In 2018, the difference between advancing your executive career and spinning your wheels is leveraging the strength of technology to promote your professional brand.
You’ve embraced technology in nearly every other aspect of your daily life, why not your job search? As a group, executives have been resistant to the digital job search, but most are now finding that it cannot be ignored. Case in point: my client Ambrose, who was looking to make the jump from Sr. VP into the C-Suite. For nearly five years, he had been passed over for internal promotions and could not make any headway at his target company. After working with me for only three weeks, he was asked by his Board of Directors to consider a newly created leadership role and received a meeting invitation from the CEO he’d been pursuing at his company’s biggest competitor. We clarified his goal, mapped out a strategy to enhance his professional image and made it happen using a combination of LinkedIn and online industry resources.
Everybody and everything is online these days, including career management. From recruiters locating and screening candidates online to job seekers expanding their professional network using social media, finding your next opportunity is firmly entrenched in today’s technology. You know that exposure and reputation management are crucial to career advancement. Let me explain how you can use technology to expand your reach beyond your immediate sphere of influence through strategic planning and intentional, consistent effort.
Technology and Your Job Search
Before online technology, a job search consisted of poring through newspaper classified ads, typing up a traditional paper resume and sending it via US mail to the company. Most of us baby boomers can remember the good old days when you could walk into a local business, introduce yourself to the hiring manager and be hired on the spot for your “spunk.” Fortunately, this slow and costly approach has been replaced by the internet. The resume is not disappearing (good news for us professional resume writers), but we now have additional tools at our disposal.
Technology’s Value To You
If you have not yet ventured into this brave new world of digital interaction, don’t despair. There are several ways you can harness this technology for your own benefit:
- Establish a visible online presence – As most senior-level leadership roles are not advertised externally, developing a strong LinkedIn presence is a non-negotiable part of your executive job search. You need to be where your target audience is looking for you, and today many companies use LinkedIn as their primary source for passive candidates. Another bonus? Referrals and introductions through your LinkedIn connections.
- Build credibility as an authority in your field – Post relevant content that will highlight your leadership strengths and show your target employers that you understand their critical needs. Engaging in conversations and sharing insightful commentary to a wide LinkedIn network on a regular basis will increase your brand exposure and name recognition.
- Research companies of interest to create a target list of potential employers – Glassdoor and LinkedIn are great resources to learn more about a company to determine if it is a good fit for you personally and professionally. Determine what you’d like to see in your next role and where your skillset would be most marketable. This preliminary information gathering lays the foundation for your success.
- Stay informed about news and trends in your industry – Use your LinkedIn news feed, online trade publications and professional organizations to keep up with your industry, which will help you stay ahead of your competition.
LinkedIn By The Numbers
I’ve focused on LinkedIn here, and not other social media platforms, because it has become the preferred job search tool for recruiters and job seekers. While the exact numbers are difficult to track down, most reliable sources say that between 87% and 95% of recruiters now use LinkedIn to find qualified employees.
Not convinced yet? These figures highlight the importance of LinkedIn as a professional networking platform:
- According to LinkedIn’s Executive Playbook, 7 million C-Level executives, Presidents and VPs are on LinkedIn.
- 45% percent of LinkedIn users have incomes over $75,000; 77% have at least some college education.
- More than 143 million workers in the US have LinkedIn profiles, and 44% are age 50+.
Don’t take my word for it; recent research supports the influence of online technology on the job search. The 2018 LinkedIn Workforce Report explains that 20,000 companies in the US use LinkedIn to recruit candidates and 3 million jobs are posted on LinkedIn in the US every month.
What does this mean for you? It means that you absolutely must be on LinkedIn to expand your professional standing. Even if you are not looking for a new position today, you should build your professional network before you need it. Regardless of your industry or level of experience, if you are a job seeker and you’re not on LinkedIn, then you are basically invisible.
For more information on using LinkedIn for your job search, see my blog post “How to Use LinkedIn to Advance Your Career.”
The use of online technology for career advancement is here to stay. This is why your ability to master LinkedIn is so critical. Even executives need to keep up their tech skills. What better way than to use the latest tools? Not sure how to proceed? Contact me. I can help you understand and take advantage of the technology that now drives recruiting and job searching.
An inspirational career consultant, Trish (Thomas) McGrath has been helping people develop the tools, strategies and confidence to build satisfying careers since 2009. An experienced career transition coach, resume expert and job search strategist, she guides her clients through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more successful. Contact Trish at (860) 658-6480 or firstname.lastname@example.org to see how she can help you gain the competitive EDGE and advance your career.