Why Every Nurse Needs a LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network. As a nurse, it allows you to connect with millions of professionals within the healthcare industry, including recruiters, executives, influencers, and your healthcare colleagues.
A Powerful Networking Opportunity
Developing a large nursing network can provide you with a treasure trove of information, advice, support, and connections. LinkedIn is the easiest way to access a large quantity of health professionals in one place. As a nurse on LinkedIn, you can easily market yourself to potential employers, search for available jobs, and meet other like-minded healthcare professionals.
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Building your network does take some time and effort, however. First, you need to create a strong professional profile in order to ensure you are attracting the right people.
Another important aspect of networking on LinkedIn is building genuine connections with others. This involves interacting with people, reacting to and commenting on their posts, and being sincerely interested in them. The LinkedIn algorithm thrives off of individual activity, so the more you interact, the more feeds you will show up in (and the more your network will grow).
LinkedIn plays host to many influential nurses who share their thoughts on the platform. From the Assistant Attorney General to the President of the American Nurses Association, nurse leaders are using LinkedIn as a way to share their voices and make an even greater impact.
A User-Friendly Resume Builder
Your LinkedIn profile serves as a kind of public, digital resume. The best LinkedIn profiles highlight your skills and experience in an engaging yet succinct way.
A strong LinkedIn profile will have each of these things:
1. A Professional Profile Photo
Your profile photo is your first impression, so it should ideally be a high-quality headshot. This can usually be achieved with a smartphone and tripod, but a professional photoshoot can help you shine even more. Avoid photos that are too casual or silly.
2. Your Credentials
As a nurse, your credentials say a lot about you to potential employers. Plus, you worked hard for them, so why not display them? Although LinkedIn does not have an official space to enter credentials, the best solution is to simply add your credentials after your last name in the “Last Name” field when creating your profile.
3. A Descriptive Headline
Your headline is shown immediately below your name. It is one of the first things people see on your profile and it is displayed with every post and comment you make. Your headline should describe your professional role(s) a bit more to attract potential employers and connections.
4. A Professional Summary
Your professional summary goes in your About section. It should highlight your experiences, strengths, and accomplishments. You can also use this section to briefly explain your professional goals and what you are looking for in your next role. Be warm and personal, but still professional and straightforward when you write this.
5. A Personalized URL
LinkedIn also allows you to edit the web address to your profile. For example, instead of a random jumble of letters and numbers, your link could look like this: LinkedIn.com/in/SusanJones. This adds another level of professionalism to your LinkedIn and the URL looks much sleeker on your resume, cover letters, and/or business cards.
6. Detailed Professional Experience
LinkedIn has an Experience section of your profile where you can list current and past employers, dates of employment, job responsibilities, and skills. Feel free to be as detailed as possible here and implement keywords to get noticed by potential employers. You can even attach media files to jobs, such as projects or publications you want to display.
Recommendations show other LinkedIn users what people think of you. They are public and displayed on your profile as a kind of “social proof” of your abilities as an employee. You can only request recommendations from your connections, so be sure to add any colleagues, managers, supervisors, professors, mentors, or preceptors that you want to ask.
8. Repeated Keyword Usage
LinkedIn actually has a sophisticated algorithm and search engine in place designed to link directly with keywords people use. In other words, whatever keywords you want to be associated with yourself, be sure to use them repeatedly throughout your profile to increase your chances of being discovered by your target audience. For example, if you are a critical care nurse looking for a new role, be sure to use keywords like “ICU”, “trauma”, and “critical care” repeatedly on your profile.
9. Skills and Endorsements
Some employers and recruiters are looking for candidates with a specific skill set. The Skills section of your profile is your opportunity to list all of the different professional skills you have acquired. Once you have listed your skills, you can request your connections to “endorse” those skills, meaning they certify that you possess those skills based on their experiences working with you. Skills and endorsement make it easier for your profile to show up in the LinkedIn search engine.
10. Connections and Followers
Connections are people you have mutually chosen to add to your network, similar to “Friends” on other social media sites. When someone is a connection, their activity will show up in your news feed and yours will show up in theirs.
Followers, on the other hand, do not require your approval and their activity does not show up on your feed, but your public activity will show up in theirs.
Both connections and followers are crucial to growing your professional network. The more connections and followers you have, the more you are sending the message that you are someone worth noticing.
Access to the LinkedIn Job Board
Perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of LinkedIn is the job board. LinkedIn is filled with recruiters and employers, so the job board is a gold mine of opportunity. It has lots of advanced search options where you can filter jobs based on your specific preferences, such as location, pay range, on-site/hybrid/remote, and more.
Some posters will also allow you to apply to their job openings using your LinkedIn profile instead of filling out an external application. This is called Easy Apply and it makes the application process a breeze.
The job board also offers other useful features, including a resume builder and interview prep.
Access to LinkedIn Nursing Groups
Another useful benefit of using LinkedIn are the LinkedIn Groups. There are many, many nursing-related LinkedIn groups out there and it may take a bit of digging to find ones that are active and provide you with the information you’re looking for. However, LinkedIn Groups can be very useful forums for asking questions, finding work, and meeting other healthcare professionals.
For example, two of the biggest nursing groups are the Nursing Network and RN Network - Nursing Community. These groups are very saturated with recruiters, so they are a great option for nurses who are looking for new employment.
Another useful group is Nursing Beyond the Bedside. This group is aimed at nurses who are interested in or who have already made the move away from the bedside into other avenues of nursing.
Finally, Nurse.org has a new LinkedIn group called Nursing Career Resources. The goal of this group is to share helpful resources and to provide support and guidance to both nurses and nursing students. We would love for you to join us there!
LinkedIn Newsletters for Nurses
LinkedIn also offers several newsletters for nurses. Some of the best include:
The Nurse.org Report is a weekly newsletter published by Nurse.org. It provides weekly news updates and lots of other useful resources for nurses.
In Orbit: News in Nursing is a monthly newsletter published by Orbis Education. It highlights the top monthly news stories in nursing and healthcare.
The Prosperous Nurse is a weekly newsletter published by Michael Budnick. It aims to teach money-minded nurses how to wisely manage their finances and retirement plans.
Nursing News You Can Use is a biweekly newsletter By Tina Baxter. It provides general information about the nursing industry and other health topics.
LinkedIn is a powerful social media platform that should not be ignored. Nurses can benefit greatly from the ability to network and search for jobs with ease while also establishing themselves within a professional forum. LinkedIn is an excellent way to keep in touch with colleagues, discover breaking news and trends, and position yourself for your next nursing career move.
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