LinkedIn and blogging are two powerful ways to fairly quickly build your network, increase your credibility, build an accurate online presence, and brand your unique promise of value to your next employer.
In tandem, they complement, support, and play off each other.
As an executive, if you have to choose one online social networking site, it should be LinkedIn. With over 25 million members, it’s just too big to ignore and affords so many branding and networking possibilities. It’s a place to find the right people and be found by the right people.
You need to have a presence on LinkedIn just to keep up with other business leaders who are already there. You need to brand your profile to differentiate yourself from the others and increase your chances to get noticed.
I assume you know that most recruiters and hiring decision makers are Googling candidates and assessing them based on what they find out about them, before even considering contacting them.
Studies show that recruiters are jumping to a candidate’s blog for a deeper indication of who they are. Blogging fleshes out your brand and builds your credibility as a niche expert.
When searching your name online, decision makers will find your blog and LinkedIn profile at the top of your search results. So they’ll be led to the kind of accurate information you want them to know about you.
Once I powered up my LinkedIn profile, it quickly started drawing people and new business to me. My blog has led me to a whole new community of people and attracted a whole new mix of executive job seekers to me.
Here are several reasons and ways to make LinkedIn and blogging work for you:
Build a smart, branded LinkedIn profile loaded with the kind of relevant key words people searching candidates like you will be looking for. Begin steadily connecting with people.
Start blogging in some way. Whether you start your own blog or guest blog elsewhere, include a link to the blog in your LinkedIn profile. Insert one of LinkedIn’s nifty buttons in the sidebar of your blog to send visitors to your profile.
Increase your search results. Search engines love blogs. The more relevant content existing and regularly added to your blog, the more likely Google (and others) are to put you toward the top of the list of results when someone searches relevant key words that you’ve wisely included in your blog posts.
Keep your LinkedIn profile fresh. Search engines love fresh content in general. Continuously adding new connections on LinkedIn and refreshing parts of your profile will push it to the top of the results when your name is Googled.
Pay special attention to LinkedIn’s “What are you working on?” section at the very top of your profile. This is one of the first things to be seen by people viewing your profile. Keep it up-to-date and relevant to your value proposition.
Take advantage of LinkedIn’s search feature to locate key people to connect with at the companies you’re interested in pursuing in your executive job search.
Participate in LinkedIn’s Q&A section to position yourself as a niche expert and thought leader in your field.
An article by Sarah Needleman in the Wall Street Journal last year offers still-relevant insights. She lists 7 tips on how to make your blog recruiter- and employer-friendly.
In passive or proactive executive job search, LinkedIn and blogging are just two more components to add to your personal brand toolkit.
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