By Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC
LinkedIn is the largest online network for working professionals. Nursing careers can benefit greatly from LinkedIn, and building a strong profile is a great place to start building your nursing and healthcare network.
With over 400 million users, the potential for making positive connections with like-minded professionals is high. Nurses can use LinkedIn to network strategically with other nurses and healthcare colleagues.
If you’re a nurse planning to relocate to another city or state and find a job quickly, LinkedIn’s search feature can help you find local healthcare professionals who can shed light on employers and the establishments that interest you.
LinkedIn groups are very useful forums for getting your questions answered and meeting other nurses with similar interests.
To use LinkedIn well, it is important to have a solid profile. Here are 10 tips to help you create a profile that will work for you and your nursing career.
1. Profile picture
You should have a relatively high quality portrait on your profile. Other users want to know who you are, and a photo says it all. A smartphone can usually do the trick, but a professional portrait can really help you shine.
2. Your credentials
LinkedIn does not give you a place to put your credentials after your name. You can hack this problem by simply putting them after your name in the last name field. That way, they’ll appear right at the top of your profile where they belong.
3. Your title
Your title is the area just below your photo and name. Instead of just “Registered Nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital,” why not say something that really describes you?
For example: “A seasoned nurse with extensive experience in critical care, trauma and intensive care” or “Chief RN based in Houston whose career is focused on quality improvement and nursing development” . These headlines tell us a lot more about the person behind the profile.
4. A summary
Your professional summary is where the rubber hits the road. It is recommended that your summary be in the first person. Talk about yourself, your strengths, your experiences and what you bring as a nurse. You can also mention the opportunities you are looking for and the types of professionals you would like to meet.
The summary is like a love letter to visitors to your profile: be warm and personal, but still professional.
When you edit your public LinkedIn profile, you can create a custom URL (web address). This is a form of personal branding and allows you to show that you are familiar with LinkedIn.
Your custom URL might look like this: LinkedIn.com/in/SusanJonesRN. It can look great on your resume, cover letters, letterhead, and business card.
You can copy and paste most of the information you need for this section of your LinkedIn profile directly from your resume.
One difference between your CV and your LinkedIn profile is that you can say a lot more since you have no space limit. Feel free to add more meat to the bones of descriptions of your work experience and areas of expertise and achievement.
If you have been involved in research, held a committee seat, or been involved in any other way at work, be sure to describe your position and what has been achieved by you and the group.
An important aspect of LinkedIn is that your colleagues, professors, mentors, preceptors, managers, and supervisors can write recommendations about you right on your profile for everyone to see. These recommendations are a form of “social proof”, uplifting you in the eyes of others.
LinkedIn’s recommendations show the world what others think about you. Connect with colleagues on LinkedIn and agree to write testimonials for each other.
LinkedIn is actually a very powerful search engine disguised as a social network. Use keywords throughout your profile to make those terms work for you in the search engine. If you enjoy intensive care, trauma, and intensive care, make sure these terms appear repeatedly in your profile.
9. Skills and endorsements
The skills and recommendations section of LinkedIn is important. This is where you choose the skills for which you want to be supported. As you accumulate recommendations from other users for certain skills (for example, “Nursing”, “Med-Surg” or “ICU”), these keywords become more important to you in the search engine. search LinkedIn. It can make it easier for others to find and contact you.
10. Make connections
Making connections on LinkedIn will lead to more connections, and more connections can lead to more opportunities. Building a strong professional network is smart at any point in your nursing career. You can use LinkedIn to find your tribe of like-minded nurses and healthcare professionals.
LinkedIn is an essential tool for professional development. Updating your profile is just the start, but it’s the perfect place to start improving your game on this popular platform.
Professional networking lasts a lifetime. A strong LinkedIn profile will get you noticed, open the door to new relationships and professional opportunities, and enhance the advancement of your nursing career.
Next Up: The Highest Paid States For Registered Nurses
Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC is a Certified Nurse Coach, Award Winning Blogger, Nursing Podcaster, Speaker and Author. Based in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Nurse Keith’s work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications.