If you’re seeking an executive-level position and you’re not on social media, you need to be. A growing number of employers peruse top candidates’ social media accounts as part of the hiring process. The key to making social media sites work in your favor is to use them strategically.
How Do Employers Use Social Media?
According to one survey of more than 2,300 HR professionals, nearly 40 percent log on to social media to screen applicants. What are they looking for? Employers use social media to learn about the personality and character of potential employees. By the time they log on to do their research, they already know much about your qualifications, education and professional experience, thanks to your resume and cover letter. They check out sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and even Twitter to learn more about who you are as a person.
When you are a job seeker looking for a C-level executive position, not only must you have a LinkedIn profile, but that profile must be outstanding. Your profile should be succinct and to the point, as well as provide critical information upfront so a recruiter doesn’t have to wade through expendable verbiage to get to the details they’re most interested in.
Some Critical Components to Optimize LinkedIn Profile Benefits
First, you want to include relevant keywords that will help a recruiter find your profile. Review some recent C-level job postings you’re interested in and look for words most frequently used in these postings. Incorporate these words in a natural way in your profile so it will catch recruiters’ attention.
In a sea of social-networking sites that are primarily useful for, well, socializing, LinkedIn is a breath of fresh air for professionals. When you are active on this social networking site, you’re not just wasting time creating and reading pointless postings. You’re improving your marketability as a job candidate, making valuable job-seeking connections and increasing the odds of discovering or getting your next lucrative job.
Your LinkedIn Profile Is Like Your Personal Brand
If you are looking for an executive level job, it is imperative you optimize LinkedIn profile appeal so you will generate more profile views. The more people who view your profile, the higher the odds the right person will view it. There’s really no point even being on LinkedIn if your profile is incomplete, lacks important keywords and has a paltry network of connections.
Professional resume and executive resume services have always emphasized the importance of networking for those interested in finding a job or moving ahead in their career plans. This is because the interactions we have with others in our industries creates a background impression that job applications, resumes, and cover letters are viewed against. People see the resume, for instance, and find out more by either asking around or remembering contact.
LinkedIn is an online networking site, the biggest and most influential one we have access to in 2015. Louisa Chan is a marketing expert, and her post on Copyblogger is primarily speaking to content writers. But the 7 Ways to Build Online Authority with LinkedIn that Chan suggests are good suggestions for professionals of any industry who wish to establish authority in their field. Isn’t this what networking and moving ahead as a professional is all about? As others become familiar with our expertise, we have a voice in the field — and the more expertise that is in our voice, the more authority we have.
I hope you are on LinkedIn, because it is one of the fastest-growing ways to network with other professionals. The site does a good job of helping you figure out how to improve your profile and potential network, too. One of their helpful tools is found in their Targeted Status Updates list of 10 tips for engaging followers.
Under tip #2:
Informative, useful updates receive the highest engagement rates because that’s the information members expect from companies they follow on LinkedIn. After all, your followers are active on LinkedIn because they want to be more productive and successful professionals.
60% of members are interested in industry insights (my emphasis)
53% are interested in company news
43% are interested in new products and services
Now, a job seeker may not have too much in the way of company news or new products and services. But every job seeker should be staying current on the industry they hope to join once they are hired. You should be doing a lot of reading about your career field anyway, right?
If you are an executive, then you should be on LinkedIn. Don’t think of it as just another social media website because it is not. It is a networking site for business professionals, and simply having a presence can improve your visibility tremendously. Many executives are finding that out the easy way.
Here are 5 solid reasons you should be on LinkedIn right now:
1. Polish your LinkedIn profile. A great profile (filled with appropriate keywords) will cause recruiters and hiring managers to call YOU, which is the best way of all to get a job. But paying attention to your profile also opens up your networking possibilities, and may very well lead you to a great oppportunity.
LinkedIn is one of the most important places to have an online presence because it is currently the top networking site for professionals of many industries. This is where a potential employer will look you up to see if you are a good fit for the job opening and where many people find the connections that bring them a career. It’s a very valuable resource and worth taking the time to make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and contemporary.
If your profile is out of date or incomplete, how is being on this vital networking site doing you any good? In fact, an out of date, incomplete profile will probably be doing your career harm because it reflects badly on you. So make the investment and get that profile in shape because good things will happen as a result.
Networking is one of those activities that gets shelved because you are busy. Unfortunately, it’s also one of those activities that needs to be consistent in order to do any good to your career. This is because the nature of networking is relationships, and if you only connect with people when you need them, you are viewed in a negative light. You also miss out on a lot of positive things when you don’t connect, so it’s a good idea to put it on your schedule.
Informational interviews are information-gathering sessions,usually focused on a job or career field you're interested in. They give you an opportunity to get answers about what a typical day is like, what the person likes or dislikes about the field (which is what you may like or dislike about it), what it takes to enter that field, and what it takes to be successful in it. In good informational interviews, you may even get advice on your situation and your best career/job search moves. Informational interviews are strictly for you to get the "inside scoop" from someone who knows. (FYI: If you're lucky, you might get a job lead, but it's very bad form to go into the interview expecting this person to help you get a job. If you're actively job hunting, check out my Hidden Jobs Finder. It will show you how to use LinkedIn and other tools to contact hiring managers who will have job openings for you.)
If you need an informational interview, it's probably because you are new to an area--which means you probably don't have anyone to ask to speak with you. So if you can't get an informational interview by going through your current contacts, how do you get it?
LinkedIn Business Intelligence, Ninja Tactics, and Guerilla strategies on how to follow people on LinkedIn to gather information. There are many reasons you may want to follow another person on LinkedIn. One way is to gain business intelligence for a sales meeting. A second way would be to find out what groups a business owner is in. Another is to gather information about a hiring manager for an interview.
The first way to follow people is to follow their companies on LinkedIn. You have always been able to follow companies. If the business is a target company, sign up to follow that company. Check the home page to see if there is a career page. If the company is hiring maybe they are expanding and in growth mode. The most important thing in following a company is that LinkedIn will show you all of your connections (1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree connections) that you may have within that company.
Tip: on the company page click on the number of followers for that company. The number is a hyperlink that will show you all of the followers of that company. Unfortunately you have to scroll through each and every one of them. Makes it difficult if there are 200,000 followers of a company. Read more...
LinkedIn Skill Words/Phrases are important for your success using LinkedIn. However, don’t just leave them in the skills area. You have to get creative and deliberate about the use of these skill words.
I asked LinkedIn to share with us exactly what fields are searched by the LinkedIn search tool. They declined to share this information. That’s OK - my testing answered the question for us.
There are at least eight, (yes 8) areas of your LinkedIn Profile where you should put the words and phrases that present your Skills and Expertise. Spreading these words out across your LinkedIn Profile is one way to improve the chance your profile is viewed by the right people and for you to be perceived as a professional in regards to the skill words you use.
This may sound awful, but I hope it makes you think about your LinkedIn Profile a little bit.
Obituaries list the companies and positions the recently departed worked, the charities they were involved in, their interests and hobbies. Often the obituary lists the family members, surviving and otherwise. Obituaries don't connect the professional development, skills, expertise and experiences from the past positions to the current (or most recent) positions.
Many professional LinkedIn Profiles do the same thing. They list the companies the LinkedIn member worked at, the positions they held, the work they did, their interest, hobbies, groups and associations the member has been involved in. Most LinkedIn profiles have such little information on them I have to wonder if the member actually died before completing the profile.