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Very few of us have the luxury of sitting back and letting the world come to us especially when it comes to maintaining an executive presence. Maintaining and raising your executive profile is an exercise in continuous improvement and one that pays dividends in a competitive executive job market. 
 
Here are a number of ways that you can stay relevant and active even when you’re not conducting an executive job search:
 
Optimize your LinkedIn profile. Many executive recruiters and HR Directors use LinkedIn as their key-recruiting tool. That means that you need to maximize your LinkedIn profile in order to be visible. So what exactly does this mean?  If you want someone to find you on LinkedIn, then you need to be on the first page of the results of a search. For example, if you want to be considered for Digital Media CFO Jobs, then you need to find all the appropriate keywords that land you on the first page of a search with the words “Digital Media CFO”.
 
In other words, always keep your LinkedIn profile current and fresh. If you can’t figure out how to do this, then hire a LinkedIn expert to help you. It’s all about keyword placement, and it is easy to do once you understand how LinkedIn searches work.
 
Find your niche – beyond traditional networking. Right now, my niche is writing articles. It keeps me current, engaged and maintains my profile in the market. Other forms of niches are speaking engagements, teaching courses, coordinating networking events, etc.
 
Choose your external non-work events wisely. It is possible to go to an event every day or night, but that would be exhausting and difficult to keep up. So choose events where you will meet peers or senior executives. When you have limited time, it is important that you use that time wisely.
 
Network, network, network. There is no substitute for constant networking. It keeps you top of mind, links you to other contacts, keeps you engaged and provides you with market information. The importance of networking cannot be over emphasized in your career management strategy.
 
Here’s one important point about all these tactics. The only real way to make them effective is to set goals for yourself. Push yourself to reach the goals you set. In a time when we have limited hours, it is human nature to not focus on these goals or to be somewhat complacent. For example, make sure you mark your calendar once a quarter as a reminder to update your LinkedIn profile for any important information. Do not wait until you need to find a job to update your profile. Focus on staying on that first page of results. If your niche is to write articles, pursue ways to do that once a quarter. Once you become an active participant, these activities become easier to maintain. And if you go to events and network, then set a goal of 3 networking activities a week, either thru meals, coffee or events. Between, breakfast, lunch and after work, you have at least 15 opportunities a week to network so 3 is not that high a number.
 
Like most in things in life, maintaining and raising your executive profile is hard work but pays dividends if done well. All these tactics, if practiced continuously, will keep you fresh and maintain and raise your executive profile in a cluttered and busy world.
 
BlueSteps Executive Guest Writer

Gary Starr BlueSteps Executive Guest Writer
Gary Starr is the Chief Financial Officer of Affinity Solutions, a technology marketing company, and he has over 25 years of financial experience at Time Inc, Archstone Consulting, Martha Stewart Omnimedia and IAC.

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