CFO “What and How” Linkedin Primer

As a follow-up to my last blog, CFOs and Linkedin, the Evolution, let’s look more closely at the questions I posed from the perspective of making a conscious decision to use Linkedin to proactively guide your executive career.

– How much information is too much?

This is a real concern for many of my clients and for the CFOs in my Linkedin group. CFOs tend to be close-mouthed and invisible, all the while doing yeoman’s work in the background.

It takes great courage to reveal information (measurable impacts to a company) which most Finance Chiefs are much more comfortable holding close to the vest. Where does one holding such a fiduciary responsibility draw the line in the sand?

While it is an individual decision, the reality is that today’s career management and job search comprise a new game with new rules and if you don’t know the rules and/or aren’t in the game, you it is almost impossible to win. So you MUST convey enough of your tangible contributions to invite interest and a closer look.

I will say that your profile should not be a carbon copy of your resume nor do I ever recommend my clients upload their resumes. The purpose of generating interest is the opportunity to have a conversation and close the sale … yes?

– How much information is enough?

Responsibilities are not enough. What you do is what relegates you to commodity. How you solve problems, take away a company’s pain, resolve issues and challenges are the differentiators of champions … and top talent.

The summary section allots 2,000 characters (including spaces) to write a compelling snapshot in the first person. Using a minimum of 1500+ characters is “enough” information for the summary.

The experience section should mirror the “look” of your resume. That is, a brief apples-to-apples comparison of scope of responsibilities, followed by an impact statement.

And by all means, leverage the “headline” section. That is the section at the top, directly under your name, to the right of your picture (yes, a professional headshot is necessary). This isn’t a place for your job title, it is an opportunity to use 100 characters to showcase your brand.

– Shouldn’t the details of my performance be kept in my resume and not made public?

As I stated above, I don’t ever recommend my clients upload their resumes to Linkedin, which would indeed make every resume detail public. But the reality is that once your resume is circulated, the details of your performance ARE public, at least to some degree.

There are details that ARE confidential and there are performance impacts that are not. It becomes a matter of carefully and discriminately choosing the stories that sell your ability to do the job you are targeting in a meaningful and measurable way … without violating your fiduciary duties. It can be done.

While Linkedin is certainly not the only source recruiters use to identify top talent, as the excerpt from my previous blog indicates … using Linkedin IS a growing trend.

If you want to be found (more easily), you have to be seen. If you want to be seen, you have to be visible. If you want to be visible, you have to be marketing something a company needs and wants … a solution to its current problems.

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