Social selling – is a sales approach focused on the use of social media to identify prospects, develop and build relationships and, eventually, close a sale.
But can social selling get you closer to your career goal? We believe that the principals of social selling are applicable to any executive job search strategy, making you simultaneously the sales person and “the product/ brand”.
With social recruiting at the center of any hiring process, your online presence has become more important than ever. That is why you shouldn’t leave anything to chance and take advantage of the social selling practices to reach your next executive position. Here’s how:
1. Build a strong, professional brand
To get noticed by recruiters and, most importantly, appear in their candidate searches, optimize your LinkedIn profile to reflect your expertise and skills. The key is to research your ideal position to identify the skills sought after and spotlight these in your headline, the summary and other sections of your profile.
LinkedIn may be the platform to prioritize, however do not neglect the others and do be consistent on the message you are communicating. A good practice is to have the same photo on all your social media accounts. Also, be consistent and pay attention to the content you are posting. Consider that social media recruitment practices entail headhunters reviewing your presence on all social platforms, not only LinkedIn!
2. Prioritize and focus your networking efforts on a specific number of prospects
Prospects are the companies you would ideally like to work for. The people in those companies could help you gain a warm introduction to the hiring manager or recommend you for specific roles.
Having well prepared your job search strategy, means that you have identified your ideal next career move in terms of position (scope, level), industry or type of company and location. Create a list of the top 10 companies you would like to work for and start following them. Aim to acknowledge the content they post and leverage the information in your social interactions.
Check your network for people who work within those companies. If you have no direct connections, then identify the most relevant contacts (who is leading the department you want to work in?) and connect with them. Actively interact with the content they post: like, comment or share it in your network.
3. Engage and provide value
Strive to be an active contributor in your industry or area of expertise. Share, like and generate original content that will position you as an expert. In addition, engage with relevant content that others post or comment on news items in your industry. This will gain you credibility amongst your peers and build your visibility in the market.
4. Build relationships
Now that you are actively following prospects in the companies you are targeting, engage with their posts and what they share. If they have a LinkedIn blog, comment on relevant articles by asking pertinent questions to get the direct attention of the writer. If you share their content, be sure to tag them in the post so they are notified of your share.
By applying these principals of social selling to your job search, you will be able to create meaningful connections and gain important insights that will help you stand out from the crowd. This can translate into a valuable advantage when applying for a role with one of your target companies. Furthermore, it could offer you access to inside information on available positions that are not advertised and that could potentially be of interest.
This article orginally appeared on the Borrer Executive Search website here.