Make the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Profile
“You are what you post.” Is that really the case? In some ways, yes.
You’re no stranger to understanding the impact that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have on one’s personal brand. As a physician, you know you probably won’t reach the audience you need to by tweeting out your thoughts and opinions, but you can reach potential employers another way.
Hint: It starts with “Linked” and ends with “In.”
LinkedIn is arguably the most important platform used by professional job seekers. Once used mostly by business people, LinkedIn has grown into a multi-faceted social media scape in some ways similar to Facebook.
While bells and whistles have been added to LinkedIn over the years, its use as a sort of online resume is still its most important function. As a physician on the job hunt, you’ll benefit by knowing how to effectively use it.
Power your profile with your successes
No one likes Chatty Cathies who never stop talking about themselves. The tables turn when it comes to LinkedIn, where it’s practically de riguere to go to town in trumpeting one’s successes and achievements. Use your profile to communicate to prospective hospitals and health groups what kind of physician you are, what you accomplished in medical school, what you did in your residency, and what kind of doctor you hope to be going forward.
But if there is one thing you want to focus on mostly, it’s your achievements.
Most people list the responsibilities they had at their previous jobs on LinkedIn, but you can go a step further. Rather than describing each bedpan change and paperwork filing job you held, instead pinpoint the accomplishments that you’re most proud of. Describe how you made a difference, where you had influence, how you brought about change. Include experiences like suggesting more efficient ways to analyze labs and blood work or organizing study groups for Boards.
Understand your audience
It’s a classic beginning marketing misstep to spend lots of time creating advertising and branding while misunderstanding (or not understanding) your audience. Then your hard work goes for naught. In this case, the product is you, and the audience is the hospital or health group who are looking at your resumé.
LinkedIn is great for networking. You can connect with physicians, medical thought leaders, and influential people. Just try not to go on a random “adding” spree just to get your number of connections up, or you risk having to endure meaningless or counterproductive interactions. Make sure your connections are mutually beneficial.
Are you looking mostly for recruiters, researchers, or patients? Are you actively looking to join a health group or do you just want to build up your network? Focus on those connections.
Be aware of your target audience with each click of the Connect button. It’s okay to be a little overconfident on LinkedIn. Mostly, think to yourself, “Can this person benefit my medical career?” If so, connect with them.
Make yourself searchable, but still personable
LinkedIn’s search engine focuses on keywords, so it’s a good strategy to incorporate them in building your profile. To increase your chances of being seen by recruiters, use thoughtful keywords throughout your profile when mentioning volunteer work, research opportunities, medical school activities, and previous physician experiences.
But instead of just blindly adding in keywords, first search for the job you want, then use the industry terms and buzzwords you find in those listings. Strategically add them to your profile so that it will rank higher in search results.
As a physician on the job hunt, you want to make sure you are telling your story effectively—that is, the path that led you to where you are today.
Focus on writing a concise summary of yourself in the summary field and save the keywords for Specialties, which appear as a subsection and can be changed anytime. That way, you’ll make a great first impression that leads into a solid, strategized list of specialties.
LinkedIn has made it easy to put yourself out there to connect with people in your field. So, it’s important to pay close attention to how you present yourself on the platform as you search for jobs.
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