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.

The Resume is Dead | Long Live the Multidimensional You

“THE RESUME IS DEAD!”: a startling recent statement for those in the business of recruiting or job-hunting. Resumes offer a structured and standardized way for employers to review candidates quickly, so how could they be…dead?

Insider note: the resume is NOT dead. However, the job search and recruiting landscapes are changing quickly, so take heed, my friend.

What IS dying? Traditional (read: functional, listing responsibilities and duties) resumes. They’re not dimensional enough to capture your full range of skills, experiences, and potential contributions.

Think of your resume as one of several touchpoints in the universe of you, including:

  1. Your digital presence. 0nline platforms, notably LinkedIn (but also personal websites and professional social media profiles) give you the ability to showcase your professional identity (think 3D vs flat file).

  2. Your skills-based resume. Companies are increasingly focusing on specific skills and competencies. Rather than listing formal qualifications and job titles, use a skills-based resume (ie. problem + solution you implemented = results you/your team(s) achieved)
    It’s not only what you know, but how you use what you know.

  3. Your soft skills. In our rapidly-changing world, soft skills like communication, collaboration and adaptability are exponentially important. Traditional resumes fall short in capturing them. Here’s where you can showcase those: ask for LinkedIn recommendations from those who have benefited from your great soft skills. Referrals, too, can be essential in helping a prospective employer understand and appreciate the qualities you possess.

  4. Your network. Your fanbase, meaning those who’ve worked alongside, with, or for you. Invaluable in bird-dogging new opportunities and raving about you and your accomplishments, your network is perhaps your most-valuable professional resource.

  5. Your professional brand. You know who you are, what you’ve accomplished, what you’re capable of. You’re a lighthouse, not afraid to niche down or to not be all things to all people. You’re authentic and it shows. Big time.

While some are suggesting a shift away from the resume, it’s critical to understand that resumes still play a key role in the hiring process. I’ve seen referred candidates get interviewed before that candidate has submitted a resume or applied to a job. But somewhere along the way, a resume is always required, I promise.

Ultimately, the resume is still a cornerstone of a job search. These days, it’s enlivened with your skills and accomplishments, and enhanced by your online presence.

Struggling to capture your skills and accomplishments on a few sheets of paper? Using my recruiting experience, I help technology leaders better-define their professional brand.

Want to know more about my signature Professional Brand Package? Click here.
Not sure yet, or got questions? Use this link to schedule a FREE, no-strings intro call.

Copyright Katherine Turpin 2024. All Rights Reserved.

Getting the Interview | The Holy Grail of Job Searching


Most leaders I’ve talked with are great once they get in front of the client / decision maker. The problem is, how to GET that interview. It’s like the holy grail of the job search.

At the leadership or senior leadership level, candidates far outnumber open positions (think of a pyramid…yep, that’s you, at or near the top). You’re competing against peers, up-and-comers, and possibly even experienced leaders who are stepping back.

For every leadership search I conducted, we had  >100 applicants, WAY more than we could consider / screen / interview. Time and resources just didn’t allow it.

So how do you score the interview? Here are some suggestions to stand out:

Your Resume.

  • Tailor your resume  to highlight relevant skills, experience, and incorporate keywords from the job description.
  • Be results-oriented in describing your accomplishments. Use numbers, dollars, percentages, time savings, etc.
  • Give examples of successful projects, highlight your leadership experiences and their impact. Make sure what you’ve highlighted aligns with the job you’re applying to. You can even bold the relevant sentences to make it easier for the recruiter to connect the dots.

Your Online Presence

  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date (put bullet items from your resume in each of your most-recent jobs to provide context).
  • Use a current headshot. It doesn’t need to be professionally-taken, but it should be clear and well-lit. 
  • Take advantage of LinkedIn’s ‘Skills’ section (add yours), solicit endorsements from those who know your work, and be sure to mention your extracurricular / volunteer activities (40% of hiring managers consider this section as important as your resume).

