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How to Advance Your Executive Career on LinkedIn

5 Mar, 2020

How to Advance Your Executive Career on LinkedIn

As a busy executive, you may have created a LinkedIn Profile, filled in a few sections, and then set it aside. If you’ve mostly neglected LinkedIn until you’re in the midst of a job search, you’re hardly alone.

However, most recruiters and employers are regularly combing LinkedIn for top talent. You could be missing out on a great opportunity to educate them on your leadership brand.

Here are powerful, yet straightforward tips to promote your executive career experience on LinkedIn:

1 – Start by Adding More Content to Your Profile

You might feel anxious about putting more information online, but rest assured that your colleagues, team members, and superiors are doing the same. In fact, the site has swelled to more than 600 million members, while becoming the place professionals use to find jobs or check out their competition.

First off, replace the default Headline (which is your current job) with a more apt description of your career level and areas of expertise. Keep it to 120 characters, including spaces, and pull in keywords representing your skills.

These examples can provide inspiration:

CFO, VP FP&A | IT, Audit, Tax, Treasury, & Accounting at Public Companies | Operations Efficiency & Cost Control

Healthcare CEO. Medical Affairs, Physician Relations, Compliance, & Board Accountability at Major Healthcare Systems

2 – Populate the About Section of LinkedIn

Your “About” section, formerly called the Summary, is a high-visibility area in which to mention your executive charter and expertise. Here, you can mention your own career wins, as well as successes relevant to your current employer.

Most executives opt for a blend of these categories, showing their dedication at work and concurrently touting their skills.

It’s important to mention your career level and include keywords in the About section. To build engagement with other users, write this section in first person (similar to a cover letter). Use this example of an About introduction to spark ideas for your own Profile:

EVP of Sales Skilled in New Market Penetration & Relationship-Building

As a sales leader and executive sales team manager, I’ve led forays into new markets, including Europe and Asia. As a result, ABC Company has emerged as the premier provider of widgets for the Eastern Hemisphere, helping our customers enjoy the benefits of well-made products in the health and wellness industries.

My teams have reached new sales benchmarks, backed by a unique relationship management philosophy ensuring top customer satisfaction. Results include:

    • 12% year-over-year gains in EBITDA within each division
    • Accelerated adoption of our products worldwide
    • Recurring revenue generated from a 42% increase in subscription sales

3 – Fill In Your Experience Using Keywords & Achievements

Similar to the text in your About section, your Experience section should point out relevant accomplishments. While you need not use all the content from your resume, it’s best to use some of the same keywords to help increase traffic to your Profile. As an example, a CIO might use the following text in the Experience section:

Infrastructure, Cost Savings, Business Collaboration, & IT Strategy Leadership

Lead all technology improvements for growth, supporting new company operations, compliance, and efficiency goals at major nonprofit organization.

    • Spearheaded initiative to modernize systems, creating new automation and AI capabilities.
    • Eliminated 30% of manual effort in Accounting with newly implemented ERP system; incorporated automated document routing and imaging for faster systems payback.

As you can see, this Experience entry illustrates an executive level of experience, strategic accountability, and stakeholder collaboration.

4 – Strategically Increase Your LinkedIn Activity

Don’t limit your LinkedIn activity to reading status updates and clicking on Like. To get better visibility, you’ll need to build an engagement strategy, as LinkedIn now rewards users who issue posts and comment on others’ activity. In addition, your online actions will help shape public perception of your reputation.

Start by looking at the posts in your LinkedIn Feed. After identifying posts of professional interest to you, take the time to issue a comment related to your experience as an executive. This activity will signal LinkedIn to make your Profile appear more readily in searches on your skills.

Of course, you can also post articles or share links to items related to your field. Be attentive to the content you share online, as all LinkedIn activity becomes public. As a bonus, your posting activity will show in a prominent section called Featured, which appears immediately under your About section.

You will also benefit from following thought leaders in your field and companies that interest you; this activity helps you locate their posts and issue professional commentary.

5 – Accept Most Connections

As a last step, continue to engage with others on LinkedIn by accepting their connection invitations (and issuing some of your own). Even if you don’t personally know a user who reaches out to you for a Connection, you can start building a relationship. The first step, of course, is actually accepting the request!

Doing so will help you fortify your brand and promote your reputation among other leaders, with a broader network that can put you degrees closer to the right contacts.

In summary, don’t neglect or shy away from LinkedIn in your executive job search. A strong Profile, healthy network, and engaging presence can draw the right attention for your career.

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