest?

Also, don’t assume that you need to go anywhere to volunteer. Meetings can be conducted by conference call, for example.

Getting involved as a volunteer is as simple as letting the chapter leadership know that you’re interested in helping. They will be eager to put your talent to use!

2. Learn everyone’s names and remember them.

Being good with names is important in networking.

After you make positive connections with fellow members, get their business cards and connect with them on LinkedIn, which can help you remember their names. And try using memory tricks to associate faces with names.

Another idea is to volunteer for the check-in desk at chapter meetings. In this capacity, you’ll be greeting all attendees and giving them their name badges.

3. Go to events and be fully present.

Find the time and take advantage of the chapter’s regular meetings and special events.

If you have conflicts that prevent you from attending the chapter’s regular meetings, remember that there might be other events at different times that you could attend, like mixers, awards ceremonies and volunteer days.

Whenever possible, arrive at events early and stay late to maximize your networking time. Being able to interact with these people is a golden opportunity, so don’t be shy!

4. Read the newsletter and consider contributing.

Most chapters have newsletters with updates on events and member news. There are usually job ads, as well, but the rest of the content is equally valuable. You should read every word.

For example, an article by one of the members about a new industry trend could offer a way to start a thoughtful one-on-one conversation with that person at the next meeting. (It’s also good to stay current on your industry.)

Additionally, you can offer to contribute articles to the newsletter; sharing your expertise in this way can help to position you as a thought leader. Most groups are in need of content for their newsletters and will appreciate the help.

5. Follow up and stay in touch.

After meeting a hiring manager from a company of interest, or someone else who can help you, keep the connection alive.

You can follow up to see if you can arrange a short coffee meeting or phone chat. Don’t ask about openings or send your resume at this stage; simply express an interest in talking further. Having conversations with people who can help you is the most important job search activity you can spend time on.

Stay in touch with these contacts by commenting on their LinkedIn status updates, chatting with them every time you see them, and sending occasional emails with links to articles of interest.

So what are you waiting for?

If you’re not a member of a professional association in your industry yet, you can research groups with the search tool provided by the American Society of Association Executives (yep, there’s even a group for them!). You can also look into Meetup groups that might be relevant.

Once you’ve found an organization, get active and follow these tips—and watch your career opportunities multiply!

This article by Kelly Donovan first appeared on Tim’s Strategy.

At some point in your career, you’ve probably been faced with the question of whether working for free made sense.

And, whether it was a volunteer gig with a non-profit or freelance work on a pro bono basis, you still need to be aware of the impact on your time and income.

All of these opportunities can offer advantages, similar to internships. But there are also pitfalls to be aware of.

Let’s look at the most common reasons to work for free:

  • Build your resume / portfolio. If you’re just getting started in a new field, it’s important to get relevant experience for your resume, and work samples for your portfolio if applicable.
  • Expand your network. Networking is a key component of any successful job search, and volunteering is a great way to meet new people and show them what you can do.
  • Help others. Doing free work can be a way to help a friend or business contact, an organization you support, or your community as a whole. It feels good to help. Also, when you help people, they will want to help you.

Clearly, there are compelling reasons to work for free. However, I’ve seen too many situations in which a well-intentioned person agrees to work for free and emerges a frazzled, bitter, burned-out mess—without gaining any real benefits.

Here are 8 points you should consider before you begin working for free.

1. Begin with the end in mind.

Be clear with the organization (and yourself) about what you need to get out of the deal to make it worth your while. Be very specific so there are no misunderstandings.

2. Provide an invoice.

If you’re providing pro bono services as a freelancer, give the organization an invoice showing what your services would normally cost, and subtracting that amount for a balance of $0. That way the organization understands the value of the services.

3. Choose an appropriate role for your experience level.

If you’re brand new to a field, it’s reasonable to volunteer as a worker bee as long as you’re gaining relevant experience and knowledge.

However, if you have experience and expertise in a field, and you want to do volunteer work to expand your network or give back, think twice before putting in long hours.

Rather than being a worker bee, could you serve in advisory capacity? The organization could recruit a college student to perform the grunt work, while you simply oversee the work being done.