Your Network

  • Your network is your most valuable tool in a job search. Past leaders and mentors, vendors, a trusted recruiter or two, former employees, and professional friends can all be advocates and resources as you search.
  • If networking still feels cringey, I recommend reading or listening to “The 20-Minute Networking Meeting: Learn to Network. Get a Job”. It’s a terrific guide.
  • Follow companies you’re interested in on LinkedIn (people who follow the company they’ve applied to are statistically more likely to be hired by that company). Check the ‘People’ tab to see if you know anyone who works there. 
  • Be visible: attend conferences, industry events, participate in online forums and communities in your area of expertise.

Your Body of Knowledge

  • Keep current with technologies, news, and trends in your space.
  • Consider writing or speaking about tech challenges you’ve faced. Sharing your knowledge is an authentic way to connect with (and help) others.
  • Enhance your credibility with relevant certifications, side projects, or volunteer work using your technology leadership skills.

Your Interest

  • After you submit your application, send a followup email expressing your continued interest. Best to send it to the recruiter, but if you know someone in the company who can influence the decision to interview you, follow up with them as well.
  • After the interview, send a thank you email to reiterate your strong interest and enthusiasm for the opportunity.

    Take a patient, positive, persistent and proactive approach. Gather feedback, test out different approaches, and iterate based on what you learn. Stay engaged with the tech community to improve your visibility.

Because you never know where that next connection (and interview) might come from!


Need some help optimizing your digital presence? I help technology leaders clarify their professional brand. Click here to schedule a FREE, no-strings intro conversation to see if we’re a fit.



Copyright Katherine Turpin 2024. All Rights Reserved.

How to DIY Your Professional Brand | Part 2 of 2

If you followed the action steps in Part 1 of this series, you’ll have reviewed and prioritized your accomplishments, taken a look at how others view you and your skills, and made notes on what you like to do. This is the foundation of crafting your professional brand.

This self-awareness functions like a roadmap. It’ll help you better describe yourself, and more fluidly answer questions about your expertise and preferences (get used to talking about yourself – it’s not bragging!). It will give a framework against which to measure potential jobs, and it will help others grasp your unique combination of skills, personality, and experience.

Let’s continue! All you really need is one crisp sentence, each world carefully selected. Having this juicy line in your back pocket will arm you for any situation, whether it’s professional (as in interview), or informal (Little League game or happy hour). Imagine the relief you’ll feel!

There’s a formula for this snappy mini-manifesto, thanks to copywriting genius, Nikki Elledge Brown. Here it is:

“ I help *audience* + “benefit* + *feature*. ”

Simple, yes? You define your audience (ideal job / company), tell them the benefit they get by hiring you, and finish with a feature offering a soundbite of how you’ll help them get that benefit.

Naturally, your professional brand will evolve over time. But this little powerhouse will work great to get you started. Which would you rather hear: a well-crafted, authentic brand statement? Or the standard, “I’m a VP at XYZ Bank”? I know which one I’d pick..

Grab a notepad and let’s dive in:

1. Who’s your audience (the WHO)?

List the kinds of companies you’d most like to work with. For me, it would be startups or early stage, growing companies, mature companies that are retooling, tech companies, entrepreneurial and innovative companies.
What are yours? In your notes, write down your potential employer or customer.

2. What benefit do you bring (the WHY)?

Why do people love working with you? What special sauce do you bring? Unparalleled uptime? Elegant code? Someone who can drop in anywhere and turn a project around?

Be accurate, clear, and juicy. Aspirational, even. This should be something that prospective employers would drool over. In your notes, list the big, headlining benefits companies get when they work with you. Be sure to use language they can identify with and get excited about.

3. What feature do you bring (the HOW)?

How do you actually achieve those results? By elegantly using the array of skills you’ve gathered? By combining your entrepreneurial experience with TONS of customer-facing problem solving? By teaching them to be smarter about their product management strategy?

