Higher Bracket Article: Six Things Six-Figure Executives Should Know About Social Networking: By Maureen McCann

Six Things Six-Figure Executives Should Know About Social Networking
By Maureen McCann, BA, MCRS, MCIS, MCCS


If you are a six-figure executive, you appreciate the power and influence business relationships have on your success. Imagine if you could enhance your professional network and referral system, tapping into it to win your next six-figure opportunity. You can - and it is not at all as invasive, or difficult, as it may first seem.


So how do you go about engaging your network? You must gently and effectively educate them. The best and easiest way to get your message out to your entire network is with a profile on an online social network.


Why are social networks important to you and your career? Read on:


1. Recruiters use Google


Executive recruiters have been using online forums to search for six-figure executives for years. In fact, it was an executive recruiter who first introduced me to LinkedIn. The recruiter informed me, and a mixed audience of business professionals, career professionals, and executive recruiters “…if you are not online, you do not exist.” At the time, I felt that statement was a little extreme. I have since learned that he was absolutely right.


When was the last time you searched the Yellow Pages to find a service provider? You are not the only one who turns to the Internet. A quick Google search will give a company or a recruiter inside information on a candidate – information they may not find on their resume. Before working with a client, I often use Google to educate myself on who this six-figure executive is, what industry he comes from, and how he is perceived by his peers. All of this information can be found by simply typing the person’s name into a search engine.


So, where can you start to develop your online presence? Well, if you have not already done so – Google yourself. Type your name into your search engine and see what kind of first impression you make to recruiters. Once you know what information people are finding about you, you can then control the message.


2. Online reputations are your first impression


If you are not getting the results you seek in your job search, spend a few moments to learn about the first impression you make online.


In an article by Lorraine Ali that ran in Newsweek stressing the importance of controlling your online message. It read “…a Wall Street hopeful we'll call John didn't expect to see much when he Googled his name, but right there, at the top of the page, was an old campus news blog detailing a bar brawl in which John was arrested.” It is only after he Googled himself that John learned there was a problem with his online reputation.


Still not convinced? Google the elite members in your industry, your peers, your competitors; determine for yourself whether an online profile is necessary for you at this stage in your career. If the leaders of your industry are online, and your competitors too, you should also be found.


3. Get with the times


If you are not easily found online, what does that say about you, your ideas, and your ability to stay competitive? Not being online, or not having your LinkedIn profile visible could be equated with wearing a powder blue tuxedo and ruffled shirt to your next job interview. You may not be taken seriously, regardless of what you have to say. You want to be seen as someone who is a leader, someone who is influential; someone who understands that technology is to be leveraged to increase a business’ bottom-line. For this to happen, you must have an online presence. No matter what your skill set, if a recruiter is unable to find you online, you have missed opportunities.


4. Tap into the Network Job Market


Social networking, much like conventional networking, connects people to jobs.


I personally know it works. A client of mine recently posted an updated profile to his LinkedIn account specifying that he was currently looking for a new opportunity. Within thirty minutes, he received two calls to meet for business meetings to discuss his qualifications. What did my client do that was so special? He tapped into his online network, clearly articulated what it was he was looking to attract, and within minutes had exactly what he wanted. Done well, tapping into your online network can be that simple.


5. Practice networking “give and take”


Networking, social or conventional, is a two-way street, and people can sense a selfish networker a mile away. Have something of value to offer the people in your network. If you are looking to get connected, be prepared to connect others as well. With any good networking – listen first to learn the needs of those around you, then respond to their needs. When you listen first, you develop a rapport with people.


Join relevant groups on LinkedIn and be active in those groups. This will assist you in building your network quickly! People want to do business with people who help them. So help someone out today, you never know what it might lead to in the future.


6. Control your message


It is one thing to have an online presence, yet another, to have an online presence that promotes your value to an organization. Spend some time evaluating what you want to say, who you want to say it to, and most importantly, what you are looking for.


Evaluate how you will brand yourself before you bring your message to the masses. To build your consistent message – articulate exactly what value you have to offer your next employer. Then take the time to find ways of promoting your message online.


Recruiters are growing tired of seeing the same resumes over and over again. More and more they are searching the internet to find leaders in the industry. The very best way to promote yourself within your industry, amongst your professional networks, and to your next employer is to provide them all with an easy way to find you – online. Building your online reputation now, will grow the quality and volume of six-figure job offers for you in the future.


If you are not fielding calls from hiring managers and recruiters from your LinkedIn profile, connect with Cara MacDonald at Carah@higherbracket.ca and attend one of our events about LinkedIn!


The HigherBracket Team creates truly compelling career marketing materials including LinkedIn profiles that get results!