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The Resource for the Global Finance Profession

CFO Coach: All Upgrades Are Not Created Equal

  • By Cindy Kraft
  • Published: 2014-02-21

Upgrade has become a relative term when speaking about social media platforms. And venues like LinkedIn and Facebook come immediately to mind whenever “social media” and “upgrade” are used in the same sentence. And maybe you’ve even noticed that the word upgrade is often a misnomer, since many of them only seem to ratchet up the level of frustration of users.  

Take for example the “Congratulate XXX” emails from LinkedIn that are coming fast and furious these days. The problem (and it is a problem) is that LinkedIn is reading changes to your headline as a job change. That error happens because members mistakenly use the headline as a place to restate their current job title.

This isn’t an upgrade. It is a recipe for disaster for those in job search mode who are now:

•    Forced to change their headline to reflect their unemployed status or
•    Viewed as recently having changed jobs.

Use the headline section as a headline. This is the area directly underneath your name at the top of the profile, with 200 characters available to differentiate yourself. “CFO of ABC Company” isn’t differentiating. The last search I did of CFOs found 26,000-plus such titles. With this kind of headline, you are one of double-digit thousands rather than a well-branded problem solver who just happens to also be a chief financial officer.

Before you do any major changes to your profile, make sure you turn off your activity broadcasts so your network isn’t informed of major changes you choose to make or are forced to make.

At the other extreme is an upgrade of the very beneficial kind. At least I think so.

You might have noticed that once you connect with someone, there is a “Relationship” tab right under the box containing your headshot. If you click on the tab, you get four additional tabs: Note, Reminder, How You Met, and Tag. If you are networking correctly, this is what you can keep tabs on:
•    What transpired in your conversation and when it happened
•    When the next follow-up should occur
•    How you met so you can refresh your memory quickly and
•    What category the contact fits into.

The most effective networking means the savvy networker:
•    Keeps in touch regularly with his cone of influence and
•    Can pull amazing facts seemingly out of thin air.

This LinkedIn upgrade helps you become a savvy networker who can pull snippets of information from your last conversation with them that not only amaze but deepen the relationship.

Back in my Chamber member days, I remember a lawyer who must have had a computer chip in his brain. It seemed he stored every piece of information about you that he knew and could remember your spouse’s name, anniversary date, children and their birthdates, and every professional and noteworthy thing you ever did... and chat with you about all of them whenever he saw you. And no matter how many people he encountered, he knew all the facts and figures for each one of them.

You might not be able to dazzle people in person like this lawyer did, but think about how keeping notes of your conversations with your LinkedIn connections can help you dazzle them with your factual recall of their personal and professional information and details from your previous conversation!

Cindy Kraft is the CFO-Coach. Reach Cindy at Cindy@CFO-Coach.com, 813-655-0658, or at www.CFO-Coach.com. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2015 Association for Financial Professionals, Inc.
All rights reserved.

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