Every professional and semi-professional working in our rowing community should have a LinkedIn profile. Here are the reasons why:
Career professionals (career coaches, HR professionals, hiring managers, and professional recruiters) for the most part agree that LinkedIn is the best social media platform for finding, vetting, and recruiting the best candidates. It is current, and its use is growing, as evidenced by some of these recent blog posts:
LinkedIn is the platform on which to sell yourself professionally. There are very few high-level professionals out there who are not rocking really solid and detailed LinkedIn profiles.
If you have a current LinkedIn profile, you make my job as a coach recruiter much easier. As part of my service offering for rowing organizations, I recruit coaches for open opportunities all over the United States. When I encounter a coach who is not on LinkedIn, it is hard for me to ascertain what their career intentions are. If you aspire to a full time career in rowing, you need to communicate that you are an active part of our professional community and open to hearing about new opportunities.
When a big opportunity comes across my desk, I immediately go to LinkedIn. My clients are hiring me because they want me to find them the best (and most affordable) candidate legally available to work in the United States. For this reason, I tap into a very deep network (almost 1300 rowing professionals) of LinkedIn contacts.
Even if you are a full-time professional and happily engaged with your current position, you should still have a LinkedIn presence. You can always publicly present yourself as not looking for new opportunities (your current manager will probably appreciate this), but that will not preclude an experienced recruiter like me from calling you. Always, always, always, take the call when it comes and find out more. You can learn so much from those conversations: what the hiring environment in that organization is like, what the pay scale is, and what the organization's plans and motivations are. And, most importantly, you can get a snapshot of your own professional market value.
If you are a hiring manager yourself (such as an administrator, head coach, board president, or rowing director), you can vet your coaching candidates using LinkedIn. You can see not only their public resumes but also their contacts and potential references. In addition, if your profile looks solid, admirable, and has many reputable contacts, it is more likely that the best candidates will want to come and work FOR YOU.
LinkedIn is also the only place where we coaches can really shine as professionals. While you can use Instagram to share those shots of your crew on the medal stand, it is probably not the best venue for posting about your absolutely brilliant seat racing matrix. You CAN and should post about that on LinkedIn! Are you proud of your training plan for the month and all the erg PRs it catalyzed? Why not brag about it on LinkedIn? It’s a space filled with other professionals who are working in the same industry and are paying attention, so why wouldn’t you want to flex there at least a little bit?
LinkedIn is the only platform on which we can engage in professional knowledge-share without spamming our friends and family with "rowing stuff”. As a case in point, I only ever post these articles on this site. There are several groups on LinkedIn that enable this kind of sharing within our rowing community:
The World Rowing Network – This is a worldwide group composed mostly of amateur athletes and coaches.
Rowing Professionals – This is a smaller group, but its name is self-explanatory.
You are, of course, sharing and discussing rowing topics within your immediate circle of coaching friends, but LinkedIn is the only medium that allows you to engage in these conversations outside of that bubble. For example, coaches in the SW Junior Region have recently participated in an email thread about how each program is handling quarantine protocols and timing its return to the water. Yes, they are relying on a chain email, just like it’s 1995 all over again. If that same discussion were happening on LinkedIn, it might be shared with rowing professionals in other regions allowing for greater perspective and insight. This might lead to some really creative quarantine hacks.
LinkedIn is the first social marketplace where professional hiring managers can go in their first casual search for candidates as well as to exchange ideas. Market your coaching brand. Explore new opportunities. Post your own ideas, and learn about those of others. There is currently no better place to have a professional dialogue on almost anything within our community. Don’t be left out of the conversation.
Madder Consulting has helped numerous rowing organizations identify, vet and recruit coaching staff into their boathouse. I offer flexible solutions, confidentiality, and no coaching job is too big or too small to recruit for. Talk to me about how you can get the best coaching talent into your boathouse! firstname.lastname@example.org