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Tips on How CXOs Can Optimize Their Executive LinkedIn Profiles

Many C-level executives tell me they have a LinkedIn profile but don’t really do anything with it. Other CXOs share they don’t even have a profile. Concerns range from simple lack of time or interest to privacy concerns.

WDGL-1I think the main issue is lack of understanding relative to value. Many executives simply don’t see how LinkedIn can benefit them. But there IS value in having a LinkedIn profile if you are a top executive. Below are several ideas and tips for leveraging those benefits:

Adjust Your Privacy & Settings

First, if you are concerned about privacy, in the security settings of your profile, you can change the setting for “Select who can see your connections” to “Only you.”

This way, your company and your competition cannot see who you are connected to. And if you wish to connect with others that may raise an eyebrow or two within your team (top-retained recruiters—or even your competition), no one can view your connections except for you.

Summary Statement

It’s a good idea 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!

Privacy tip: 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.

Keyword Headings

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. An advanced degree, splashy award, high-level certification, or size/scope information, such as “Fortune 500 Companies,” “Fast Growth Start-Ups,” Board Member,” 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. LinkedIn seems to work best for establishing thought leadership and to expand your network into specific areas.

Expand Your Network

When you expand 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, a few 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 more than 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 now through his LinkedIn profile.

Thought Leadership

Have your 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 broadcast? Articles are another great way to share your insight; 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.

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How Global Corporations Pick CXO’s

imagesAECAED9CWow was I glad to stumble upon this little gem of an article! Lots of very interesting insight on Global MNC’s and cultural variances associated with CXO  interviewing/hiring around the globe.

 

This is a great read.  http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/how-large-corporations-go-about-picking-cxo-level-honchos/articleshow/52811063.cms

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Harvard Business Review : The Secret to Negotiating Is Reading People’s Faces

Interesting article. I think this is very valuable information for Executives who are interviewing for senior level positions. The takeaway I got was this: slow down and remember to use all of the senses (in this case, visual) in high level interviews to determine and discern what to do and say next.  🙂

The Secret to Negotiating Is Reading People’s Faces

 

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Attention CXO’s: How to Fake It When You’re Not Feeling Confident

Great article in Harvard Business Review titled:    

How to Fake It When You’re Not Feeling Confident

My favorite takeaways from this (I do these myself!) very insightful little piece:

  • Emulate what your mentors/those you admire do
  • Baby steps: smaller pieces
  • Don’t beat yourself up for not being ready – just move forward.
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NEW: COMPLIMENTARY AUDIO “QUICK TIPS”

3-minute audios on today’s most critical career topics for multi- 6 and 7-figure executives.
These short, informational audios will give you a burst of insight to utilize immediately in your job search. Here is your first audio:
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Selected as a Top Career Website

Excited to announce we have been selected as a Top Career Website on Career Igniter!

http://www.careerigniter.com/career-websites/

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Headhunter Hiring Secrets 2.0

My colleagues Skip Freeman and Mike Garee have just released their new edition book: Headhunter Hiring Secrets 2.0. I was going through it and am really excited about the information they have compiled!

HeadhunterHiringSecrets- 2 - FRONT COVERI would like to thank them for including me in their recommended resources section.

You can grab your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Headhunter-Hiring-Secrets-2-0-Career/dp/1519631049

I also want to share a quick excerpt from page 38 on the job market. I agree with their comments and my clients have shared with me recently that they have been enjoying a surge of activity too!

 

THE JOB MARKET

Recent conversations I have had with CEOs and presidents of our recruiting firm’s client hiring companies also reflect the following trends and thinking:

  • Beginning in 2016 more cash will start flowing into the hiring process simply because it must. People and the companies they now work for have been spread far too thin for far too long and retention of top talent is a growing concern for many companies.
  • Forward-thinking companies are looking to increase investment in hiring to gain a competitive edge in their market niche(s). The post-recessionary approaches of cutting costs and staff, while still attempting to increase productivity and develop differentiating products and services, have already begun to produce diminishing returns.
  • Evolutionary thinking on workforce diversity continues to expand and is proving to be a key driver of future, sustained growth. The new thinking goes well beyond the traditional Equal Opportunity Employment (EEO) concepts and principles. In a truly global economy more intricately connected than ever before, the embrace of genuine diversity is accelerating people’s ability to learn and adopt new ideas, understand and accept a wider range of perspectives, broadening virtually everyone’s thinking about situations leading to more effective solutions, and exponentially increasing creativity as well as production.

