Whether you’re looking for a new job or just making your online presence more professional, LinkedIn is now a crucial element of your personal brand. As companies become more socially active online, potential employees and customers want to know more about the executives running the business. Focusing on crafting an intentional presence online through your executive LinkedIn profile is one way to elevate your personal brand when applying for C-level jobs.

LinkedIn goes beyond a digital resume and has the potential to connect you with all the right people for your next role. Take a few minutes every day to optimize your profile using the following tips, and you might just find yourself in a C-suite role sooner than you think.

Share Your Opinion

As you do your morning reading of industry news and updates, start looking for articles you could share on your LinkedIn profile. But don’t just share a link—add a reason why you found it interesting or how it could affect your current company. Your profile will build up keywords for the industry, and your connections will start thinking of you as a thought leader.

These posts are a great way to demonstrate your executive-level knowledge and enthusiasm for your industry.

Perfect Your Heading and Summary

Your LinkedIn headline is your current job title by default, and most people simply keep it that way. When recruiters look to fill a position, they’ll be searching for people in roles below or parallel to ones they are filling. So, while including your job title (COO, VP, Director) is necessary, you should also use industry words instead of the company name to help your executive LinkedIn profile appear more frequently in hiring searches.

Your executive LinkedIn profile summary shows your full personality and needs to get to the point quickly, since visitors only see the first 282 characters (about 40 words) before clicking “Show More.”

In the summary, you get to present your career the way you see it, without the timelines attached. Start with your accomplishments and use strong verbs to describe your mission in your current role: make it interesting so readers want to click “Show More!”

Keep Your Executive LinkedIn Profile Current

Like any resume, your “experience” section only needs to show relevant roles and information for positions you might grow into. But don’t ignore the skills and certification portion of your profile.

Adding in your certifications can show how you’re better prepared to lead roles in technology, or other fields and make you show up for job postings with those qualifications, as many companies are searching for executives with practical experience in the specialized department. You could include a foreign language or your non-profit commitments to display more areas of interest and make more connections.

Even if you aren’t looking for a job right away, completing your profile shows you’re comfortable on social media and care about the details.

Make Strategic Connections

Remember – LinkedIn is not Facebook. You don’t need to filter your connections to people you only know in real life. In fact, you want to add people you don’t know to build your network! The more connections, the better.

Younger professionals might add you to keep up with your thought leadership, and industry recruiters will connect to keep you informed of any new roles you might find interesting.

Stay Engaged

Don’t forget to engage with those new connections. When they share an article, ask a question or add your thoughts. The increased level of engagement will help your name show up more often in search results (your name will be associated with industry keywords) while building your brand as a leader and mentor.

LinkedIn also offers groups—similar to Facebook, but more professionally oriented—where you can share industry updates and even mentor others through your comments.

If you’re happy in your current role at a company, you should be logging into LinkedIn a few times a week to check on news and leave comments. However, when you’re looking for a job, you should be engaging every day and putting your name out front as an expert in your field.

Getting Started with Your Executive LinkedIn Profile

The world of professional social media can be complex, but following these simple steps will ensure your profile is fresh and optimized to help you reach higher during your next job search.

If you need help brushing up your executive LinkedIn profile to take the next step in your career, turn to your IT staffing experts. We will help you write the perfect headline and display the best credentials, so you get the job title you deserve. Connect with us today to get started.