A job application today consists of much more than a simple resume and cover letter. In addition to those, your online presence can tell a hiring manager more about your personality and interests—allowing them to assess your cultural fit for the organization while also assessing your technical skills. “When you let an employer get a sense of your career goals and your personality, you’re more likely to get approached about opportunities that are actually interesting to you,” says Jonathon Amen, a Senior Associate within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division. “As a CPA, you can accomplish this by creating your own personal online brand.”
On LinkedIn, your personal brand is determined through more than just your background and experience; as a CPA, you can stand out amongst your competition by including more than just the bare minimum. “Through your photos, LinkedIn activity, and writing ability, your online brand becomes more personal, and it sets you apart from the crowd,” says Jonathon. In order to improve your personal brand on LinkedIn and be sure that you don’t miss out on potential opportunities, Jonathon recommends you take these steps:
Ready your profile
In order to become an appealing candidate on LinkedIn, you must first make adjustments to your profile and LinkedIn settings. As a CPA, you’ll want to start with these four things:
- Adjust your privacy settings: In your privacy settings on LinkedIn, you can let recruiters know that you’re open to receiving new opportunities. Without changing this in your settings, you may miss out on several positions that could’ve been the right fit.
- Up-to-date name and title: Not only should your title be descriptive of your current role, but your name should also include that you are a CPA. Be sure to write it as Your Name, CPA in order to let a recruiter know you are qualified before they even click through to your profile.
- Personable summary: Your summary is your chance to show off your personality and career goals. As a result, a descriptive summary can help a recruiter or employer to determine whether the opportunity at hand would be of interest to you or not. “The more you say about your passions or your interests, the more likely you’ll get approached about positions that can take your career in the right direction,” says Jonathon.
- Tailor your experience: “If you’re a couple of years out of college, you can remove internships or minimum wage jobs from your LinkedIn profile,” says Jonathon. Not only does this improve how you appear in search results, but it also shows that your professional experience can speak for itself.
Not only does your personal brand include your profile and appearance, it also includes your activity on LinkedIn. Once your profile is in good shape, be sure that you continue to stay active on this social platform with these tips:
- Like, share and comment: As you scroll through your LinkedIn news feed, be sure to engage with other users! Not only can you present yourself as a knowledgeable professional, but this activity also shows up on your profile, giving viewers a more in-depth look at your interests and personality.
- Follow influencers: To continue learning and growing as a CPA, you can follow influencers within your industry. Whether there is a company or professional that you admire, you can stay up-to-date on their professional endeavors by following them on LinkedIn. “This can also show employers that you are engaged in the professional community and that you are always looking to learn more,” notes Jonathon.
- Write your own posts: LinkedIn isn’t just to follow top professionals and organizations; it’s also there for you to share your own thoughts on matters of interest to you. By publishing your own posts on LinkedIn, you are becoming a more active participant in conversations. As a result, you can even become a thought leader in your own right within your industry.
- Keep it professional: Because LinkedIn is a network built for professionals, it is crucial to keep your appearance, content, and tone professional at all times. “Keep in mind that LinkedIn is not Facebook,” says Jonathon. “When you’re interacting with people, you should always keep the subject matter professional.”