LinkedIn: Your Portable Portfolio

There have been a couple of good posts about LinkedIn this week. If you aren’t currently on LinkedIn (shuddering in horror), here’s a good primer … “7 Ways to Get More Out of Linkedin,” which is posted on Mashable.

And the FP Executive Blog has a great post on LinkedIn taglines. Taglines are incredibly important and vastly under-valued. Boring is out, inviting is in. Remember, when you’re standing with a crowd, you’re blending in. Separating yourself from the crowd will get you noticed. The tagline “CFO” or “Chief Financial Officer” will, because its commonality, push you into the crowd in any keyword search.

What was distressing to me about this post was this reality:

John Smith: Looking for work

This gentleman lost his job title and in the process, he also lost his identity. Looking for work might be “what” he is doing, but is NOT “who” he is. It is not “who” any job seeker is. Your value is much greater than your job title.

And this tagline …

John Smith: Business Strategy Executive and Visionary exploring new opportunities

is forcing me to evangelize. This is definitely a more positive statement, but it is still broadcasting a message I personally don’t believe belongs in a tagline. Remember, the most attractive candidate is “still” the one who is passive. Don’t trade “hearing” about new opportunities (as a passive candidate) for “exploring” new opportunities (as an unemployed candidate).

A recent article about the future of finance careers by Kate O’Sullivan at is a must read for finance executives. Here’s one of the key points from that article:

As the economy has begun to stabilize in recent months, however, the market for finance talent has showed signs of thawing. "We're going to see more voluntary turnover where CFOs are going to say, 'I helped my company get through this, and now I'd like to move on to my longer-term objectives,' which might be moving to a bigger company, moving to a CEO role, or maybe deciding it's time to retire," says Walter Williams, a partner at executive search firm Battalia Winston International. Wilson says some finance chiefs will likely look for operating roles as well.

Because you hold the most power NOW, while you are still employed, it is imperative that you build out your digital footprint and your network to facilitate your ability to secure your longer-term goals … and to stand out from your competition. Are you digitally distinct? Or, digitally dead? And what does your LinkedIn tagline tell the world about you?

Ideas … Investors … and Job Seekers

What do they have in common? 

This morning’s post in the FP Executive blog by Jesse Shantz, was following up on a Fast Company article entitled “Made to Stick, Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die.” Shantz took the “ideas” argument and applied it to investors. In making that translation, he said a few things that should also resonate with job seekers …

–They really give perspective on the idea of finding the right message to get your point across to your audience.

Finding the right message means the message is not about you. It’s about the prospective company and how you can solve its pain, problem, situation, or challenge.

–They show how using numbers [responsibilities] that don't resonate with readers, fall on deaf ears.

As Senior Finance Executives … working with numbers is what you do. Every day. Yet, often when translated to your career marketing documents, those measurable impacts are missing. No one is hiring you for your years of experience or even your breadth of responsibilities. The right company WILL hire you for your record of contributions and ability to positively impact in a new position [value].

Make it something that is tangible.

Ideas that you had (initiatives), you executed, and which delivered measurable bottom line and long-term impacts … that’s tangible. That’s value. And many times, your ability to clearly articulate your marketable value proposition will make you stand out from everyone else.