So, you’ve filled in your LinkedIn Profile with all the right data: an attention-getting Headline, solid About section, robust Skills, and appropriate Experience.
However, it’s possible that your carefully selected LinkedIn Photo doesn’t even show up!
Here’s why: You neglected to make it visible.
People outside your network cannot see you unless your Profile Photo Visibility is set for Public views. Here’s why this is important: according to LinkedIn, the ability to see your face online can net you up to 21 times more Profile views.
Believe it or not, many people unknowingly neglect to choose the right Photo settings, meaning there are countless faceless Profiles on LinkedIn.
Yours could be among them if you haven’t checked Visibility settings.
So you not only need to select and upload a great headshot, but if you don’t take the right steps, it won’t be seen by prospective connections (here, we’re talking about recruiters or employers).
Changing your Photo from faceless to easily found is simple.
Sign into LinkedIn and click on the pencil icon next to your photo; you’ll see an eye icon at the lower left of your photo.
Clicking here will show you the current settings and allow you to select Public, which is the ONLY setting that ensures full access to your Photo. This is also the default setting.
Note that the other settings (Your connections, Your network, All LinkedIn members) will NOT guarantee that employers or recruiters can see it.
If you did intend to restrict your Photo views, reconsider.
Think about what happens when you’re confused and trying to track someone down on LinkedIn. Without a photo, how can you tell if you’re looking at the right Profile?
Remember, you’re on LinkedIn to build professional connections and establish rapport: both are crucial steps to reaching next-level career success.
Unless you have a GOOD reason to hide your Photo, the Public Visibility setting will be the best choice to support your job search.
Nothing is as unique as your face… so ensure your LinkedIn audience can match it to your value proposition, name, and reputation.
Maybe you’ve always been recruited, or jobs just “found” you in the past – but now, things have changed.
You could face an increasing level of competition when hunting a new C-suite or leadership job.
After the economic volatility of recent years, many executives have gotten serious about job search, taking the time to market themselves with a carefully constructed brand message on social media. They’re more aware of what works on a resume and how to leverage personal connections, especially in a crowded market.
Your CXO job search now looks much different; putting out a hastily created resume, weak LinkedIn Profile, or half-hearted networking effort won’t suffice.
Take these steps for success in the new reality of executive job search:
1 – Undertake a thorough exercise in personal branding for your resume.
Still adding new jobs to that old resume – pushing down older positions? It’s time to upgrade.
Executive resume trends have changed so much that you might not know how to pull out all the stops to showcase your skills.
Invest time in gathering top career achievements, including metrics that frame your results. Document budgets you’ve managed, initiatives you’ve led, and promotions earned, as well as the accolades behind them. You can even pull in a “sound bite” from references to emphasize your ROI.
Distill accomplishments into short, potent sentences – because recruiters aren’t willing to navigate 6+ pages in their quest for a new leader.
2 – Cultivate and grow your executive network even further.
By staying active with highly visible positions on Boards and professional associations, you’ll be more likely to become recommended to a recruiter or business owner who needs your expertise.
You’ll also gain near-immediate credibility by volunteering for a position or speaking engagement within an industry group.
You can elevate your reputation as a thought leader by publishing content or white papers for industry journals, participating in podcasts, or posting relevant, brand-focused content on social media. You can amass followers by promoting and commenting on similar articles, particularly those that align with your leadership brand.
3 – Make LinkedIn a strong tool in your job-hunting arsenal.
Ignored LinkedIn because you don’t know how to use it? Barely filled in your Profile?
Don’t wait any longer, because it’s one of the first places employers will be checking you out! Get your LinkedIn Profile updated as soon as possible, adding career wins aligned with your executive status.
Write a powerful, relevant Headline and Summary to position yourself at the right level. Learn how to join and use Groups, Status Updates, and other site functions, without waiting for the “right” time. (Hint: there is no right time.)
Accept connections from other LinkedIn users and issue a few of your own. Be careful not to show your frustration with social media during the learning curve, as this will brand you in a negative light.
4 – Contact recruiters – but remember to pay it forward.
