I admit it. I used to have a LinkedIn profile that sucked. It was boring, incomplete and didn’t really reflect my personality and professional mission. That all changed when I happened upon a marrvy blog written by two guys – the BlueGurus – Mic Johnson and Jason Terry.
New to the social media scene, I devoured their great posts on LinkedIn, Wordpress website development and blogging for small business success. I quickly reached out to Mic via email, signed up for some 1:1 training and began an amazing journey of both collaboration and valued friendship. (Mic wrote a great post about all the AWESOMENESS that has resulted from that one single blog interaction – The #1 Secret to Get Real ROI from Blogging – it’s a great story.)
At Mic’s suggestion, I began setting an appointment with myself, once a week for 20 minutes to work on personalizing my profile and connecting with the great people I know across the country. Investing that time continues to pay off weekly…and even daily. I have connected with researchers, nurse writers, healthcare tech startup founders and hundreds of oncology colleagues. I have gained new resources, partnered on projects and even secured consulting and guest blogging gigs as a result.
So, if you are like I was….and your profile could use some TLC, this post is for you!
If you’re wondering whether LinkedIn is worth your time and attention, consider this: of the social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, LinkedIn has been around the longest. While it doesn’t have the user base that Facebook does, LinkedIn has always been recognized as the place to be for healthcare professionals, and that means you.
LinkedIn for Healthcare: How it Started
For some time, LinkedIn mainly attracted healthcare employers and job seekers. While this remains partially true today, LinkedIn has expanded its reach to the point where it is now widely considered to be the go-to source for healthcare professional interaction. Whether you want to market your practice’s services or learn about the latest trends from an expert in your field, LinkedIn is the place to be.
LinkedIn for Reputation Management
This is the advice offered by Bryan Vartabedian, MD. FAAP, in his blog “Why Doctors Should Use LinkedIn.”Among other bits of advice, Dr. Vartabedian points out that creating or amplifying your brand on LinkedIn allows you to take control of how you are representing yourself and your practice. This is no small factor when you take into account all of the misinformation that can circulate around the Internet. Making certain that your voice is heard above the noise is one excellent way to protect your reputation.
Get The Most Out of LinkedIn
So, how do you get the most out of your LinkedIn presence? Let’s start with the basics. The very first, and arguably most important step is to get your profile established. Think of your LinkedIn profile as your online Curriculum Vitae. When you create your profile, you are broadcasting your education, your experience and your successes. HubSpot, a Boston-based social media giant, offers this advice:
“While many people have an account, their profile is often incomplete, making it essentially useless. You might even say the only thing worse than not having a profile is having an incomplete one.”
Here are 10 tips on how to create a complete, accurate and interesting profile:
1. Go to LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com. Go ahead and sign up by entering your name, email address, and a password in the “Join LinkedIn Today” box.
2. Confirm your account through your email address. Once you’ve done this, sign in and you are ready to get started.
3. The bits you don’t see — Before you really get started with the good stuff, a word on settings. The bottom line is you want to be visible. Of course, not everyone is comfortable at first with having a public profile on the web. Remember if LinkedIn is going to be an effective tool in your professional networking, people have to be able to find you. (Go to the Navigation bar, hover over your tiny photo, select the ‘manage settings’ drop down).
4. Complete your profile. Editing and updating your profile is quick and easy, so there’s absolutely no need for advanced technical know-how. Make sure:
- Your full name is visible
- Your photo can be seen by everyone
- You can be easily contacted by email.
- Enter your sub-heading, area and industry underneath your name. Make it personal.
- Your Photo–Remember LinkedIn is a business network. Look like you mean business in your photo.
Here’s a great example from my friend and LinkedIn Expert Mic Johnson.
5. Add contact information – websites. Link in your company’s website, your own personal site, your blog, and/or your Twitter account. This will allow visitors to your page to see different aspects of your professional self.
Quick Tip: Be cautious of linking in your Facebook page if you have questionable photos of yourself, or to your Twitter account, depending on the language of your tweets. I hope you don’t – just remember my motto: “Nurse Offline – Nurse Online” and you can’t go wrong.
6. Edit your qualifications. Add your current and past employment as well as your education. Be sure to include descriptions of your past jobs and degrees earned––this way, people will be able to more clearly see your experiences and know what to contact you for. LinkedIn can also tailor job suggestions to send you if you’ve provided adequate details. Keep your details short, sweet, and informative. Tips on employment listing: some experts say it’s only necessary to list your 3 most recent employers. Some say beyond 10 yrs, its okay to limit job detail.
7. Add a Summary. This is a chance to write a more in-depth paragraph to give people an idea of where you stand now in your career, what your strengths are, where you want to go and what you have to offer. Although it’s a summary, it can take some time to write a good one, so don’t be afraid to edit it ruthlessly until it reads well.
Here’s a really great example from fellow Nurse Writer Sarah Handzel.
8. Add Specialties. This is located directly below. It acts as an extension of the Summary section, but in short form. You can list specific skills and areas of expertise. Choose wisely––other members of LinkedIn can endorse you for these specialties, so avoid choosing something people don’t have any clue you’re capable of doing!
9. Add Connections. You can have LinkedIn search through your email address book to find people you know. You can also search by a person’s name, job title, or company. LinkedIn will list “People you May Know” based on existing contacts within your network.
Quick Tip: you will get invitations to connect from people you don’t know. Some recommend connecting w/only those you know, if you don’t know them, you can send a quick message of interest to network.
10. Get Recommendations. If you’re trying to find a job through LinkedIn, it is suggested that you have at least three professional recommendations. Ask your former bosses or colleagues. Return the favor and recommend others as well.
Some extra profile tips for the road!
You can move sections from their default location to highlight what makes you unique.
As you complete your profile and tweak changes, LinkedIn will auto post a notice to your network that you made updates. If you don’t want this to happen, you can temporarily turn off notifications by doing the following :
- In the LinkedIn navigation bar, hover over your tiny pic in the upper right hand corner; select ‘review privacy settings’ list of options, which includes managing your updates. Select ‘Turn off notifications’. Just remember to turn them back on after you have completed your changes!
Hope this helps you build a great profile! Once you have it built be sure to follow me on LinkedIn here!
Would you like to learn more about the ins and outs of social media? Well, you’re in luck! The Social Nurse offers a variety of courses and social media coaching for personal and business use! Check out our Services page HERE.
We even have a marrvy LinkedIn course just for healthcare professionals! Check it out!