Category: Executive LinkedIn Profiles (page 2 of 2)
I have talked at length on the topic of how top executives can utilize LinkedIn as a tool in their career toolbox in my articles, Tips VPs to CXOs MUST KNOW to Leverage the Power of LinkedIn Part 1 and Part 2.
Now I would like to share some tips on content with you.
If you are a Director, VP, EVP, COO, CEO, CFO, CMO, CSO, CIO, CTO, CISO, CRO (my fingers are getting tired, so my apologies to all the other CXOs out there), or Board-Level Executive, these tips are for you.
I know this is about content, but in order to explain rationale, I have to share that you need to optimize for findability. One of the ways you can do this is with your name. After your name, you can add a certification or an MBA. Recruiters and other key decision makers search by advanced degrees and special certificates, so this is a great and easy way to increase your chances of coming up in keyword search results.
This is my favorite because it is where you get the most optimization juice. For what unique quality do you want to be found? For being part of an MNC or Fortune 100 company? Maybe for the industry you are in? How about utilizing keywords that center around a specialty of yours; say, Cloud Technology Mergers & Acquisitions? Think about your unique value proposition. Think about what you want to do next, if you could do anything—then work backwards. Your keywords should mirror your goals (the ones that match, at least!). You can separate your keywords with a comma or a pipe (, or |).
If you want to make it easy for someone to contact you directly after they have glanced at your profile, you can elect to put your contact information FIRST in your summary. Again, this is so that if a recruiter is using the LinkedIn Recruiter app, they will be able to easily find and clearly see your contact information, even if they cannot see your entire profile. You can format your contact information like this:
E-mail: myemail.com | Phone: 000.000.0000
If you haven’t heard by now, less is more. So concentrate on the one thing you know will grab someone’s attention. Start with your unique value proposition and the results you achieve. Sometimes you can use exact metrics, but if you don’t feel comfortable giving away exact figures, why not use approximate ones or quantify accomplishments using percentages? You could say, “Drove top-line revenue 350% over previous years in 12 months.” Short, sweet, and very effective.
Most writers and marketers agree that first-person informal is the tense and style with which to craft your LinkedIn profile.
Your Professional Experience
Starting with a little information about the general size and specialty of the company. Again, the style is rooted in brevity. One or two single-sentence accomplishments should set the tone and pace for a positive cursory glance. You are trying to hit major points and create intrigue. You do not want your profile to look or read like your executive resume.
Interesting article in Forbes about CEO’s growing comfort with using LinkedIn. I think this is a natural growing trend that will not be reversed. One thing they didn’t mention in this article that I clearly see is that it is lonely at the top! Executives often feel secretly marginalized in their career transitions because there are simply fewer networks, avenues and opportunities for Executive Vice Presidents, C-Level Executives and Board Openings.
Linked in finally gives executives a way to explore, network and connect. Used correctly, LinkedIn is a very underrated way of capturing a niche audience. I talk about that here: LinkedIn for Executives.
You can read the article here:LinkedIn Is Top Social Network for CEOs
And if you want more great information on how to optimize your LI profile to pull executive jobs to you – you can read this recent article published by the Harvard Business Review.
PART 2: IMPLEMENTATION
In Part 1 of this article (which I strongly recommend you read if you haven’t already) I shared that your primary objective for utilizing LinkedIn is threefold:
- Connect with key players.
- Keyword optimize your profile so that when people find you and want to pitch job opportunities your way, you will have already aligned your profile with the opportunities that are most relevant to your talents, skills, and preferences—and crucial to your happiness and job satisfaction.
- Use LinkedIn to develop thought leadership.
Let’s break down how these top three steps can be achieved:
Join Groups in Order to Connect with Key Players
There are tens of thousands of groups and group forums on LinkedIn. Forums give you an instant audience in a particular industry, networking group, alumni group, recruiter group, company, or geographic area! Currently, you can join up to 50 groups.
Search for groups on LinkedIn using the search bar at the top of your profile, and pick those groups that are most relevant to you. If you are a CFO in the airline industry, you might use keywords including CFO, Airline Executives, Financial+Aviation, etc…
Once you are accepted into a group, you can pose a question, post a news or blog article, or check out new career opportunities in the jobs section of the group.
But your most important priority, once you have joined LI groups, is to scroll through the member listing and invite key players and recruiters to join your network! Your reason for doing so? Because you are both members of the same group!
Why do this? Because you need to be in someone’s first-, second-, or third-degree network if you’re going to show up in their search results when they are looking for someone like you! In just minutes a week, you can check out the member listings for your groups and email select members to quickly and strategically grow your network.
To do so, check their profile for an email, then click the connect button and choose the “Other” option. Your message to whomever you wish to invite is simple: We’re in XYZ group together and I want to invite you to join my network! No need to include a greeting, since LinkedIn does that for you.
In the event that you can’t find an email, you can also directly message that person and ask them to connect with you or ask a fellow group member to introduce you. A third way (and the way I do it) is to check off the “Colleague” button so you can send them an invite directly.
Some will say you must know the person to use the “Colleague” option (including LinkedIn); however, I am of the school of thought that if you and I share a group together and I want to invite you to join my network, the fact that LinkedIn forces me to say you are a colleague in order for me to send you an invite is more of an “oh well, okay” situation. But that is me and just my personal opinion. What you decide to do is up to you and what you feel most comfortable with.
If the group you join is job search-related—or you are joining groups outside of your industry and you are concerned that you might inadvertently reveal the identification of your current company—you will want to hide the group icon so that it does not show up on your profile. You can easily do this in the group preferences settings once you are accepted into the group.
Become a Thought Leader Using LinkedIn
Wondering how to use the LinkedIn Activity Feed at the top of your home page? Articles you can post regarding those things that are relative to thought leadership include:
Info on a great career/leadership book you just read.
- A picture of you with the keynote speaker at a conference or seminar you recently attended.
- Links to one of your blog posts or an interesting career-related article you just read or were quoted in.
- A photo of your volunteer service—running a 5K for a cause, for example -or promotion of any other cause about which you are passionate.
Once or twice a month is all you need to keep you top of mind with your network and solidify your branding and professional perception.
Bonus Tip On Privacy
We all assume some risk when we put our information online. You can adjust who sees your network and activity feeds in the LinkedIn settings section of your profile. For example, if you are concerned about your employer being able to see what you are doing on LinkedIn or knowing about your connections, simply set these to private.
There are many other ways to use LinkedIn to benefit your business, career, or consulting business. These are just a few. Find more information and step-by-step strategies here.
PART 1: THE MINDSET
Each week I talk with senior-level executives about their career needs and invariably the subject of LinkedIn always comes up. The conversation usually goes like this:
Me: So, how is your LI profile? Do you get many job opportunities coming to you through LI?
Them: Honestly, my profile is just sitting there. I have a fairly good network, but I don’t really see much action from it, and don’t really know how to change that.
Them: As COO of a billion-dollar company, I often wonder what I should be doing on LinkedIn—if anything—being so highly visible.
To begin making decisions about LinkedIn you must first have a clear vision of your audience. Who is your audience? Let’s look at it this way: If there were no obstacles to your next ideal career position, and that position was located in a pond, what kind of fish would be in that pond? Those fish are your audience.
Are your fish private equity firms? Top retained executive search firms? Fortune 500 technology companies? Fast-growth, mid-market companies in the (fill in your blank) industry? Presidents of security technology firms? Maybe a combination of the above?
Do you want or need to stay in your geographical location? Then limit this list to your geographical preference (minus the recruiters and PE firms – they have holdings/clients all over and are not geographically tied to their own physical location).
You need to fish where the fish are, so get your driving motivators down—including your industries of choice—and make sure those industries are growing, stable, or at least not in decline!
Social networking (for business) is a very effective advertising medium that makes it easy for you to reverse engineer your job search by connecting to your audience. Initially your only interest should be in connecting with them. Nothing else. This is the first and most important step!
Why reverse engineer your search? Because if you make $250k and up per year, only 10% of open jobs at your level are posted on the Internet.* Most executives think, “Well, that is why I depend on recruiters.” But the other 90% of jobs at your level are not held by recruiters. MOST are filled BEFORE a company has to hire a recruiter to find you. Let’s let that sink in for a moment…
LinkedIn is a platform that helps you cut the middleman out in many cases and can put you in direct contact with a key decision maker. In other words, you can be the leader you ARE—even in your job search! And I know that is where you are most comfortable. LinkedIn allows you to retain your leadership role, and control your own personal job transition, many times without having to be at the mercy of a chain of predetermined screening events with built-in competition.
The Bottom Line
If you are a top executive, the name of the game is threefold:
- Connect with key players.
- Keyword optimize your profile so that when people find you and want to pitch job opportunities your way, your profile is already aligned with your greatest preferences.
- Use LinkedIn to develop thought leadership.
I share more details in Part 2. Do you have questions about this article you’d like me to answer? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.