Haven’t taken a recruiter’s call in years? Reconsider.
There’s a continual need for talented C-suite leaders who can guide strategic decisions, implement emerging technologies, transform sales organizations, and mentor the next generation.
Picking up the phone and passing along credible names to a recruiter can be a good move, especially if you want to be among those courted for a new 6 or 7 figure position. Staying on the headhunter’s radar can pay off in both your near and long-term future.
5 – Accept changes in your industry – and in the job search.
Your line of work or industry may have undergone substantial changes in the past few years, making your desired role harder to find or difficult to sustain at the same salary level. Here’s where looking at tangent industries, transferable skills, and new professional contacts will serve you better than trying to re-create the job search of years past.
If you’re not sure why the phone fails to ring, ask colleagues for feedback on your C-suite job search tactics, or search LinkedIn to gauge your ROI against the competition.
You might uncover alternatives to the roles you planned to pursue, or a slightly different industry in which to concentrate your efforts.
Continue to spread the word about your expertise through social media and by making high-value contacts, rather than limiting your activity to job posting responses.
It’s not your father’s (or mother’s) job search anymore.
Your digital identity, reputation, adaptability, and networking efforts – not to mention your executive resume – have all taken on considerably more weight in the past few years.
You’ll get better results by adapting your executive job search tactics accordingly.
Haven’t tried LinkedIn’s Publishing platform for your job search?
You’re missing a HUGE opportunity to promote your personal brand for a new CXO or leadership role.
There’s no limit to the topics or volume of posts allowed per user, and with an international recruiting audience ready at your virtual feet, there’s no reason to hold back!
Still hesitant? Consider these near-instant benefits to your job search from publishing:
1 – LinkedIn will help promote your Publishing activity.
When your connections log into the site, they’ll get a notification about your new post – and this may inspire them to pass it along via social media and share it throughout LinkedIn.
Keep in mind this is a double-edged sword: in the same manner as your articles are promoted, others’ posts will appear in your notifications feed. (There’s no way to turn these messages off.)
You can push your message further into cyberspace, of course, through Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and any other social media platform.
2 – You’ll widen your audience.
Remember – you’re not just publishing an article, you’re promoting your expertise to employers and your industry. Similar to your Profile, the more keywords you include (in your article Headline and in the hashtag keywords accompanying it) will draw traffic from readers interested in your topic.
This means you’ll get substantial exposure from LinkedIn. If you’re “writing what you know” (which is LinkedIn’s publishing platform mantra), you’ll gain a new audience and spotlight for your skills, particularly from recruiters, who are often avid investigators.
3 – You’ll distinguish yourself among competing executives.
By staying active on LinkedIn, you’re more likely to be sourced by a recruiter sourcing executives in your field. If you’re also using the Publishing Platform, you’ll be in an even better position to stand out.
Posts stay on your Profile and are shown in your activity, so there’s no way employers can miss them. If you have a change of heart about your Publisher article, LinkedIn says you can delete it.
Of course, keyword and industry research is a must BEFORE you publish in order to maximize your results. For example, these topics could be relevant for executive job seekers:
Supply Chain Executive
2 ways to cut procurement costs in your global supply chain
How international sourcing can speed up your operation
Cloud storage in your IT operation: how much is enough?
3 reasons your digital transformation plan might not survive COVID-19
Try to post at least twice per month to keep your articles in rotation.
Stumped for new ideas?Look at hot-button issues facing your target employers and then design your posts to show how you’d solve these problems (similar to an interview answer).
Of course, you should ALWAYS ensure your LinkedIn Publishing activity supports (vs. damages) your job search.
Even though you can delete a post, other members could find a way to archive it or quote you.
Write your LinkedIn article in a positive, professional tone – avoiding rants or subjects designed to provoke an argument.
Ensure the content aligns with your personal brand, thoroughly proofread it for typos and missed words, and ask trusted colleagues to look it over.
Many of your colleagues are using social media to present themselves and their talents to recruiters, as well as to position themselves as thought leaders.
