This article is about executives who have a job or executive job seekers. I am not talking about how companies can create competitive advantages by using Linkedin.
When I first posted about using Linkedin, few executives were openly using it to manage actively their career. They probably thought that Linkedin was not for them … until they were fired. You cannot ignore Linkedin especially if you never used a resume to get a job !
The average time to find a job in the US now is 8 months and if you have been unemployed for more than 6 months your chances to find a job are rapidly declining. So the message here is start working on your Linkedin profile and make connections while you still have a job !
The most fragile people are the executives and managers 45 and more who have been totally devoted to their company for many years, sometimes at the cost of having a divorce or other family issues, and who never spent time to build a professional network or a reputation online.
One day they woke up and they have been made redundant for a multitude of reasons which have nothing to do with their expertise or job performance. We are living in a global economy in crisis and there is a fierce competition even for top executives jobs, around 4 to 6 candidates for one position on average.
If you don’t have a profile on Linkedin, you’re nowhere-Fortune Magazine, 2010
In the article from Fortune magazine ”How Linkedin will fire up your career” the author mentioned that more than 60 million members have logged on to create profiles, upload their employment histories, and built connections.
According to Jessi Hempel, Senior Writer at Fortune Magazine:
- The average member is a college-educated 43-year-old making $107,000.
- More than a quarter are senior executives.
- Every Fortune 500 company is represented.
Most of Linkedin members already have jobs that is why its credibility among executive search companies is so high and why other executives are looking to recruit passive candidates even for their most senior positions.
Your contacts in your network, the way you use Linkedin, participating in Q&As, groups or showing events you attend are ways for many potential candidates to be found without actively searching.
This work for small business owners too, Linkedin is a way for clients to find you. If you are proactive, energetic and offer something your clients want you get hired and if people are happy about what you did they may spread the word to their Linkedin contacts.
How do I start ?
To build a professional image or personal brand on-line or off-line, the very first step is to define the story that you want to communicate about you that will attract people from your target audience. Being able to summarize a 25 year career on a Linkedin profile in half a page is more than just making a resume. You must be concise, attractive and show your strengths and achievements and most of all don’t be boring !
People spend 7 seconds on average to decide if they will read your profile or not, so the first sentence of your Linkedin profile is key to be found by search engines, but also it should stimulate the curiosity of the readers to go further and take actions : 95 % of recruiters and hiring managers will “Google” you to find more information. It is very important not only to be found but to show consistency in what you say online. Remember everything said on the web will last forever but having an empty Google search is not good impression as well.
So wake up, your competitors were working on building their personal brand while you were doing other things and they now know who knows them and how to attract them to get more attractive career opportunities while they still have a job!