How to Use the New LinkedIn for Executive Personal Branding – Part 3

by Meg Guiseppi on July 1, 2013

In Part 1 of this 3-part series on LinkedIn, personal branding and executive job search I covered:

  • Why All Executives Need to be on LinkedIn
  • Getting Your Personal Brand Into Your LinkedIn Profile
  • Customizing Your LinkedIn Profile URL for Better SEO

In Part 2 I discussed:

  • Why You Really Need to Include a Photo
  • Taking Advantage of the Skills & Expertise Section
  • Expanding Your Network with Quality Connections
  • Benefitting from LinkedIn’s Company Follow
  • Updating Your LinkedIn Network

Part 3 here covers:

    • Getting and Giving Great Recommendations
    • Getting Busy With LinkedIn Groups
    • Tapping into LinkedIn’s Jobs Pages
    • LinkedIn and Confidential Job Search


Getting and Giving Great Recommendations

Work on cultivating relevant recommendations from the right people. You want their recommendations to reinforce your brand and the value you offer. It’s okay to let them know what points you’d like mentioned when they recommend you. More in my posts, How to Get the Best LinkedIn Recommendations and Surprise Someone with a LinkedIn Recommendation.

Write recommendations for others. People looking at their recommendations usually view profiles of those who make recommendations.

Getting Busy With LinkedIn Groups

Groups provide an opportunity to listen in on, learn from and join conversations with your network(s) and people who can help you achieve your career goals. See what groups your connections and target list of decision makers belong to by looking at their profiles.

Join if they’re open Groups and start contributing. Position yourself as an industry thought leader and subject matter expert, while rubbing elbows and staying top of mind with your target decision makers.

To find Groups:

  • Go to the search field at the top of your profile
  • In the drop-down menu, click on “Groups”
  • Enter relevant keywords

Some groups are open to all and allow instant membership. For others, you may be subject to review by the group manager.

When you join, elect to display the group logo on your profile. This is a good way to let people who are assessing you see that you’re an active, savvy LinkedIn user and to check out your Group activities.

Join and begin giving value by commenting on existing discussions and starting your own.

  • Post relevant news items that will be of interest to members. Add your own blog posts or articles to broadcast your personal brand and value proposition.
  • Respond to Group members who need help.
  • Join affinity Groups for your companies, industry and areas of expertise.
  • Think about starting your own LinkedIn Group.
  • Join Groups where you can learn from personal branding and job search experts.

If you’re in an undercover job search, be very careful not to post anything to Groups that will “out” your search (more about confidential job search below).

Tapping into LinkedIn’s Jobs Pages

LinkedIn has many exclusive job listings you won’t find anywhere else. Along with looking at “Company” pages for their job listings, as described above, look at the “Jobs” tab in the main menu along the top of any page for links to job descriptions and application capability.

LinkedIn and Confidential Job Search

Are you job hunting now or planning a search in the near future, but afraid your employer will find out, so you’re hunting on the sly? Are you afraid that even having a LinkedIn profile at all will “out” that you’re job hunting?

Don’t worry. LinkedIn is an accepted (and vital) part of ongoing healthy career management. Being on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you’re looking for a job. But having a strong LinkedIn profile is one of the best passive search tools. Recruiters will probably find you and connect with you, if you look like a good fit for jobs they’re trying to fill.

You can easily optimize your LinkedIn profile to make it more search-friendly, without having it scream “I’m looking for a job”.

Make sure it’s updated with your latest achievements and contributions, and clearly communicates your ROI value to your target employers.

Whenever you’re about to make changes to your profile, first turn off your Activity Broadcasts (this is different from your “Activity Feed” described in Part 2 of this series), so your connections won’t be notified that you’ve made a change and possibly be alerted that you’re prepping your profile for a job search.

To change your Activity Broadcast, go to Settings, then “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.” Choose “Off” and remember to turn it back “On” (“Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies”), once you’re all finished making changes.

Be careful about your contributions to LinkedIn Groups. Many Groups are open to public search. Don’t broadcast that you’re job searching here, or anywhere online or offline, especially on sites and web pages that are open to search engines. You’re probably not telling your real-life network that you’re looking, right? Don’t tell your online network either.

Chances are your company’s other executives and c-suite all have a LinkedIn presence, and your company itself probably has a profile, too. Take a look at your co-workers’ profiles. Anything there hinting that they’re job searching? If you happen to know that any of them ARE job hunting, see how they handle it in their profiles.

More in my post Using LinkedIn For Confidential Executive Job Search.

Stay Current with LinkedIn’s Latest Features by check the LinkedIn blog from time to time for tips, advice, new features and resources.

Related posts:

Online Presence and Personal Brand Management: 5 Things to Remember

Social Recruiting and Your Executive Job Search

LinkedIn’s Free Executive Job Search Resources

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