There are some clear benefits of using LinkedIn. With over 220 million subscribers, LinkedIn is clearly the world’s more prominent networking tool with many different features, add-ons and enhancements. We find that many executives simply register and then forget about LinkedIn rather than using it as a proactive tool for building contacts networks over time. The reality is, many opportunities can be found via LinkedIn and it should be used as an integral part of any job search strategy. There are many reasons as to why executives flock to this site and why it is important to establish an effective online presence. We summarise some key features of LinkedIn and how it can benefit executives in terms of finding employment opportunities, increasing presence within any given sector and building stronger LinkedIn networks.
Benefits of Using LinkedIn for Executives
Online Presence – Executive LinkedIn Profiles
For people higher up the career ladder, there is an increased expectation of having a viable online presence to showcase experience, skills and unique selling points to prospective employers or executive headhunters. This is an effective marketing tool that should be embraced by executives, with clear focus on building LinkedIn networks over time.
Personal Branding / Marketing
For top executives, an online presence will only work if makes the right impression, targets specific industry sectors and sells executive leadership credentials. This is all part of personal branding and marketing executives in a consistent (effective) way aligned to a clearly defined strategy / message. The most effective executive LinkedIn profiles take into account personal branding elements.
LinkedIn means that executives, employers and headhunters can engage with each other across international boundaries. This is one of the many benefits of using LinkedIn as it reflects executives operating in a global job market with diverse opportunities. LinkedIn has further developed its technology platforms with additional features / enhancements to improve networking and the global reach of executives.
Hidden Job Market
With 70% of jobs not advertised, LinkedIn often becomes very important for securing unadvertised jobs by building contacts networks, following companies and joining groups. This can be the least competitive route as subscribers can receive job updates and opportunities that are not as widely advertised as others.
Job Hunting Tool
There is a useful job board platform where employers advertise jobs and subscribers can receive job alerts directly to their inbox. Executives can find opportunities using different job search attributes to narrow down options and refine what they are looking for by employer, location and job title for example.
Effective Research Tool
People in executive positions with have some form of online presence, so identifying key decision-makers for targeting individuals and constructing a job search around. This can be used to research names, job titles and useful facts to help underpin job searches.
Executive headhunting firms are very proactive on LinkedIn as it is a cost-effective way of researching, targeting and engaging with prospective candidates. Therefore, it is essential to have a presence on LinkedIn to increase chances of being found and contacted by executive headhunters.
Building Contacts / LinkedIn Networks
LinkedIn gives a different dimension to job hunting strategies by building extended networks, developing contacts, following companies and joining groups. It is important to proactively build contacts over time by being proactive and only accepting those contacts likely to influence future careers.
Having a growing set of high-level contacts with fellow executives shows LinkedIn profile owners are in good company with people at a similar level. This also serves to elevate industry reputation, especially if connected to a number of influential contacts within a give sector and executive headhunters are looking at who is connected to whom.
Engaging with likeminded people, industry leaders and opinion formers helps to stayed ahead by keeping informed of industry developments and latest innovations. Executives can subscribe to feeds, follow groups and engage with leading people as a convenient way of updating knowledge.
Many LinkedIn features are offered free of charge. However, there are different levels of subscription available to access a whole range of added features. Deciding on whether to subscribe to LinkedIn is an individual decision, so carefully evaluate likely benefits of joining.
Executive LinkedIn Profiles: Conclusion
Executives should think about personal branding, marketing strategies and having an effective online presence using LinkedIn. There should be a clear strategy and an optimal message to help engage with employers, headhunters and industry contacts, without saying too much, divulging commercially-sensitive information and creating too much attention from existing employers (sensitive issue if looking for other opportunities), whilst in a current role). Executives can even be a bit bolder in terms of what they have done and what they are looking for by engaging with a wider audience. See infographic highlighting ways to expand LinkedIn networks.
These are just some ideas on best ways to use LinkedIn and executive LinkedIn profiles. There are some significant advantages of using LinkedIn, most notably for giving a different dimension to any executive job search and building LinkedIn networks. Click link for more information on help writing executive LinkedIn profiles and services for establishing an online presence.