Home

I get a lot of questions about using LinkedIn. For some of them, the answer is obvious. Should you put up a profile picture? Yes, of course. Some questions, however, have no definite answer.

Bear with me, as I try to explain some of the tricky situations you might encounter while using LinkedIn:
 

Is it a good idea to accept all invitations to connect on LinkedIn? If not, what criteria should be followed?

LinkedIn is business networking on steroids. Imagine going to a conference and receiving fifty business cards in 10 minutes, that’s how crazy it can get. But like typical networking events, some of the LinkedIn invites you receive will be of no interest to you.

Don’t accept all invites you get. Connect with a purpose.

When you hear the words social media, what do you think? Some believe it’s nothing more than an intrusion on their privacy, others are intimidated by it, and there are those who don’t believe it is worth their time. Although social media still generates some negative thoughts, more and more senior executives are gaining the experience and understanding the positive impact social media can have on the success of their careers, replacing any reservations or negativity they may have previously had. There are many things in our lives that we may not like that we’re free to change, but social media is not one of them!

Executive bios take branding to another level, linking an executive’s softer skills to their value proposition in a way that isn’t possible to emphasize in a resume. BlueSteps allows you to include your executive bio in your career profile, so it’s important to have a professionally written bio that will represent you in the best light. To clarify any confusion around executive bios, let’s look at a few points:

Purpose:

  • To reflect who you are and what you have accomplished in your career 
  • To reinforce your brand
  • To tell your career story with more personality

It complements your resume:

Oscar*, a recently down-sized finance executive, had no interest in attending the wedding of a neighbor’s daughter. His lack of motivation to engage in social activities was a common side effect of corporate terminations. In fact, he was more apt to engage in a pity party than a celebratory reception. But, realizing that “happy wife, happy life” had longer lasting consequences, he acquiesced to his wife’s urgings to attend, albeit unenthusiastically.

Most executives that are not in technology or media companies cringe when blogging is suggested to them. The stereotype of bloggers is that of people ranting and raging on ridiculous topics, or writing a daily diary of their mundane lives. Well, it may have started that way but it has evolved into a strategic marketing tool for both companies and professionals wanting to advance their careers.

Rationale for Blogging

Is there a compelling rationale for executive blogging? Yes. In fact there are statistics that demonstrate that as well.

BlueSteps members have exclusive access to the database of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants – global recruiting professionals who are placing executives at companies all around the world. However, simply “spamming” these recruiters with your resume is not the way to create connections and build a network.

Always remember that recruiters are not in the business of finding jobs for people. Rather, they are paid to find a small slate of well-qualified candidates for their client companies. They regard themselves as experts at finding the right person through research, outreach, and insider knowledge. They are not “trolling for resumes.”

When launching your executive job search campaign while employed, there are always a few concerns. The biggest concern is that your current employer might find out. Some consider this “disloyal” behavior, even if they themselves would have no issue with poaching an executive from a competitor.

A few companies have internal or unwritten policies that an employee (executive or otherwise) who is discovered searching for a new job should be replaced as soon as possible, rather than be stuck having to quickly fill a key position when that person gives notice. For this reason, if your job search is discovered, the company may start to seek your replacement, even if you haven’t announced you’re looking, much less leaving.

BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of Increasing Your Visibility to Executive Search Consultants, featuring Catherine Bell, from BluEra, Frank Therber, from Daubenspeck & Associates, LTD., and John Touey, from Salveson Stetson Group Inc.

Some of the questions asked included:

BlueSteps chats with Suzanne Garber, founder and chairwoman of Gauze, an international healthcare technology firm dedicated to connecting patients with hospitals around the world, and author of the recently published book, SAFETY NETwork: A Tale of Ten Truths of Executive Networking.

Suzanne GarberFirst of all, thank you for taking the time to speak with BlueSteps about executive networking and your new book, Safety NETwork. Can you tell us a little about your background?

In-person networking events can cause apprehension for even the most experienced executives. However, attending such events can have a huge impact on your career trajectory, so it is vital that executives should make time for networking in their schedules.

Even if you are not actively seeking a new role, it is important to start building your network as soon as possible. The key to efficient networking has always been to build a network before you need one. It is vital to remember that networking should always be a mutually beneficial practice and you should try to have something to offer those you are seeking to connect with.