The executive jobs market has ‘gone social’, or is certainly heading that way.

As a senior executive or board member looking for your next role, whether permanent, interim, or NED, you will have no doubt used social media to interact with recruiters, colleagues, or other contacts.

But are you ready for ‘social’?

Are you ready for the next phase of social recruiting as a job seeking candidate, or indeed as a business leader once you have landed your next role?

Now is the time to review your current social media branding, input and content. View yourself as Me.Inc; this general approach to personal branding isn’t new, but is starting to focus, to take shape, and to impact on how you’re viewed as a job seeking candidate, as well as a leader. Ignore social, and you’ll be left behind in the job search context, as well as how you’re viewed and positioned as a leader.

So where do you begin? You may already have a presence on LinkedIn, or Xing if you’re based in Germany. But where ever you’re based, certain concepts apply in terms of reaching your desired audience (in candidate terms, that would be recruiting managers, headhunters, recruiters and company leaders). What we’ll do now is cover some ways that you can increase your social presence, and become more visible across social.

Twitter

Starting with a surprise perhaps? Well, you probably expected me to begin with LinkedIn, so why have I begun with Twitter? This often confusing platform has been almost unperceivably evolving into more of a business tool. If you’re to make any sense of Twitter one of the best tips I can offer is to screen out the mass of ‘noise’ and focus in on what your goals are; seek out recruiters, hiring managers and company influencers. The link above will give you some great guidance about getting started, but above all try it. Just join, follow one or two people then just observe without making any comments, which will enable you to get used to the interface and search capabilities. You will be surprised at how many recruiters and headhunters use Twitter proactively.

LinkedIn

There is no escaping the fact that LinkedIn is an absolute monster in terms of your job search, and future networking. This platform, and in actual fact other platforms together with their inherent methods available to promote your leadership and personal brand, is critical and a primary method by which you will land your next ideal role. Publishing on LinkedIn is something I am always at pains to convince people of the value of. This easy to use feature is not just for companies but for you the candidate. Most of the reticence I encounter in this area is more around “What will I write about, and what will people think?” rather than an unwillingness to publish – but don’t strive for perfection here; get something ‘out there’, and it will start working for you.

Some people like to publish from scratch using the Publish link on your LinkedIn home page, while others use a strategy of ‘topping and tailing’ (finding an article online which interests them and then adding a comment or two about it) someone else’s article or part of an article from many of the reputable online news sources, giving due credit to the originator of course. So there really is no excuse for not dipping your toe in – remember, the aim of all of this is to drive relevant  traffic (recruiters, hiring managers, company leaders) to your profile.

I could go into much more depth across all of these subjects, but want you to take away and act on a couple of things I’ve covered in this article:

So I want you to take those two pieces of learning on board and start to make a difference to your job search today. Within the next 7 days challenge yourself to:

  1. Publish an article on LinkedIn, or ‘curate’ another article of interest as mentioned
  2. Create a Twitter account and initially start to observe what happens, then gradually search for a few recruiters in your sector and follow them. Keep those that you follow to around 20 (to attempt to keep your follower/following ratio as equal as possible)

I hope you have some success with this. Both platforms are excellent for raising your profile and enhancing your job search prospects if used in the right way.