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Why All Athletes Should Utilize LinkedIn And How To Do It

Kevork Djansezian / Stringer

Athletes On LinkedIn

Usually, when you think about athletes on social media, LinkedIn is the last place you’d think they’d be with most of their fans on other platforms such as Facebook & Instagram. 

In reality, LinkedIn might be one of best places to be for any athlete looking to expand their brand and find professional opportunities outside of their day job of being an athlete.

But whenever I come across the profiles of athletes on LinkedIn, many times they are going about it all wrong. They either have a bland and incomplete profile or they don’t tailor their message toward what they are trying to do outside of their sport.

Yes, everyone knows what team that they play for or when they were drafted. That’s usually what athletes put on their page and that is not necessarily the place to display this kind of stuff. 

Athletes should be talking about their goals and aspirations for life after sports

Instead, athletes should be talking about their goals and aspirations for life after sports and what other career interests they have. They should be using every section of their page to highlight their passions, other involvements, and their ideas for where they want to be further in their career.

Furthermore, they should be taking advantage of every chance they have to make an impression on people who come across their profile, whether that person is a fan or not.

Athletes have to start to realize the full potential of LinkedIn for their long-term career goals and transition process. With more than 500 million users, LinkedIn is sure to be the center of professional development in the future. 

LinkedIn is the foundation to achieve long-term career success for athletes.

Below are the four main things that all athletes should be doing on LinkedIn right now.

 

What Every Athlete Needs To Be Doing On LinkedIn

1. Creating Content That Expresses You’re More Than An Athlete. 

You know that you’re not just an athlete, but everyone else needs proof of this. Linkedin is the perfect platform to display your other professional interests and ambitions. With the ability to write articles and curate images and videos that align with industries and business sectors that you might be interested in, you can show that you’re a multi-dimensional athlete. Athletes should also be joining different groups and participate in conversations that fall in line with their career interests. Showing other people that you want to do and be other things besides an athlete opens the door for collaboration and opportunity. Striking while the iron is hot is very important though. You don’t necessarily have to create content of high volume, but you do need to be consistent and meaningful.
 

2. Constantly Update Your Profile. 

As you go further into your athletic career, things will change personally and professionally. You might get traded, released or picked up by several different teams. You might join or partner with different charitable organizations. You might even pick up a new skill or two and venture out to do public speaking in the community. Whatever the case might be, your profile has to reflect this and you need to constantly update the information on your page. Mention any updates about the charity you’re involved with. You can add public speaking as a new skill and look for people to endorse you. If you start writing for a publication or happen to be featured on a major outlet, add that to the appropriate section and provide some context with it. It is important to stay relevant and show people that you are actually taking action offline, not just talking about it.
 

3. Explore Other Career Opportunities. 

There is a tab on Linkedin called “Jobs.” Now, a lot of former athletes become entrepreneurs in life after sports and don’t necessarily want to work in a traditional job setting especially nowadays. Exploring this section doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be looking for a job, but you can explore different roles and see what options you might have for internships. If you are looking for a job, this is the perfect opportunity to apply for different roles that you might be interested in. You can even position your career interests to reflect which job recommendations might work best for you. With tons of companies looking for applicants that have the natural intangibles that most athletes have, LinkedIn is the prime location to display why they should hire you in the future.
 

4. Network With People & Find Potential Partners. 

LinkedIn is a social platform at the end of the day, and that is the main thing that it should be used for. You can literally search for executives, directors, and managers from any company in the world. It is one of the easiest ways for an athlete to contact and interact with decision makers or collaboration partners for potential side projects like charity or non-profit work, public speaking engagements, or business partnership. Take advantage of any opportunity to do so and it will pay off in the long run.

 

Why Is This So Important

Every single athlete, regardless of what sport they play, should be utilizing LinkedIn, point blank.

It’s not just for student-athletes who are transitioning into corporate roles, and it’s not just for professional athletes looking to partner with different brands.

Every athlete from any sport can benefit from the multiple options that LinkedIn provides.

This is so crucial because as I have talked about time and time again, it gives athletes choices for life after sports.

It prepares them for that next step before they are ready to actually take it. It allows them to connect and meet people who will have a vested interest in helping them transition.

It also creates a more effective and seamless transition at the end of the day, whether any athlete thinks so or not.

Taking the proper steps to ensure that you will be ready to move on in life after sports, can start in many different ways, but making sure that people see and recognize that you’re not just an athlete is a crucial one. Your online presence matters so much in today’s world.

Making sure that people see and recognize that you’re not just an athlete is a crucial one.

Giving yourself multiple identities will prevent you from having a singular mindset and allow you to see that you can be more than just an athlete.

The journey to life after sports can be difficult and long, but the sooner that you prove to yourself that you're worth more, the easier it will be in the long run.


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