It is no secret that executives have hectic schedules and are often left with little or no time to allocate for social networking, both online or in person. But could a half-hearted approach to LinkedIn actually be harming your reputation, your brand, your organization and your future?
Here’s four reasons why it might be time to reprioritize and find time for LinkedIn:
1. A Half-Hearted LinkedIn Harms Your Reputation
Regardless of whether you are in an active job search or not, your LinkedIn profile is an extension of your personal brand so must be proactively maintained.
LinkedIn can be a great resource to showcase your expertise and interact with (and strengthen) your professional network. As an executive, you are being searched for regularly by strategic partners, customers, executive recruiters and potential employers. Due to the algorithms of most search engines, your LinkedIn profile is likely to be the top listed result when your name is searched. How will you be perceived? If your LinkedIn profile does not look professional, up-to-date, or is not complete with a photo, you are creating a negative impression of yourself and your work, resulting in missed opportunities.
To leverage LinkedIn to proactively enhance their reputation, many executives use LinkedIn to publish thought-leadership articles, participate in group discussions and by sharing content related to their expertise. Such activity highlights their proficiency and makes them more likely to enter the radars of executive recruiters. Its never too late to improve your profile and strengthen your personal brand.
2. It Can Also Harm Your Company’s Reputation
As an executive, you are an ambassador for your company. As will be already aware, your personal brand and that of your company are unavoidably interconnected. In fact, many executives find that their number of LinkedIn profile views increases when their company launches a new product, appears in publications or on television.
With such strong ties to your company, if you are not taking a mindful approach to your LinkedIn profile, you could be unintentionally damaging your companies brand too. Conversely, those who understand the power of their executive brand can often create positive, measurable impact for their organization.
3. You Are Not Showcasing Your Value
LinkedIn is often used as a resource for executive recruiters both when searching for new talent and when researching potential candidates.
LinkedIn provides executives with a vital platform to showcase their value, their experience and their expertise in a more detailed way than they are limited to in their two-page resume. Ensure you take advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate your worth. Emanating from your LinkedIn profile should be your passion for your work, what makes you a unique candidate, your key accomplishments and a reference to your future direction and goals. Don’t get passed over for new executive opportunities by recruiters and potential employers. Create a profile that will leave them wanting more and asking for a call!
4. You Are Not Allowing Yourself to Be Visible to the Right People
If you have a LinkedIn profile that does not include the appropriate keywords for your career and professional goals, you are impairing your chances of appearing in executive recruiter searches and from being selected as a candidate for new roles. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized for success and attractive to recruiters.
For those with no profile, in an age where everyone is online, not having a profile can be even more harmful. It often creates the impression that you are not up-to-speed with modern technology at a time when this is a vital skill for executives to possess, that you are perhaps no-longer in the executive job market, or that you are otherwise closed off to networking and new opportunities. If this is not the impression that you are trying to create, now is the time to take action.
To have a successful executive career management strategy, your LinkedIn profile needs to be complete, keyword optimized and frequently updated to appear in active searches and to appear visible and relevant to the right audiences.