Last week I wrote “Does a CFO Need a Résumé?” I don’t try to be controversial in my blogging, but saying what I think can sometimes have benefits. My friend, CFO Coach Cindy Kraft turned her comments on my blog into a blog of her own, and my posting on Proformative was widely viewed. (Side note: If you’re a CFO and not on Proformative, I highly recommend that you join).
My premise was that LinkedIn is more important for an employed CFO than a résumé. LinkedIn is a major component of CFO Personal Branding today, even if it is only 1 part of a multi-level effort.
LinkedIn Tips for Employed CFOs.
Update. Have an updated and complete LinkedIn Profile. Your profile should not only include your previous employers and dates of employment, but locations, industry and a short description of your roles. You should also have a short, readable and effective summary. People reading this summary should be able to quickly understand your unique value proposition.
Groups. Being a member of LinkedIn Groups allows other members in your group to view your profile, even if they are not closely connected to you. CFO Groups, like Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Network – The #1 Group for CFOs or Linked:Chief Financial Officers will allow people looking to hire CFOs to find and contact you. Industry Groups and Alumni Groups are other Groups that can allow you to be found. (You can visit my LinkedIn Profile to see which Groups I’m a part of.)
Smile. Photos are not a standard for North American résumés. On LinkedIn, your photo sets the tone for the image you want to project. However, no photo is better than an inappropriate one.
Connect. I have discussed my opinion about connections on LinkedIn before. (Read: LinkedIn Connections – What is your Policy?). The more people you are connected to on LinkedIn increases the numbers of people that can find you when they are looking for someone just like you.
Participate. Create updates to share with your network. Let your people know when you’ve read an interesting article. Comment on what your connections are sharing. Share your career successes. Participation creates visibility which allows you to stay top of mind so that people you know can remember you for opportunities that come across their path.
Plus, Tips for the Unemployed CFO.
Let the world know. Change your profile heading and summary to indicate that you are looking for your next opportunity. This will let people who are looking for someone like you know that you are open to speaking with someone like them.
References. LinkedIn’s reference tool is very valuable. It allows other people you are connect with on LinkedIn to vouch for you. But use it wisely. If you want someone to provide a reference to you, I don’t recommend blasting people in your network. Choose wisely who you ask and how you ask – it will impact the quality of your public references as well as well as the quality of the people who give you references.
What are your recommendations for an effective LinkedIn Profile for CFOs?