LinkedIn is more than merely a social network. It’s a tool that can help you build a strong professional contact list, showcase your skills and experience, and find a job. But, this tool only benefits you if you know how to use it. Like all professionals, it’s crucial for nurses to keep their professional edge sharpened. Surpriseingly, however, a lot of nurses are forgetting to capitalize on free career-boosting opportunities like focusing on cultivating an excellent LinkedIn page. Apparently 225 million+ professionals are logged on…are you?
How Nurses Should Use LinkedIn
1. Develop thoughtful messages for your profile.
Ask yourself, “If I was an employer, what would I want to see in a prospective hire?” Edit your LinkedIn profile to reflect both your expertise and your individuality. Nursing is one of the most popular fields to study these days, so young tech-savvy grads can be a seasoned-nurse’s biggest competition in the job market. For inspiration, visit the pages of healthcare colleagues you highly respect and see what they have to say on their profiles. A brief but comprehensive summary is an easy way to “sell” yourself as a talented nurse.
2. Make your page public to use for your resume.
When you have a great LinkedIn profile, you absolutely should make it a public URL so that you can put the address on your resume. If you have a lot of recommendations, experience, and endorsements; it can really add a lot to your chances of landing a job. Plus, you can customize the URL, too (just make sure to keep it professional…stray away from one such as “www.linkedin.com/bbygrl1988”)
3. Make sure your resume and your profile are consistent with one another.
Be careful to ensure that the dates and information on your resume and LinkedIn have the same information. Even if there are accidental discrepancies, an employer might interpret it negatively.
4. Solicit recommendations and endorsements.
Asking colleagues and former co-workers to speak positively about you and your skill-set is a great advantage. The more people that vouch for you and the more diverse the skills, the better. The best nurses are flexible and talented in many different areas.
You can send messages and specifically ask for certain things to be recommended, as well. Example: Perhaps you want employers to know your passion for “timely documentation.” Simply ask connections to recommend you for that particular attribute.
5. Follow relevant groups.
Don’t clutter your page up by following any old group. Be selective and follow pages that are best suited to your career goals. If you follow good pages, you’ll receive valuable opportunities to see jobs and be seen by employers. Search medical and healthcare related groups then find pages of hospitals, clinics, etc. that you would want to possibly work for. Ask yourself which groups you most want to target and follow them.
6. Evaluate the effectiveness of your page.
- Look at your friends list. What percentage of them are valuable professional connections? Less than 50%? Do something about it.
- How often are you getting views? And what type of people are looking at your profile? This can say a lot.
- Check the network statistics. Go to the drop-down menu of your contact list and pay attention to the medical specialties in your geographic location.
7. Use a great photo.
A high quality, friendly, and professional photo is a must on LinkedIn. Your personality will definitely be judged by an employer so using a picture that captures you dressed professionally with a positive facial expression is crucial. (For example, seriously do not post a picture of yourself and your girlfriends holding cocktails!!)
Although making a top-notch LinkedIn profile is a very smart thing to do when looking to expand your nursing opportunities, another great thing to do is to explore through the Travel Nurse Source job board. Here you can find opportunities in exciting temporary healthcare jobs all over the country. (Just think about all the professional connections you can meet through Travel Nursing!)