Want to build your personal brand, accelerate your executive job search and land a good-fit job faster?
Get busy on LinkedIn.
Executive recruiters and hiring decision makers at your target companies rely heavily on LinkedIn when they’re sourcing and assessing executive job candidates.
- If they don’t find you there at all, you may be virtually invisible to them.
- If you have a minimal, mediocre presence on LinkedIn, they’re going to wonder whether you know how to navigate the new world of work, which includes being social media savvy.
- If you have a strong and active presence on LinkedIn, and your personal brand is evident, you’ve probably upped your chances of being a candidate of interest.
LinkedIn is a robust site offering many ways to get your personal brand and job search in sync.
Step one in job search is targeting and researching specific employers that are a mutual good fit for you.
Targeting and research are also critical for defining and communicating your personal brand.
You’ll need to know who you’ll be writing your personal marketing communications for and how to speak about the value you offer specific companies or organizations.
LinkedIn is a good place to start doing research on your target employers:
- Identify companies for your target list by doing a LinkedIn search of keywords related to the kind of job you want and seeing which companies that leads you to.
- Look at the LinkedIn company profiles for each company on your target list.
- Then take a look at the LinkedIn profiles of employees of each company. See if you know them. Connect with them.
- Employees you don’t know may also be ones to invite to connect with you.
- Check LinkedIn Jobs to see if your target companies are looking for people like you. Make note of the qualifications needed.
Leverage all that LinkedIn has to offer – both passively and proactively – to promote the unique value you offer your target employers.
Here’s how LinkedIn works for you passively and proactively.
For Passive Personal Branding and Job Search
Build a robust LinkedIn profile that will lead people to you:
- Create an SEO-friendly Professional Headline.
- Add a professional photo. Profiles with photos get more views.
- Write a dazzling Summary section. Tell your personal brand story. Generate chemistry!
- Add the maximum 50 skills in the Skills & Endorsements section.
- Fully populate every other applicable profile section, including the little-used sections – Languages, Volunteering Experience, Organizations, Honors & Awards, Courses, Patents, Publications, Projects, Certifications.
- Include bullet points and plenty of white space throughout your profile, so it’s easier for people to read and encourages them to read down the web page.
- Be ever-mindful of Personal SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and keyword density in your profile content.
For Proactive Personal Branding and Job Search
Log into your account regularly to promote your personal brand, demonstrate your subject matter expertise and express your thought leadership.
Build and engage your LinkedIn network:
- Build your connections to at least 500, to boost your LinkedIn search ranking.
- Develop a strategy and emails to connect with people you don’t know, who will be important to network with.
- Connect with executive recruiters in your field and hiring decision makers at your target companies.
- Include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume, in your email signature and website (if you have one).
Stay top-of-mind with people who can help you meet your career goals:
- Prioritize Skills & Endorsements regularly, as people give you endorsements and your list shifts.
- Share updates regularly, say, once a week or so.
- Refresh the content in your profile regularly to align with your current job search/career focus, and to upgrade with current relevant keywords. This is known as “updating” your profile.
- Join and participate regularly in LinkedIn Groups.
- Write articles for LinkedIn’s Pulse long-form publishing platform.
- Write LinkedIn recommendations for colleagues, co-workers, team members, etc. and ask for recommendations for yourself.
- Reach out to your network regularly to see how they’re doing, offer support and pass along something of interest to them.
LinkedIn Works for You, Even If You’re in a Confidential Job Search, or Not Job-Hunting At All
If you’re still employed and job-hunting undercover, as so many job-seekers are, LinkedIn is still for you.
Write the content in your profile so that it supports your good-fit qualities for your target companies while supporting your current company, without saying outright that you’re looking for a job.
Proactively promote yourself as an employee of your current company, while promoting your personal brand, subject matter expertise and thought leadership.
Not just for job search, LinkedIn is also an accepted overall career management tool.
When you’re employed and not looking for a new job, stay busy on LinkedIn:
- Keep yourself top-of-mind with your business network.
- Expand your business network with new faces.
- Build your profile content around the value both you and your company offer.
- Support your current company with your LinkedIn activities – updates, Groups, publishing articles on Pulse, etc.
This article was first posted on Job-Hunt.org, for my gig as the Personal Branding with LinkedIn Expert.
More About LinkedIn and Executive Job Search
You’ll find lots more LinkedIn tips and strategies in “My Top 10 Posts on LinkedIn for Personal Branding and Executive Job Search“.