 

 

 

 

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Powerful Tips for Leaders on Optimizing Your Time

From Harvard Business Review:

In recent years, work has become infinitely more complex.

42-15414180Technological innovations have led to round-the-clock work schedules and mounting expectations. Our assignments have grown more collaborative, requiring more coordination, conference calls, and meetings. We now face an endless barrage of distractions, from the vibrations and alerts on our smartphones to the breaking news stories and viral videos awaiting us at our desks.

Now, more than ever, we need strategies for being productive. But where do we start?

Read more here:     https://hbr.org/2015/12/9-productivity-tips-from-people-who-write-about-productivity

 

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LinkedIn for Executives: Tips VPs to CXOs MUST KNOW to Leverage the Power of LinkedIn – Part 2

linkedinPART 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.

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Five Dilemmas Facing Executives Changing Careers

Being in the role of executive can be a fulfilling and busy position. But even with the level of depth an executive has within their organization, there is always the possibility of a career change.

Proactive and successful companies are always seeking excellent talent. If you wish to be in a position to be offered employment, the company seeking the prospective employee needs to identify you as being the specific person they need. They will make an offer to the person they feel is the best fit for the role, and someone who they believe will bring significant value to their company.

They must also believe that the value justifies the salary, and likewise the salary must be sufficient for you to accept the role. If they fail to make this match with you, they will carry on searching and ultimately make an offer to someone else.

Being in the position of an executive, there are five main dilemmas you’ll face when considering a career change, albeit through your own initiative or an (un)expected offer:

The Cost of Time In Between Jobs

It’s not unusual to find yourself in a period of in between jobs. This means you will not be bringing in a salary for however long this period is. There is an opportunity cost associated with this time, you should calculate the worst case scenario before voluntary taking time out.

Effective Salary Negotiation

Careers can be determined by the amount of the salary. The company employing know how much they are willing to pay, and not a penny more. You want them to pay what you believe your worth to be, and not a penny less. Establishing the right salary at the beginning is very important, not only does it secure your immediate earnings, but influences the potential for future earnings.

Looking at How You’re Marketing Yourself

I think it’s fair to say the vast majority of executives think they can market themselves perfectly well without any help. But more often than not they have not looked for a new job in quite some time, and the landscape is always changing.

The methods they used last time will likely no longer be as relevant, and the way they see themselves might not be how others see them. So don’t be afraid to take a step back, and ask for help. Marketing yourself effectively is a large part of the equation when it comes to securing the job you want.

Securing Yourself an Interview

The amount of applicants that apply for executive level positions advertised online can reach the thousands. So, how can you put yourself in a better position of being noticed and securing an interview?

Use recruitment agencies – The mandate of a recruitment agency is to land their clients in jobs. That’s how they get paid, so if you have a proactive agency working with you they will be breaking down doors to get you an interview.

Networking – It’s an age old classic. But networking is a great way of giving yourself a small leap over many other candidates. If you can be recommended first-hand by someone you have previously crossed paths with while networking, this can be a golden opportunity.

Look for discreetly advertised jobs – Not all jobs will be posted on a popular job search site online. Some companies prefer a more discreet approach, as a way to minimize the applicants. Use this to your advantage, search the vacancies sections on company websites, read the newspapers etc.

Be Realistic

This is the one piece of advice most people do not want to hear, and it can be easily misinterpreted. Having lofty goals is great, being ambitious is noble, but always be realistic. If you are not sure how suitable or qualified you are for a position, don’t be afraid to ask the confidential opinions of colleagues and friends.

Many executive fall foul of one or more of the above mentioned dilemmas. Failure to adapt to the fast moving environment around us, or to evaluate ourselves can hold us back. It’s never too late to change career, or to apply for a job that comes up. But be methodical and realistic in your approach, and be risk-aware of the consequences.

 

About the Author:

Noel Griffith is a webmaster at Careers Wiki and works as a recruitment consultant and career advisor. He focuses on helping people find their ideal career, and giving ongoing advice in regard to finding a progressive career path to match their skill set. With a strong belief in communication and networking, Noel’s goal is to help connect the right people and forge strong professional relationships. To contact Noel you can email him at careerswiki1@gmail.com.

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