It’s super important to be clear here. There are many ways to achieve these delicious goals. The ‘feature’ section tells us how YOU do it.

In your notes, make a list of what you do to achieve these benefits. Focus on what sets you apart from others who offer a similar benefit.

4. Put it all together

From your three lists, start piecing phrases together. See what you like, what resonates. Say it out loud, imagining yourself using it at a job interview or a happy hour. 

Does it make sense?
Do you feel comfortable using it?
Does it look good in writing? Is it too long, too short, too blah?
Adjust, edit, trim, swap out words or phrases until you have something that feels authentic.

6. Celebrate!
You’ve just given yourself a huge gift – a clear, authentic and memorable mini-elevator pitch! From here on out, you have a multitool to help you in social or professional settings, in job searches, in going for that promotion and in interviews. 

With your shiny new professional brand statement, you’ll now be guided as you craft a more-meaningful resume and LinkedIn profile. You have a launchpad for that uncomfortable question, “tell me about yourself” that you can use anywhere. Well done!



Still feeling like you need a trusted guide? I help technology leaders define and articulate their value, creating ease as they seek opportunities for professional advancement.

Want to talk first? Use this link to schedule a FREE, no-strings intro call.

Copyright Katherine Turpin 2024. All Rights Reserved.

6 Great Reasons for Having a Professional Brand

A common problem of mid-career tech leaders (10+ years in) is, “how do I fit all my experience on a few pages?” There is a tendency to put EVERYTHING into their resume and by default, their LinkedIn profile. From a recruiter’s perspective, this leads to confusion about what the person is actually best at, not to mention what they really like doing.

Here’s an example from my own career: for several years while at Robert Half International. I led a team of recruiters. I was good at it and our team was in the top 10% of the company for two years in a row. But I really, really did not enjoy the work. I’ve been a leader in many jobs, but I’m not the least bit interested in doing it ever again. So I downplay it or even leave it off altogether.

A professional brand is created by getting very clear about your professional strengths, your key contributions, and what you like doing.

Knowing what kinds of environments you thrive in, what leadership style fosters your best work, and what kind of work/life balance you need for peak productivity is important. Also – a well-defined professional brand is alive and evolving – what you like today might not make the cut later.

Here are six great reasons for creating your professional brand:

1. A clear professional brand helps you decide which qualities and experiences you’ll highlight on your resume and LinkedIn profile. You’ll be able to articulate accomplishments and weave in those experiences – both personal and professional – that make you stand out.

2. A clear professional brand makes job hunting much easier. It gives guidance as you review new roles. When looking for a new position, this clarity will help you vet opportunities.  If you know you work best in an entrepreneurial setting, you may choose not to work for a change-averse, highly bureaucratic company. 

3. A clear professional brand makes interviewing easier. It provides a framework for interviewing.  It offers coherence. With the clarity that comes from introspection, your confidence will also improve.

4. A clear professional brand helps your audience (hiring managers, prospective clients and decision-makers) better-understand the value you bring. You stand out, because you’ve taken time to self-reflect.

5. A clear professional brand makes networking easier. Once you’ve defined your professional brand, the pressure is off when people ask, “So….what do you do?” or “What kind of job are you looking for?” It’s a mini-elevator pitch, a sound bite that gives instant context. 

6. A clear professional brand can benefit your digital presence. When you take the time to honestly evaluate your skills, your preferences, and your perspectives, you’ll direct your social media posts and articles accordingly – what values do you hold dear? What lessons will you talk about?

You don’t need a logo or a mission statement to have a clear professional brand. What you DO need is self-knowledge and the ability to articulate what you bring to the marketplace, whether it’s  a new job, a promotion in your current company, or as a speaker in your industry.

A professional brand offers clarity. And your clarity will be a huge asset.

I work 1:1 with technology leaders who need help better-defining their professional brand.
Want to see if we’re a fit? 
Use this link to schedule a 15-minute no-strings FREE intro call!



Copyright Katherine Turpin 2024. All Rights Reserved.