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LinkedIn has rapidly grown into the dominant online network for professionals. It’s a venue for you to be found by executive recruiters and potential employers, a great way for you to extend your professional network, and the perfect forum for building your online visibility and showcasing your expertise.
 
It’s essential to make your LinkedIn profile as powerful, professional, and distinctive as possible. If yours is incomplete, weak, or simply a reiteration of your executive resume/CV, use these tips to make sure your profile is helping, not hurting, your career transition:
 
1. Make it personal:

Is social media a waste of time or a valuable networking tool that can help you stand out to potential employers and executive recruiters? The answer is actually both depending on how you use it. If used properly, social networking gives you a chance to demonstrate your thought leadership and set yourself apart from your competition. As an executive and leader, it is critical to demonstrate your expertise online and manage your online brand with the following tips.
 

Networking has become so much a part of the corporate nomenclature that some executives can’t get through a day without making reference to this ultimate act of business schmoozing. And while membership in peer networking groups can be a beneficial means of meeting up with other “movers and shakers,” following up on those associations may be the ultimate “contact” sport.

New survey reveals that while a vast majority of Australian executives have an active and up-to-date LinkedIn profile, only 6 percent had found a job as a result of membership. 

Recent survey by BlueSteps, the career management service of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), looked into the role of social networking websites and the role that they play in career management.

The first BlueSteps seminar of the year was a great success. With a panel of senior-level executive recruiters, career coaches and expert LinkedIn users, the seminar helped attendees thoroughly understand the importance of LinkedIn, the benefits of keeping it up-to-date and exactly what executive recruiters look for and expect on a candidate’s profile. Cheryl Simpson (LinkedIn Job Search Strategist and Executive Career Coach) began the seminar with an overview of one’s personal brand on their profile, online privacy and profile extras. It was emphasized in the following discussion, by every panelist, how imperative it is to keep your profile up-to-date.
The concept of 24x7 networking might seem a little farfetched. After all, you’re only one person, right? And you’re probably also a busy executive with a lot of responsibilities demanding your attention. So how does 24x7 networking fit into that picture?
 
First, let’s step back a bit. As you probably realize, networking has a lot of sides to it. Many people tend to think first of in-person (face-to-face) networking, such as you might do when you attend a variety of business-related events. That’s where the idea of 24x7 networking seems incredible. Obviously, you can’t be in more than one place at a time—at least, no one I’ve heard of has figured out a way to do that yet.
 
This month (January, 2013) LinkedIn announced they now have 200 million members worldwide. With LinkedIn’s influence on the business industry becoming more and more evident, it is increasingly apparent how important having the ‘perfect profile’ is, especially as a senior level executive.
 
The increase in LinkedIn members means an increase in competition for those actively or passively looking for jobs. More than 22 million Americans used social networks to find their most recent job opportunity. What are recruiters for senior level executive jobs looking for? How do they prioritize candidates based on their LinkedIn profile? How can senior level executives stand out and be selected as a candidate?
 
Recruiters and hiring decision makers routinely scour the Internet when they’re vetting executive candidates. Make sure you're monitoring your online footprint.

Here are a couple of tips to help you get started:
  • Set up a Google Alert for your name and Google will send you an email when your name is published online. It’s also a good idea to set up alerts for various relevant key word phrases, so you’ll be notified when others are writing about topics of interest to you.
     
Reputation.com CEO Michael Fertik recently appeared on CNBC to discuss the importance of managing your online reputation. BlueSteps members receive Reputation.com’s MyReputation Discovery for free. With BlueSteps and Reputation.com, you have the right tools to manage your executive career and your online reputation.