When I say “Get noticed” a bit further on, I mean in a positive sense of course! As an executive level career coach, I talk to many senior executives seeking their next role, and it is usually though not always a surprise when I tell them that 70-80% (depending on what research you read) of the best executive jobs never come to the open market. Most senior level candidates seem perfectly happy to focus on applying for advertised roles (where the competition is fierce), rather than exploring the biggest slice of the cake, the Hidden Jobs Market. So what I want to do here is to encourage you not to follow the herd…
I want to cover just one aspect of how to leverage the Hidden Jobs Market to your advantage, by positioning yourself as an authority within your field by simple and practical methods within LinkedIn, in order to get noticed more often and to drive traffic to your profile page.
There is so much to LinkedIn that this particular aspect is only scratching the surface, but for c-level level job seekers it can prove to be a very useful strategy indeed. So I’m only going to talk about LinkedIn groups in this article, as it’s an avenue to quickly improve the traffic to your LinkedIn profile.
Leveraging Groups to enhance your Personal Brand
Many CEO’s, MD’s, FD’s, CFO’s and other c-suite executives have taken a careful and measured approach to their career, and can be extremely cautious when it comes to self-promotion of any sort. I understand this completely, so what I’m advocating is a systematized method for joining the “right” groups, and then starting to “dip your toe in” the waters of participation within those groups.
I advocate that when you find a sector, or discipline, group that appeals, At the time of writing (remember LinkedIn likes to change things) on every group there is an I (information & settings) to the top right hand side. Click on that and you will see a black panel with blue/white text. Under the About heading click on statistics… You will see headings for Summary, Demographics, Growth, Activity. I suggest you have a look around at these various stats, have a play, and see if the membership is aligned with what you’re looking for – Demographics is a good one to begin with, which you will then see it gives you access to further data: Seniority, Function, Location, Industry. So, I think you’ll see there’s a bit of research you can do to establish whether a group is likely to be potentially interesting or appropriate before you jump in.
The next step would be to observe what the interactions are like in the group. Who are the movers and shakers? Is it a “spammy” type of group (get out if so!)?
If it seems like a good group for you to be involved in, start by clicking “like” on one or two postings of interesting, then progress to leaving an answer or two to a suitable post. The final step here would be to post an article of interest (you can link to it), or open with a question of potential interest to peers, or other senior professionals (do you notice I’m not talking just about recruiters here). Now imagine this new activity replicated across a number of groups. Can you see how this might generate interest in you?
What To Do When Your Profile Gets Viewed
When your profile starts to get visits (particularly from a recruiter) then assuming the visits are in the main relevant people, please make immediate contact with them. I’m happy to talk to you on an individual basis about styles of emails, and telephone approaches which work. How do you know what to say to open a conversation? Well, if it’s a recruiter it’s easier of course, as you can start with a, “Hi, I noticed you viewed my profile. Is there a role you might be working on that we could have a quick chat about?” This follow up is fundamental.
This is important. You have now learned a simple system for attracting more visits to your profile, so I urge you to record what you’ve done on a simple spread sheet, and schedule follow ups on a regular basis. The steps may seem simple, but results won’t necessarily be instantaneous. Give it at least a month of regular input to the groups, but you should start to see results before then.