4. Put the terms of the arrangement in writing.

This will ensure there are no misunderstandings.

5. Be certain the experience is directly relevant to your short-term or long-term goals.

If you don’t have an interest in what a particular organization does, be careful. Serving as a volunteer simply because the opportunity is presented to you doesn’t make a lot of sense.

6. Decide whether your portfolio and resume are already robust enough.

Working for free is great when you’re first getting started. But you will reach a point when you have enough experience that it’s time to start getting paid for your labor.

7. Set parameters for the work you will be doing.

If it’s a freelance project, stipulate a specific scope, either based on the number of hours you will spend, or the specifications of the project. Like designing a brochure that is no more than four pages, for example.

Also be sure to stipulate the timeline for project completion and any deadlines the organization needs to meet to get the project done on time.

Once you agree that working for free is OK, the organization will often expect the same level of service you would provide to a paying client or employer. This can make your life difficult when you have paying clients or a job that need to take priority.

8. Put in just the right amount of effort.

Don’t take on a pro bono or volunteer project and then do a sloppy job because you’re preoccupied with work you’re getting paid to do. This will end up being worse than if you hadn’t done the project at all, because it affects your reputation.

On the other hand, don’t go overboard and strive for perfection if you have other, more important, things on your plate. Work that you consider good might be considered excellent by the organization.

This article appeared first on Tim’s Strategy and is republished with permission.

Introductions will be smoother when people have already heard of you. Doors will open more readily. And employers may be contacting you instead of the other way around.

Building this kind of awareness for your personal brand takes time, but it’s worth it. Here are a few of my favorite strategies.

1. Publish, publish, publish—both online and offline.

Never before have there been so many opportunities to publish content that demonstrates your expertise.

Traditional examples include articles for trade publications, op-ed submissions for general interest publications, and contributions to newsletters—however small or large the audience.

Don’t be afraid to approach a publication with a contribution; just make sure you read that publication regularly and understand what kind of content would be suitable.

You can also start your own blog or write for an existing industry blog. Having your own blog can be labor-intensive, but it allows you to publish as frequently as you want, and it also gives you the ability to build a home for your brand on the web.

If you’re ambitious, consider writing a book or e-book. In this age of e-books, self-publishing, and print-on-demand services, you don’t need to worry about finding a publishing company to print your book.

Use social media to amplify whatever you publish by posting links to it and getting friends to share it with their networks.

2. Get featured or quoted in the media.

Depending on the nature of your profession, you might have found yourself in the media spotlight at some point—or the mere thought of being in the media might be unfamiliar territory.

If a media outlet of any kind (print, radio, online, TV) features you or includes quotes attributed to you, that inclusion reinforces your expert status. Don’t be shy—if you’re fairly accomplished in your career and stay current in your industry, you probably have value to offer.

Seek coverage by reaching out to reporters who cover relevant topics for print or online publications that cover your industry.

A great way to identify journalists is by reading articles related to your expertise and paying attention to who writes them. Often, the writer’s email address is provided—it doesn’t get much easier than that!

Be sure to present yourself as someone who’s offering to share expertise on a topic related to your industry that is currently in the news. Suggest an article topic that you could comment on, or offer yourself as an expert source for future research.

And remember that most of the value of media coverage comes from what you do afterwards. If you never mention it to anyone, you won’t get much value from it; but if you add it to your bio, include it on your LinkedIn profile, and link to it on your blog, you’ll get a lot more mileage from it.

3. Speak and train on relevant topics at both traditional and virtual events.

Sharing your knowledge with an audience is a powerful way to energize your career.

Identify organizations that would benefit from having you as a speaker, and reach out to them to pitch your proposed presentation. If you’re a member of a professional association in your industry (you should be!), this is a great place to start.

Keep in mind that virtual training seminars held by teleconference or via the web are very common nowadays, and organizations need speakers for these events, too.

Promote your speaking engagements on social media; in addition to drawing attendees, your network will take note of your growing stature in your field.

These are just a few of the ways you can make yourself known. What other approaches do you use, or plan to use?

This article by Kelly Donovan originally appeared as a guest post on Tim’s Strategy.