How to Use Your LinkedIn Profile to Position Yourself For a C-Level Role

by Virginie Cantin

LinkedIn Coach & Wall Street Journal bestselling author

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If you want to get considered for a C-level position, you not only need to optimise your LinkedIn profile for the algorithm, you also need to show up as a leader on LinkedIn to get the visibility you need and the recognition you deserve.

You will often hear older white men say that they would have loved to select a woman for the C-level position but that there was no woman that either wanted the role or that was qualified for the role.

Or my favourite: “We already had a woman in a top management position but it didn’t work out.”

You and I know this is nonsense.

I came up with a system that makes women gain visibility automatically so that no one can ever say again that they didn’t find a woman for a leadership role.

If you want to optimise your LInkedIn profile for a C-level role, here’s what you need to do:

  • Take advantage of the algorithm to gain more visiblity in the LinkedIn search results.
  • Bring your personal brand to life on your LinkedIn profile.
  • Post everyday on LinkedIn Nope, contrary to popular beliefs, that one is not required to have success with LinkedIn!

Let’s have a deeper look at both steps.

Make yourself visible for C-level roles with your LinkedIn profile

Taking advantage of the algorithm to rank higher in the LinkedIn search results means that you need to understand what a search engine is, how it works and what it wants so you can use it to your advantage.

Briefly said, an algorithm is a set of rules that platforms like LinkedIn rely on to organise their content, in other words to organise around 700 million LinkedIn profiles.

Whenever you are on a platform that has a search bar like Google, Amazon, Facebook or LinkedIn, you are on a platform that has a search engine built in. It’s as simple as that.

And the primary goal of a search engine is to help you find what you’re looking for as fast as possible.

Because if you don't find what you’re looking for, over time you will become unhappy with the platform. And if one day you there is a new platform, which nowadays happens every week, you may leave for the competitor.

User retention is key for platforms like LinkedIn.

Still with me?

Your goal is to optimise your LinkedIn profile so that the algorithm sees you as a relevant professional and pushes your profile in the results for the keywords and search terms you defined beforehand.

Simply put, your goal is that when somebody is looking for a...

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Chief Technology Officer

...Your profile shows up as early as possible.

Ranking high is important because let’s face it, it’s impossible to consider all potential profiles on LinkedIn, there are just too many.

  • Ranking high means more visibility.
  • More visibility brings more opportunities.


Add your main keyword at the beginning of your headline or at least within the first 45 characters.

For more hands-on tips, read my article: Algorithm-based LinkedIn Profile Optimisation

Ranking high in the search results is not the full story.

It’s only the first step.

The second step is to convince profile visitors that you are the person they've been looking for based on your LinkedIn profile.

  • Are you showing up as a Leader on your LinkedIn profile?
  • Are you educating profile visitors on why you are the perfect candidate for your ideal job?
  • Are you connecting the dots between all your experiences, volunteer work and more?

If not, it’s unlikely that your LinkedIn profile is captivating anyone.

And if it’s not captivating, it won’t be remembered. You won't be remembered.

Apply personal branding on your LinkedIn profile to position yourself as a C-level executive

If you want to stand out from the crowd (and you should if you want to step into a leadership position), you need to bring your personal brand to life on your LinkedIn profile.

C-level professionals are leaders. They lead a company, a department, a team. If you want to get considered for those roles, you need to show why and how you qualify as a leader.

The goal of your LinkedIn profile is to reassure profile visitors that you are exactly the kind of person they're looking for.

They will only be able to get this impression if there is something to read on your profile.

If your profile is empty and holds just the bare minimum information, nobody will be able to realise that you are exactly what they need.

So before you spend time on trying to create posts and get engagement, focus on improving what is on your profile.

Put yourself in the shoes of strangers that visit your profile and how you can reassure them that you’re a qualified leader.

Give them a full picture of you and your career path so far and where you want to go.

Bringing your personal brand to life means that you define for what kind of roles you want to position yourself and you align every bit of your LinkedIn profile on it.

It also means showing what your leadership and working styles are.

It means getting more personal on your profile.


Accept everyone in your network to reach a minimum of 1000 connections. Because what kind of leader has only 430 something connections on LinkedIn? The bigger your network size is, the more important, successful, and influential you look.

For more hands-on tips about personal branding for women on LinkedIn, read my article about Personal Branding For Women On LinkedIn.

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Learn from a Wall Street Journal bestselling author & LinkedIn coach

Virginie Cantin is the creator of LinkedIn BREAK-IN, LinkedIn PEELING and LinkedIn VITAMIN. She is the co-author of 60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery - a 2021 Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Virginie started her career in digital marketing in 2013. Today, she uses her digital & marketing knowledge to help people tap into the power of LinkedIn.

She has helped more than 100 people worldwide take advantage of LinkedIn to achieve their career and business goals.

It's up to you to be next.

Virginie Cantin, Course Creator

LinkedIn Coach & Wall Street Journal bestselling Author of 60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery