Tag: Executive LinkedIn profiles
Mary Elizabeth Bradford can now add NCOPE to her growing list of careers industry credentials. Her Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert (NCOPE) certification was earned through the National Resume Writers’ Association upon completion of a rigorous 5-week course and exam, and will be used to help executives all over the world leverage LinkedIn.
Only 5% of executives I speak with on a weekly basis share with me that they are “happy” with their LinkedIn presence and that they regularly attract ideal job opportunities through LinkedIn.
The other 95% share with me that although they may have a profile, they don’t do much with it—and frankly, that’s because they are not sure what to do with it.
A question for you: What are three things you WISH LinkedIn could do for you? Please stop reading for a minute and define one to three things you wish LinkedIn could do for you.
I’ll wait here …
- Bring you more business?
- Draw ideal job opportunities to you?
- Establish the perception of thought leadership?
- Scout for talent for your company?
Once you define what is important to you—you can then determine how to use LinkedIn to provide you with optimum market leverage.
If you want to establish thought leadership, look into WHAT you want to say to your audience—and use LinkedIn’s activity broadcasts to do it; or post using LinkedIn’s blog feature (like I do!).
If you want to scout for talent, you might want to upgrade to a Premium account and concentrate on expanding your network. You could also explore LinkedIn’s Recruiter App for your company’s needs.
If you want to energize your network, you might want to first write out all of the reasons WHY that is important to you—and then develop a simple system to spend 15 minutes per week on LinkedIn to actively increase your connections. Can you define the industry, titles, geographic locations, and so on, that you want to expand? This will help!
If you want to expand your business, you may look into LinkedIn advertising (I do) to reach out to your ideal audience.
And whether you are a passive or active job seeker, think about WHO you want to be seen by. Did you know that if you are not in your target market’s 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-degree connections, they can’t “find” you? It’s true.
If you want to learn how to expand your network and get real, actionable results, check out the online program I’ve developed (one of my most popular courses) that teaches executives how to attract career opportunities through LinkedIn. It works! Learn more about it here.
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.
Why would a CEO, COO, CMO, CFO or other CXO need to have a LinkedIn profile? That is a good question. Many very high-level / high-visibility C-level executives don’t have a LinkedIn profile. Perhaps this is due to concerns about overexposure. While I certainly understand that concept, the opportunity to leverage your network – whether you are a VP, SVP or C-level executive – has incredible benefits when you do it correctly.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your C-level LinkedIn profile:
Adjust Your Settings & Privacy
I suggest that my clients change the setting for “Who can see your connections” to “Only you.”
This way, your company and your competition cannot see who you are connected to. Overall I think that is a smart move.
The other settings worth noting are what others can view in your public profile. I like to have enough general information show up so if another key decision-maker or executive recruiter saw and liked your profile and wanted to reach out to you, they could. Showing your Summary statement (which should include some contact information) should be enough.
I like to have an email and maybe even a phone number at the very beginning of the Summary statement. This ensures that people who may be visiting your profile can reach out to you, even if they may be outside of your first- or second-degree network of connections. If you are open to new opportunities, there is no reason to broadcast it, since you can very easily give someone a way to reach out to you!
Worried about privacy? No problem! Set up a new Gmail account with a variation of your name or something that is business-friendly and use that email in your LinkedIn Summary statement.
When deciding on your keyword headings, think about what a recruiter or other key decision-maker might be looking for when searching for someone like you. List any advanced degrees, splashy awards, high-level certifications, or size/scope information, such as “Fortune 500 Companies,” “Fast Growth Start-Ups” or “International Expansions.” If you are looking to change industries, think of how broad your industry choice can be without looking as if you are searching for another opportunity.
Depth & Breadth
Most resume writers agree that LinkedIn profiles are best written in first-person informal. Generally speaking, the details in your profile should not be covered as thoroughly as they are in your executive resume. A good rule of thumb is to add just enough detail to create intrigue. Your profile should never, in my professional opinion, broadcast that you are looking for another opportunity.
Grow Your Network
When you grow your network with recruiters and key decision-makers across a few industries and divisions, you are creating a network that can be leveraged. For example, several years ago my husband was complaining that his LinkedIn connections were almost nonexistent. He is in the wine business, so I suggested he find those in “his tribe” through direct searches and LinkedIn groups and invite them into his network. Within 45 days my husband had over 400 of the most powerful global connections of suppliers, distributors, wineries, vintners, wine-recruiters, HR directors and high-profile critics in the wine industry. He regularly receives important information and job solicitations.
The takeaway is that I advocate thinking of your LI network as a tool to connect with like-minded professionals. Personally, I don’t believe you have to “know” these contacts before you invite them. Rather I believe in connecting across industries and disciplines to form a solid foundation with short- and long-term benefits. If a recruiter or other key decision-maker is looking for someone with your skills and abilities and you are NOT in their first or second-degree network, then you will not show up in their search results.
Have you read an insightful industry article in FORBES that you agree with? Did you recently attend or, even better, speak at an industry conference? Attend or help lead a community event? Why not share that in your activity feed? Articles are another great way to share your insight, and including pictures or videos will make them more clickable. Remember to keep it all business! This is an excellent way to solidify your brand and thought leadership within your network.
Although there are many other optimization and design tips that are important to know, these tips are great starting points to get you using LinkedIn as a tool that will give you market leverage and solidify your branding message.