Visibility Is a Choice

Cindy Kraft's Profile

Last November I wrote a blog post entitled “Is Invisibility Costing You Your Next Position.” Based on the overflow at the CFO conference roundtable, it’s a topic in which CFOs are at least curious, if not flat out interested.

As a result, I recently reposted the piece in a private forum ... and received the following response from a reader:

Let's face it: most "social media" is full of young people because they don't have anything better to do. It's less age discrimination and more competency discrimination. People who spend their days Twittering, Blogging, Facebooking and Googling each other aren't doing their jobs.

Real professionals, people with responsibility, don't have time to mess around with status updates or wind-bag pontification. Executives who "want to be found" do it through real-world networking. It's little league to assume that you'll be hired based on your blog.

A CFO doesn't have to Facebook or tweet or even blog to be leveraging social media. But he is absent from Linked In at his own peril.

Without a personal-professional web portfolio, Linked In becomes his home base. It is an effective Web 2.0 version of the old paper corporate bio, and everything he does online points back to his profile. In fact, with the URL as part of his outgoing email signature, his profile has the potential to go viral.

Within Linked In itself, though, are a variety of apps that can help every Finance Executive build his visibility and his value-positioning. For instance,

-- Share what you’re reading through the Amazon Reading List.
-- If you do presentations with PowerPoint or Keynote, upload your non-proprietary presentations, or portions of your presentations, in Google Presentations or Slideshare.
-- Create video clips of speaking engagements and attach them to your profile.

And be sure to use the Linked In status update bar to share resources, speaking engagements, and conferences you’re attending with your network.

All of these things are, in my humble opinion, critically important for raising visibility among a CFO's target audience as well as recruiters who specialize in your area of expertise.

You don’t have to tweet, or Facebook, or even blog. But choosing not to embrace social media, even minimally, is choosing to be invisible.


Member's Profile

I very much agree about the active use of LinkedIn and its features, but would add a "requirement" to add a Twitter account to the profile, even if Twitter use is minimal. Other social media use is optional. All of these tools need to be incorporated in a total effort that recognizes that time is a scarce resource and that scarcity must be built into the use plan In an increasingly digital world, some connection tools are an extension of the face-to-face organizations traditionally employed, all of which remain important.

Topic Expert
Member's Profile

While we can agree to disagree on the use of Twitter, Barrett, I am curious while you consider it a "requirement" ... particularly if it is rarely being used. Help me understand how you see it as advantageous. Thanks!

Member's Profile

Hi Cindy:

I "strongly suggest', rather than "require to indicate a reasonable technology and social media awareness for individuals over "a cerrtain age". This measure is one element of combating age stereotypes. I usually suggest at least minimal use of Twitter. I also encourage use of Slideshare and other aspects of LinkedIn for the same reason. Chronological age is not equal to technoogical obsolescence.

Barrett, Cindy

I can certainly say that when I look at a CFO's profile during a Search, I look to see whether they have a Twitter profile.

To me, it says that they are invested in using current tools. It says that they 'get it'.

On a first glance basis, it makes a difference to me.

Just saying...


Topic Expert
Member's Profile

Interesting, Samuel. I've not heard that from an executive search consultant before.

Would not someone who was savvy at using Linked In (using vs. merely being a half-visible wall flower) be perceived as someone who "gets it"? Regularly using the status update bar (an internal "Twitter" if you will), participating in groups, actively growing a network ... for example?

And if not, why do you feel that way? I'm always looking to get smarter!

Thanks Samuel!


I'm not like other executive search consultants, am I? :-)

LinkedIn is good, don't get me wrong. I think that using LinkedIn well puts a person's best foot forward and is a key part of their personal branding. All the things you mention about how to get the most out of a LinkedIn Profile is appropriate and recommended.

As I've mentioned in my blog, it continues to surprise me that CFOs get hired with incomplete or inexistent LinkedIn profiles. When this happens, it is usually because they already are known and trusted by the people making the hire.

To me, having a Twitter account is part of a complete LinkedIn Profile. Having that blue Twitter button on your profile is like wearing a rose on your suit in a room full of people wearing suits without one. You stand out. And you look good too.

Perception is reality.

Twitter is the new LinkedIn for CFOs.

You can quote me. :-)


Topic Expert
Member's Profile


No sir!