Furloughed or Released Talent (FORT) is our private group for professionals who have been released or furloughed from digital, marketing, creative, comms and PR roles or contracts. In just a few weeks our community has grown to over 100 members actively sharing opportunities, tips, experiences and much more.

Last week we welcomed Linda Aitchison to the group for the first of our regular Ask Me Anything sessions with industry experts. Linda trained as a journalist and worked for media outlets in the UK and Russia. She continues to write for national publications as a freelancer alongside her work in writing, publicity and media training.

There was no shortage of great member questions for her to get stuck into (and we completely ran out of time!). Here are some highlights from her excellent Q&A:

How can I build my audience on LinkedIn?

  • Be yourself, but also be consistent. There’s no one size fits all approach, but once you find what works for you, stick to it. Don’t be tempted to create clickbait content if that’s not your style
  • Ask intelligent questions. Don’t regurgitate the same ones you’ve already seen - find a new perspective.
  • Once you’ve posted, keep the conversation going in the comments.

What’s the best way of measuring success?

  • Remember that many social media users are ‘lurkers’ rather than contributors, so you can get a lot more views on a post than likes and comments.
  • In any case, when it comes to comments, quality is way more important than quantity. The same principle applies to connections.

What’s the best way to engage with recruiters?

  • All communication is human to human - there’s no ‘best’ way, it depends on the individual and the context.
  • However, make sure you’re engaging with their content, and take the opportunity to show that you’re a warm and professional human being!

How do you get in a good headspace for writing?

  • Don’t overthink it. Writing spontaneously for ten minutes is often more productive than agonising over every word.
  • If you’d like to improve your writing, check out Linda’s (free) Writing Wisdom Facebook group for more tips.

Finally, any advice for people currently seeking work?

  • Be kind to yourself. The knockbacks don’t define you.
  • Think about the advice you would give a close friend in the same situation, then follow it.
  • If you need to take a lower paid job, or one that doesn’t fit your ideal career path, to keep you ticking over then do it and don’t worry about what other people might think.

Thank you to Linda for agreeing to be our first FORT AMA guest and for being so generous with her time and advice.

Other FORT AMAs:

Inside the FORT - Three comms recruitment leaders discuss their top CV and job application tips

Inside the FORT with The PR Cavalry’s Nigel Sarbutts – Making the leap to freelancing

Inside the FORT with BoldMove founder Julia Fenwick - Prospects for the communications industry post-COVID

Are you furloughed or looking for new job opportunities in marketing, comms, creative or digital?

If you are furloughed and/or looking for new job opportunities and would like to join the FORT peer support community, simply DM us on Twitter or within the Guild App, contact us via Livechat or email us. We’d love to hear from you.

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