It wouldn’t surprise you that as part of what I do, both as an Executive Recruiter as well as my role overseeing our CFO Moves and CHRO Moves weekly reports, I view many LinkedIn profiles and follow a large number of executives in my LinkedIn News Feed.
In speaking with executives daily, I continuously recommend that people focus on how they use LinkedIn. Today, LinkedIn is the social media tool for business professionals, and executives have a huge opportunity to control their personal and career brand.
The number one piece of advice I give to executives is that they need to be visible. In today’s world, if you are not visible, you don’t exist. When you look around you, successful executives are successful in large part because of they take control of their visibility and their brand. Remember – your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.
So how do you impact what people say about you? The good news is that today, with LinkedIn, you can stay visible with your network by engaging with them individually. You can do this by tagging people, messaging them, commenting, liking or sharing other people’s content. You can also share news articles of interest to you, and perhaps even share your perspective and start a conversation.
These things do not need to take up a large component of your time. But if you are not personally engaging with your network, you are losing the opportunity to be visible, stay relevant and be kept in mind for opportunities.
Too many executives have their LinkedIn posts controlled by their corporate communications team. While I understand the reason why a company would like to control the content on behalf of the company, this is the worst thing you can do for your career on LinkedIn.
You are missing the opportunity to personally engage with people in your network, as well as grow your network organically. In not doing this, people in your network will just see you ‘selling your company’, and not have the opportunity to genuinely interact with you, build trust, and keep you in mind for future career opportunities.
This is not to say that you should not support your company while in the role. Rather than be a social media channel for the corporate agenda, be genuine and engage with your network and build trust for both you and your company. But do not do this exclusively.
Your LinkedIn Profile belongs to you. Do not give it up to your company. Your career and personal life is yours, forever. No matter how much you are dedicated and committed to your company, this has a time limitation.
Invest in your career – Take control of your personal brand.