Social media has emerged as one of the biggest ways to promote your personal brand, and LinkedIn is an especially great tool for nursing professionals all across the world. We’re taking a closer look at this platform to see how it can help today’s healthcare workers pursue their career ambitions — and how you can use it to achieve your goals.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is considered the largest online network for working professionals, so it’s the perfect place to start paving the way to a successful nursing career.
The site boasts over 500 million users, so you’ll get to connect with healthcare professionals across a broad range of specialties and industries. These connections can help you find out about job openings or training events in your area, and they can even help you forge new relationships with prospective employers.
Why Should Nurses Join LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a wonderful way to highlight your credentials, find nursing jobs and connect with like-minded people in your field. For instance, LinkedIn can help you do the following:
- Find job openings in a new city or state.
- Utilize common connections to help open doors.
- Reach out to prospective employers.
- Highlight your career experience and special skills.
- Showcase endorsements and recommendations from colleagues and supervisors.
- Join nursing groups and communities that share your unique interests.
7 Ways to Maximize Your LinkedIn Experience
Land the nursing job of your dreams and work toward your desired career path with the following LinkedIn profile tips:
1. Start with a great photo.
You don’t have to hire a professional photographer for the perfect headshot. Instead, just use your smartphone. Choose a well-lit area to snap your selfie, or have a friend take the photo instead. And remember, treat the camera like you would a prospective hiring manager. Make eye contact, and smile!
2. Personalize your page.
A personalized LinkedIn URL is a great way to enhance your personal brand, and it has a professional presentation that looks good to prospective employers.
You can also include your credentials (like RN or LPN) on your profile by adding them to your last name. Feel free to also list your credentials alongside your training and experience in the headline section. This is a savvy way to condense the basics into a brief overview of your background and experience right at the top of your profile page.
3. Summarize your experience.
If you have applicable work experience in your nursing field, here’s your place to let it shine. Outline your career history along with any special certifications you hold, trainings you’ve attended, committees and groups you belong to, etc.
If your experience is scarce, focus on your academic achievements and career goals instead. Also, work on getting recommendations from your professors or fellow students to help show off your talents and ambitions.
4. Connect with your peers.
LinkedIn is all about making connections with people in your field, so start building your network as soon as your profile is up and running. You can add people you already know by importing your email contacts, or you can search for specific individuals instead.
If you’re a newbie in the nursing field, LinkedIn can instantly reveal connections that may lead to job opportunities. You may realize that you have a former classmate who currently works at a hospital you’d love to work at, as well — or you may discover that a former co-worker has chosen a new career path that you’ve always wanted to learn more about.
Using LinkedIn to network with other healthcare professionals can open doors that would have otherwise remained close.
- Seek recommendations and endorsements.Invite former supervisors, mentors, colleagues and peers to write personal endorsements and recommendations directly on your profile. These online references and testimonials highlight your previous work experience, and they’re an excellent way to show off your special skills and talents.
If you do ask someone to leave a recommendation on your page, always offer to do the same thing in return.
- Follow relevant pages and groups.
Another feature of LinkedIn that can instantly improve your networking is its assortment of groups and pages. Follow groups that pertain to healthcare in general or your chosen specialty, and connect with hospitals and clinics that you’d enjoy working for while you’re at it.
Just remember to be somewhat selective in your group decisions so as not to clutter your profile.
- Include the right keywords.
LinkedIn uses search engine optimization to help employers and employees find one another in a sea of candidates and job openings. That’s why it’s smart to include the right keywords in your profile to help you stand out from the crowd. Focus on the main words and phrases that describe your interests (like “pediatric nurse” or “ICU”), and then weave them throughout your profile to bring potential employers to you.
Do you use LinkedIn to further your professional goals? Share how this platform has supported your career ambitions in the comments!