Writing prompts for Tech Leaders | Creating Value, Visibility, and Authority on LinkedIn

Everyone likes a good story, whether it’s about a personal adventure, a crisis averted, or a how-to article. Well-written articles not only entertain, but they offer ideas and insights for others to learn from.

My favorite LinkedIn posts happen to be just such articles: short, engaging, real-world bursts of information that offer a new perspective, a glimpse of someone else’s world. Call me a tiny bit voyeuristic, but if the success of reality TV is any indication, I’m not alone.

For tech leaders who want to become more visible on LinkedIn but who are stumped about where to begin, here are some writing prompts.


Begin with your specific area of expertise. Is it software development leadership? Corporate technology and systems? Connecting a global technology organization infrastructure? Defending an organization’s perimeter? Keep to this playing field, for consistency’s sake.

Think of a specific episode within this playing field. Without breaking confidentiality, tell your story.

If you’re not used to writing, it will feel sludgy at first. Use ChatGPT or another AI tool to get started, then customize to make it your own.

Here are some writing prompts:

  • How we transformed our technology organization from waterfall to Agile.
  • How we built a pipeline of new grads into a pool of promotable engineers.
  • How we went about choosing (pick one) a particular provider, platform technology, etc.
  • Lessons learned in implementing xyz.
  • How we groom top individual contributors for leadership roles.
  • How we partnered with Talent Acquisition to ramp up our hiring (and get the right candidates)
  • How we learned to communicate effectively with our business partners.
  • What it’s like to lead a team of engineers in a (name your space) environment: pros/cons/what works well.
  • We learned from our mistakes in choosing the wrong (insert language, ERP system, tool, unnamed vendor here)

You get the picture. And I bet you have lots more.

Here are some guidelines:

Keep it fairly high level (i.e. not too long or detailed). It should contain some color (it’s okay to share missteps), and offer some insights.

Keep it relevant to the qualities of your own professional brand. You should highlight your domain of knowledge, industry, leadership style and/or values.

What you’ll find is that by telling (and humanizing) stories, connecting with others will become easier. When you write and post regularly, it gets easier. We get to know you a little. You also become more visible, and who knows where that will lead: speaking engagements? Collaboration? A new role?

When I started writing blog posts and posting on LinkedIn, it was terrifying. I felt like I was onstage, no clothes. Out there for the world to see (and make fun of). In hindsight, it’s pretty funny. It gets easier, so I’m glad I kept going. We all have stories and insights  – why not share yours with us (and reap some benefits in the process)?


Using my recruiting experience, I help technology leaders better-define their professional brand and navigate their job search. Want to know more about my signature Professional Branding Package? Click here.

Not sure yet, or you’ve got questions?  Use this link to schedule a FREE, no-strings intro call.


Copyright Katherine Turpin 2024. All rights reserved.

Unlocking Opportunities: When a Cover Letter Makes a Difference in Your Job Application

What’s your opinion on cover letters?

“I never send one (they’re old-fashioned).”
“A cover letter should hammer home why I’m a perfect fit for the job.”
“I think a cover letter should be included with each job application.”
“I honestly don’t know.”

Right?

Back when resumes were snail-mailed, a cover letter was an integral part of the application process, a friendly ‘How do you do?’ before the resume-reading began. Today, cover letters aren’t always needed or expected.

So when SHOULD a cover letter be used? Here are some situations where, as a recruiter, I would expect one.


When you’re applying for a job that’s a slight pivot from your current one, use a cover letter to address the reason why your skills/experience are a fit (pick 2-3 skills found in the job description and briefly talk about yours).

When you’re applying to a lower-level role. Again, keep it short, acknowledging that you’re applying to a less-weighty role and focusing on the value you can add while dialing your work responsibilities back, i.e. “I’m ready to move from a leading role to a supporting role.”

When you’re applying to an onsite position from a different location
, use a cover letter to briefly address what brings you to our fair city (i.e. to be near family, partner got a job here, etc.). In my experience, hiring managers are wary of bringing someone to a new city JUST for a job. Also, timing is helpful (how soon do you expect to be local?);

And anytime the company whose job you’re applying to ASKS for a cover letter.

OK – that’s the when; here are some tips on what to say:

Start by reviewing the job description; select 1-2 key requirements (don’t just match years of experience ~ talk about similar industry, company size, growth trajectory or how you’ve successfully conquered issues your target company may be facing).

Craft a couple of sentences about your experience as it relates to those requirements (ie. “with experience creating scalable processes within a fast-growing company, my background should be a good fit.”

Invite: “I’d welcome the opportunity for a conversation / interview / discussion”.

Add a little flattery, if it’s sincere and well-researched: “I’ve heard great things about <company / company’s transformation / thought leadership in xyz / other buzz>.”

To whom should your cover letter be addressed?

Do a quick LinkedIn search on the company you’re applying to. Can you figure out who the hiring manager is? If so, address it to that person and say something like, “Based on my research, it seems likely that this position reports to you.”

If you can’t figure out who the hiring manager is, see if the job is posted on LinkedIn. If it is, who’s the recruiter listed as the point of contact? Use that name. If there isn’t a name, address your cover letter to ‘Talent Acquisition’ or ‘<company name> Recruiter’ or ‘Hiring Team’.

Now put it all together:

Want your cover letter to be read? Don’t just regurgitate everything that’s on your resume.

Keep it short, relevant and curious/confident (vs. a ‘pick me! I’m the perfect fit!’ feel). It’s much appreciated when you, the applicant, help us connect the dots.

There are no guarantees that your cover letter WILL get read, but when you’ve kept it tidy, friendly and trim, it’s much more likely that it will be. Go on, you’ve got this.

Using my recruiting experience, I help technology leaders better-define their professional brand and navigate their job search. Want to know more about my signature Professional Branding Package? Click here.

Not sure yet, or you’ve got questions? Use this link to schedule a FREE, no-strings intro call.


Copyright Katherine Turpin 2024. All rights reserved.