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The Executive Jobseeker’s Guide to using LinkedIn

Written by Kimberley Startup | March 26, 2012 | 2 Comments

Have you got your sights on the next step of the career ladder? Would you like to find a way to leverage your existing network to find out who’s seeking their next top performer?

As a career-minded executive serious about development, you may be using a number of resources to raise your profile and identify your next career move. Whether you attend networking events or use the services of specialist headhunters, there are a range of tools available to those seeking senior appointments.

But what about social media? How can it help you to tap into job opportunities and connect with those influential contacts to help you find your ideal role?

LinkedIn is a business networking powerhouse. At the time of writing, it boasts over 150,000,000 professionals, 1,244,980 groups, and 2436,272 business pages – cementing its status as the networking hub for professionals all over the world.

So how can you use LinkedIn to network and generate opportunities? Here are our top ten executive tips to help you take advantage of the many benefits LinkedIn offers.

1. Create a strategy

Decide what you want to achieve by using LinkedIn. Are you looking to build connections, target particular business owners or engage with like-minded professionals within your field? Whatever your objective, ensure to set realistic goals and create a plan to achieve them.

2. Ensure your profile is up-to-date

Make sure your profile is current and 100% complete. The first impression you make with other professionals is through your profile, so it needs to create an impact. It needs to highlight your achievements and skills, and ultimately, make people want to connect with you.

3. Demonstrate a valued proposition

Project a valued proposition and identify your personal brand based on your past performance, whilst demonstrating your work history, career success, education and activities.

4. Avoid corporate-speak; use your own voice

The most successful executive LinkedIn profiles are those who think about their audience, and stand out from the crowd. Think about what drives you. What would your boss and colleagues say about you? Why are you successful? Translate this into statements that demonstrate your most valuable assets.

5. Open up opportunities

With millions of professionals to meet on LinkedIn, the chances are there are going to be some important connections for you to make. Connect with new people, as well as former colleagues and classmates. All of these can be of equal importance for your professional advancement.

6. Start discussions

As an expert in your field, get noticed for your thought leadership by starting discussions within groups. Engage with professionals by demonstrating how you could add value to a company.

7. Create a group

If you feel there is a certain need for a group to be started on LinkedIn – don’t be afraid to be the initiator. If there is already a group on your chosen subject, get your name associated with that topic and become an active participant within the group.

8. Timing is everything

Set aside a certain amount of time every day to dedicate to your LinkedIn activities, even if it’s just 15 minutes. By engaging on a regular basis, you will get the most out of your network.

9. Utilise LinkedIn’s ‘Answers’

LinkedIn’s ‘Answers’ is probably one of the most effective ways to build credibility and generate qualified leads.  Located under the ‘More’ tab, this tool is often overlooked but it is invaluable not only when seeking knowledge, but to help others develop theirs too.  Aim to find one or two questions a week that you have an opinion or perspective on, and offer your answer.

10. Resume to hand

One you’ve built your profile; if you need a CV, you can convert your profile into a pretty close match by using LinkedIn’s PDF feature. LinkedIn limits the number of words you can use in each section, so it provides the kind of accurate and succinct writing used in the most successful resumes.

By building your executive LinkedIn profile to be big on brand and value whilst creating an immediate impact, you will increase your chances of getting the attention of a good company. In fact, you could out-compete your competition and potentially land your next opportunity.

Looking for more information? View this infographic  to find out how other executives use LinkedIn to find a job.

2 thoughts on “The Executive Jobseeker’s Guide to using LinkedIn

  1. Social-Hire on Reply

    Some great points here. The only one to qualify would be 7 – Create A Group. Becoming an active participant of an existing group – as you go on to suggest – is a great way of becoming known in a particular domain… and to make others aware of your expertise and professional manner. Creating – and therefore being responsible for managing – a group is quite a different undertaking. This is a serious commitment of time and a route we’d be wary of recommending unless the group is going to directly contribute to the results you’re able to deliver in your existing role.

    1. leonamatson on Reply

      @ Social Hire. Thank you for your feedback. In regards to point 7 – I agree. As with any form of social media, to be successful, it takes time and commitment and you must engage regularly in order to see any sort of return.

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