Beat the autumn blues with the first in a two-part series of job hacks and tips by Jo Dalton, founder of JD&Co, one of Europe’s leading executive search companies. Having coached, mentored and hired over 350 executives, Jo knows what it takes to stand out from the crowd.

As the summer heat fades, our thoughts can focus on detoxing, helping the kids as they settle back into school, and other elements of our routine lives.

In a professional sense, now is the perfect time to reposition to centre stage and build towards opportunity, whether that’s expanding our teams, going for promotion, or making that all-important career jump.

I am often asked about the best ways of making these exciting things happen. Below are measures that you can begin to action now to help you unlock the very best future for your business and yourself.

Make your online presence pop

If people are interested in you, their first port of call will be your web-based profiles, so make your online presence shine! Consistency is key here – check in with the leading conversations going on in your industry across all platforms. Become part of the debate, whether that’s sharing, re-tweeting or contributing with relevant, informed comment.

Elaborate on these views through your own blog with regular updates that can be amplified through social media outlets. Give your followers a reason to engage with you!

Be headhuntable

Senior executives should be aiming to be headhunted, but are you as attractive as you could be to prospective employers?

Build on your online presence by moving with the right people, so try to introduce the big industry names to your network, whether that’s by engaging in projects with them, online debate or simply through networking. Being seen as part of the crowd that’s going places will get you moving in the right direction.

Polish your profile

LinkedIn has become the go-to resource for showcasing yourself within the professional ecosystem and making the connections that matter. Your summary is your Knightsbridge shop window, and only meticulous will do. Personality and a zest for success should complement – not overpower – the narrative of your professional path so far and its upward trajectory.

Don’t forget to highlight relevant experience and talents, which should be evidenced further down your profile.

A photo tells a thousand words

It still amazes me how many senior executives remain without a professional profile picture. A cropped photo from the wedding you attended ten years ago will make you look out of date and out of touch with the demands of a cutting-edge CV.

A simple, head-and-shoulders shot is all it takes, and with so many companies delivering precisely this service these days, there’s really no excuse!

Recommendations and referrals

Having built a business on referrals, I know how this highly effective means of growth works and what it can do for your enterprise.

It’s all about getting recommendations from trustworthy third parties. This can be leveraged to full effect on LinkedIn, thanks to the level of visibility that’s achievable, but so many people miss out on making this process happen.

When you deal with a client or customer, always ask if they would be willing to make a recommendation on your online pages. A steady build-up of positive testimonials will galvanise your reputation and enrich your profile with the authenticity that others actively seek.

The above advice is relevant whether you’re looking for a career move yourself, growing your team or trying to stand out as the next leader that everyone wants to hire. Challenge yourself each day to adjust one aspect of your professional online presentation, so that you’re in the best shape possible to embrace opportunity when it arises.

Good luck and check in for the next homework session!

For more information about how Jo Dalton can help and support you please get in touch at