more-arw search

How to Use Technology to Build Your Personal Brand and Find Your Next Role

As the Internet plays a more important role in job searching and networking, it's critical CFOs and other finance executives use it to their advantage while on the job hunt. There are many ways a finance professional can employ social networking platforms, blogs and online communities to help them find their next position.

The New Résumé
Executives used to rely on their résumés to tell the story of their careers and set them apart from the pack. These days, an optimized online presence is just as - if not more - important than a traditional résumé. Online profiles can tell a recruiter much more about your background and how you work and connect with others, which can make it more useful when they're looking to hire. In fact, many HR teams anticipate the old-fashioned résumé will soon be a thing of the past. According to a 2011 survey by staffing service OfficeTeam, 36 percent of hiring managers think it's at least somewhat likely paper résumés will be replaced by networking profiles within the coming years.

Why are recruiters no longer getting behind traditional résumés? There are several reasons, one of which is the plethora of information that can be found online that can't be seen on a résumé. Your online presence can communicate passion for your industry, enthusiasm for projects and excitement about your career in a way a résumé simply cannot. Recruiting via social sites also allows HR professionals to access a much wider pool of potential employees than they would receive if they relied on responses to job postings. Actively seeking new executives via the Internet allows them to reach people who may not apply for the position otherwise.

How to Make Social Media Work For You
Being present on social media sites not only makes you visible to recruiters, but also allows you to build up a network of personal connections, one of whom may be able to assist you in finding a new career. They will help keep you those connections as well. After all, the higher up you are in an organization, the more likely you will hear about a new opening through word-of-mouth, not an actual job posting.

While most people have profiles online, few users optimize their online presence to make it an effective job searching tool. Here are some ways to ensure you're getting the most out of your time on social sites.

• Choose networking sites carefully. While it may seem like a good idea to be present on as many sites as possible, it may be difficult to manage half a dozen different accounts. Rather than signing up for every single networking platform, select a few with discretion. 

• Fill out data fields completely. It's all too easy to skip a few steps when creating an online profile, but complete information is a must. Recruiters or old business associates who view your page and see missing work experiences or too little information on your background may assume you're not qualified or move on to a more interesting profile. Ensure your profile is as complete as possible - the more detail, the better. Don't forget to add a picture, as this can add a level of personalization.

• Delete anything that could be damaging. If your profiles have been active for years, it's time to conduct an audit of everything visible to both your network and users you haven't connected with. You may find old pictures, comments or links that could be misconstrued or don't shine a positive light on your best qualities. It's also important to glance over all posts and information to ensure there aren't any glaring spelling or grammatical errors in your profile. While these things may seem small, they can send a big message to potential employers. Delete anything you wouldn't want a prospective recruiter to see and update your privacy settings.

• Post thoughtfully. When you're using social media to enhance your professional reputation and brand yourself, it's important not to over share. Updating statuses and posting dozens of times a day won't help you win over any recruiters or connections - if anything, they may find the constant posts irritating. Instead, limit your posts to once per day or several times a week. When you do share a link or thought, do so with discretion - rather than posting a complaint or something that could be seen as insulting, update connections on the latest industry news or provide a link to important business happenings.

Create a Standout Blog
Social media is a key way to be seen by employers and old connections, making it vital for finance executives to have updated profiles. But these platforms aren't the only way jobseekers can get noticed by recruiters and enhance their online brand. Launching a blog is a great way to be seen as an industry expert, build your reputation and get noticed by major players in the industry. However, it's important to keep a few things in mind before you start writing your blog:

• Know what you'll write about. A blog can be a great tool, but it needs direction. Know what you'll be blogging about before you start. Do you have enough to write about and post on a regular basis? If your topics are all over the place, readers may be confused or not view you as someone with extensive experience in the business.

• Be relevant. You need timely, engaging content if you want to be seen as a leader and generate a following. Stay up to date on the latest industry news and put your own personal spin on topics to make them more personal and let others hear your opinions. This also helps your blog stay popular with readers - if they know you're posting about stories soon after they break, they may turn to you for information rather than other sources.

• Use caution. A well-intended joke can be misunderstood by those reading your blog and make it difficult for you to reestablish your credibility when you're between careers, but a poorly planned post can also be damaging when you've secured a new position. According to Forbes, there's no legal distinction between an executive's blog and his or her public statements, meaning if you're currently in a position of high authority, or assume one in the coming weeks, you'll need to be particularly careful about what you post. Unwise revelations can impact company value and lead to litigation, so think before you post.

Join Online Communities
Social networking platforms, including Proformative, can give you direct access to your peers, helpful expertise, and make you aware of the latest goings-on in your industry. While these connections are helpful any time, they will be especially useful when you are on the job hunt. Such sites ensure you stay in-the-know and are apprised of new opportunities.