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Using LinkedIn as an Executive Career Progression Tool - Part Two

LinkedIn is commonly used to “get to someone” in order to make a sale, form a partnership, or get a job. It works well for this kind of communication because it is an online network of more than 8.5 million experienced professionals from around the world representing 130 industries. Still, as a tool for executive job hunting and career management, LinkedIn is often underutilized. Read on for the second installment of the top ten ways to increase the value of LinkedIn as part of your executive job and career development strategy.

  1. Increase the relevancy of your executive job search

    Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to find people with educational and work experience like yours, to find out where they work. For example, an IT specialist might use search keywords such as “Ruby on Rails,” “C++,” “Python,” “Java,” or “evangelist” to find out where other programmers with these skills work.

  2. Help your executive job interview go smoothly

    You can use LinkedIn to find the people that you’re meeting. Knowing that you went to the same school, both play hockey, or share acquaintances can give you much better material to start your interview than “I’m doing fine, thank you.”

  3. Gauge the health of a company

    Perform an advanced search for company name and uncheck the “Current Companies Only” box. This will enable you to scrutinize the rate of turnover and whether key people are abandoning ship. Former employees usually give more candid opinions about a company’s prospects than those who are still on board.
  4. Gauge the health of an industry

    If you’re thinking of investing or working in a sector, use LinkedIn to find executives who worked for competitors – or even better, for companies who failed. For example, suppose you wanted to take on an executive position with an online pet store: you’d probably learn a lot from speaking with former Pets.com or WebVan employees.
  5. Track startups

    Interested in executive positions at startups?  You can see people in your network who are initiating new startup companies by doing an advanced search for a range of keywords such as “stealth” or “new startup.” Apply the “Sort By” filter to “Degrees away from you” in order to see the people closest to you first.
Want to learn more about maximizing your personal brand and visibility online through social networking sites such as LinkedIn? BlueSteps offers an audio download of the Executive Seminar How to Build Your Personal Brand and Visibility Online, delivered by Patti Wilson, founder of careercompany.com. Rise straight to the top of Google search!

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BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com.

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