Most of the c-level and senior-level executives I work with are over 45 years old – Baby Boomers.
Most have not looked for a job in at least 5 years. Some haven’t been in a search for 10-20 years. Many have never needed a resume or other documents to get jobs over their 20+ year careers.
Now they’ve been laid off and suddenly thrust into a job search, or they’re taking a look to see what else is out there for them. They often still believe that all they have to do is update their resume, send it to a few recruiters, and sit back and wait for the offers to come in. That ain’t likely to happen these days. They need to get busy building a solid online footprint.
Many top-level executives over 45 have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the new digital world of job search. They’re holding on for dear life to the way they used to get a job.
This may be hard to believe, but when many of my clients first come to me, they have never even heard of LinkedIn. Most of those who have heard of it have a bare bones, unimpressive profile, and are doing next to nothing with it.
But LinkedIn, other social networks, and social media in general are beckoning them. They keep hearing they should “be transparent … put yourself out there … it’s okay.”
The other day I was talking with a VP of Sales in telecommunications who told me he knows about LinkedIn but is resistant to putting together his profile because he’s afraid of losing his privacy. He doesn’t like the idea of people he doesn’t know, knowing about him.
I hear this often with top-level executives and I sympathize that taking the initial plunge into social networking can be difficult. It can feel creepy to expose yourself to the world, so to speak. How much should you reveal? Will there be negative repercussions? Will it even do you any good?
In the “old days”, when you sent recruiters and/or hiring decision makers your resume, you chose who to take into confidence with your search and career history. You knew who was reading about you. But resumes from even a few years ago weren’t particularly revealing anyway. Today’s career marketing communications, whether presented “on paper” or digitally, are certainly more personal and revealing than before.
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