One of the best benefits of LinkedIn is competitive industry intelligence! By connecting to other users, you’ll be able to view status updates and and posts showing promotions and industry topics.
NOTE:Ensure new connections are authentic by clicking on the user’s photo, then right-click and select “Search Google for this image.” If the picture has been used in multiple LinkedIn Profiles with varying names, report the Profile to LinkedIn as fake. In addition, if it seems you are being “pitched” by a user trying to sell you services, you may also be best off ignoring the request.
In most other cases, you WILL benefit from accepting a request. Remember, LinkedIn keeps growing… adding millions of members each month and further expanding your opportunity to stay in touch with the right person for the right job. By ignoring new connections, you could be missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
2 – You run the risk of looking antiquated.
If you haven’t searched for a job in the past 5 to 10 years, you’re in for a surprise.
Social media has overtaken many phases of the job hunt, from your digital identity to how employers learn about your qualifications.
Many employers are recruiters are expecting to find you online, and they’re receptive to hearing from you on LinkedIn.
It’s also simple math: Being well-connected on LinkedIn puts you far closer to a potential recruiting contact, with a search algorithm that decides who and what to show you based on your degree of closeness.
Plus, if it looks like you’re not a reasonably active user of social media (with at least 500 to 1,000 connections), hiring authorities might wonder how “current” your skills are and whether you’re staying on top of your field.
3 – You might lose the opportunity for a recruiter’s call.
Many prospective connections exist just on the other side of a recruiter.
That recruiter could be the one who’ll make a difference in landing your next job.
LinkedIn is basically a database that allows you to continually edge closer to important resources in your industry, but only if you give it a push by forming new conections.
Employers and recruiters use paid LinkedIn subscriptions to find and approach talented executive candidates. By becoming more connected to influencers and leaders in your field, your Profile will more readily appear in front of them.
4 – You won’t be able to gauge your qualifications against competing candidates.
Admit it: one of the reasons you may be intrigued by social media is the opportunity to see what everyone else is doing. But if you refuse to participate, you might miss the chance to see how your credentials stack up against the competition.
Many social media users tend to overshare information – so use it! Gather valuable competitive intelligence from your new connections. Especially if you’re striking out in your job search, you’ll benefit from taking a look at peer candidate Profiles.
You can also analyze common career paths, education, job progression, and skills in your industry, helping gauge how you rank against other job seekers.
Perhaps you’re aiming too high in your job search, or you should be pursuing a different type of executive role. This information can be used to refine your search tactics, career goal, job search activity, and even your Profile information.
5 – Prospective connections could be employed in your target companies.
Even if you’re not familiar with a new connection, you could soon be in need of their assistance – especially if they’re in a hiring role.
By graciously accepting a request to connect and even sending a quick thank-you note to your new contact, you could be cultivating a high-value resource of use either now, or at a later point in your career.
Watch your News Feed on LinkedIn, and you’ll see connections earning new positions and promotions. Consider that these contacts might be just one degree or two away from hiring managers at their respective companies.
A user you reject today might BECOME your new hiring manager at some point.
Keep these points in mind the next time a new LinkedIn connection request pops up.
Rather than immediately rejecting the invitation, you might reap significant rewards by accepting the opportunity to welcome a valuable new contact.
Among the World’s Top Resume & LinkedIn Writing Experts
“As In-House Counsel for a Fortune 1000 company, I retained Laura to revamp my resume. As a result of her attention to detail, Laura was able to highlight my broad skill set, with a product worthy of my accomplishments.
I highly recommend Laura to all others who want to get on the fast track to success.”
“As an executive in transition, I vigorously endorse Laura and her work. After many hours of speaking with me, she crafted an amazing new rebranded set of credentials.
I am still astonished at how someone who has not known me for 20 years could define my brand so succinctly.”
– Chris Dancy, Global Technology Executive
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“I want to thank you again for your excellent work. I found a new position quickly, and your resume had a lot to do with that.
I had 4 offers and 7 interviews within 2 weeks – and every single company commented on the resume!
Thanks again for doing such a great job! It is truly a career investment that pays off.“
-C. Randall, CEO
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