Survey: Professional groups, social media best ways to enhance career visibility

In business, it’s not what you know or even who you know, but who knows you that matters, according to results of a survey by Robert Half Management Resources.

More than a quarter (28 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said staying connected through professional groups is the best way for accounting and finance managers to enhance their professional visibility. Active participation on social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter came in second, with 22 percent of the response.
CFOs were asked, “Which of the following is the most useful way for accounting and finance managers to enhance their professional visibility?” Their responses:
  • Connect through professional/alumni groups or events – 28%
  • Engage through social media (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, blogging) – 22%
  • Publish articles in trade/business journals – 15%
  • Volunteer or participate in charitable work – 15%
  • Speak at industry events or Webinars – 15%
  • Other – 2%
  • Don’t know/no answer – 3%
“An extensive base of business contacts is one of the most valuable assets a professional can possess,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “The most successful executives constantly cultivate a network of people – through both in-person and online networking – who will help build their reputation in the industry.”
McDonald added that, “As social networking continues to gain popularity, it’s especially important to use online tools to build credibility and visibility in the business community.”
Robert Half Management Resources offers the following five tips to help executives manage their digital networks:
  1. Join the discussion. LinkedIn features many professional groups that can help professionals share expertise, stay connected and keep pace with new developments. Likewise, Twitter and Facebook are useful venues for keeping pace with the latest industry news. Leading accounting and finance trade organizations, as well as many alumni groups, have a social media presence, for example.
  2. Be selective. Your network is only as strong as those with whom you’re connected. Be selective about whom you invite into your network. Give careful consideration before introducing a member of your network to a colleague.
  3. Be complete and personable. Be sure to fully complete your profile and include keywords that can help people find you on LinkedIn or Twitter. Avoid details that are too personal, though, if you plan to use these networks for professional reasons only.
  4. Pay it forward. Retweeting others’ posts on Twitter or answering questions on LinkedIn discussion groups is a great way to strengthen your network and enhance your reputation as an industry resource.
  5. Conduct a self-audit. Privacy policies on social media sites are subject to change at any time. Therefore, it’s prudent to recheck your settings and review the policies of individual sites on a periodic basis to ensure your personal information remains private.
The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.
About Robert Half Management Resources:
Robert Half Management Resources is a provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals to supplement companies’ project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 145 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at Follow Robert Half Management Resources at for workplace news.
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