How Nurses Can Promote Themselves on LinkedIn
Wondering how you can make your next career move? Learn more about the millions of nurses using LinkedIn to boost their presence.
In case you had any fears, LinkedIn for nurses is just as important as LinkedIn for any other profession. It’s for everyone—and it’s going to be your new career-boosting best friend—because it’s a top tool for advocating for your strengths and accomplishments when you can’t. Whether you already have one or are thinking about building yours, we have tips for you to create a winning profile to increase your likelihood of getting a job, especially the one you really want.
LinkedIn for Nurses?
Of course! Think about it—LinkedIn is like social media for the professional world. Anyone can use it and anyone can use it well. It’s a great platform for remaining a part of the competition in today’s job market. According to LinkedIn, there are over 400 million users, and a few million of them are in the healthcare and nursing fields. That’s right, you’ll find millions of profiles on LinkedIn for nurses. Yes, that’s a lot of people to compete with, but it’ll be significantly fewer if you’re specific about all the nursing experience you’ve had.
Top Five Tips for a Competitive Profile
We’re breaking down how you can create a complete, impactful and eye-catching profile with just a few easy-to-do steps.
Keep it Professional
Remember that when you appear in a list of candidates in a LinkedIn search, people are only going to see your picture, your name and your headline. You need to make these count. Here’s how.
- Start off with your name. It should be the same as what’s on your resume, or the name you use in work settings, so you’re easily found. Additionally, since there isn’t a field in a LinkedIn profile for your credentials, this is a great opportunity to showcase your education. Jane Smith, MSN has nice ring to it, right?
- What’s your picture like? Is it professional? This means it was taken with proper exposure against a background that doesn’t compete for attention.
- Next, think about your headline. This is the space below your name and photo, and it’s the place where you tell people who you are in just a few words. Rather than just say you’re a Registered Nurse, explain what you’re experienced in, such as ICU or critical care, and perhaps for how long if it’s noteworthy.
- No matter how tech savvy you are, you can create a custom URL for your profile. This URL should be as close to your name as possible, with limited numbers and characters. It makes things clean and easy to remember.
Advocate for Yourself
Ever heard of an elevator pitch? It’s a short and sweet spiel about who you are and what you do. The beauty of LinkedIn is that you have a summary field to say exactly what you want people to hear. In order to stand out, you should let your personality shine through while being professional and concise. This includes mentioning strengths, skills and experiences, all described in the first person.
LinkedIn profiles are designed to be just like resumes, so use them to their full potential. List all of your relevant work experience, including nursing practicums and volunteer work. Make sure to lay out the details of each with achievements, skills learned and qualifications earned. If you think something adds to your educational or professional expertise, even trainings or industry memberships, put it down.
On the one hand, LinkedIn is a social media platform for sharing work-relevant information about you and the nursing field. On the other hand, it’s a search engine for recruiters and HR personnel to find nurses like you to hire. Due to the sheer volume of LinkedIn members, those looking to hire will type in keywords related to the job description. You want to make sure that your profile includes the keywords that best describe your skillset and the type of job you’re looking to be hired for so you show up in search results. These may include terms such as “certification,” “clinical research” or “travel nursing,” depending on the person.
Don’t be shy—you’ll need to spread the word about your nursing prowess. You can do this in a few ways.
- Skills: Check as many skill boxes as you can that relate to your actual experience and education. If you have the evidence to back it up, put that skill on your profile. The more the better.
- Endorse Others: If you want those in your professional circle to vouch for your skills, make sure that you endorse theirs. The more you endorse other people’s skills, the more likely they are to return the favor. Endorsements build trust.
- Recommendations: If you’ve had a particularly good experience with a certain fellow nurse, manager or doctor, ask them to please write you a recommendation. Of course, offer to write them one in return. If people will go out of their way to speak up about what a great nurse you are, people will want to work with you.
Given the social aspect of the platform, it’s imperative that you make connections, but be careful to make the right ones. When requesting to ‘link in’ with someone, you should have a reason to do so, meaning they are a nurse or doctor you’ve worked with, studied with or been mentored by. If you meet someone and want to learn more about them and from them, find them on LinkedIn—you’ll learn a lot about how people have succeeded as a nurse from their profile.
How to Find a Job
Now that you’ve got your profile set up and in “All Star” shape, as they say on the app, you can start making career moves. As we mentioned before, connecting with others is the best way to open up doors for several reasons:
- It will remind people of you if they’re looking to hire.
- It allows you to see if someone in your network posts a job opening.
- You can see where people in your network choose to work.
- You can connect with nursing recruiters to see what jobs are most commonly sought after.
An important thing to remember is that, if you’re currently employed, you don’t want to blast to everyone that you’re looking because your employer could see. Private messages or requests to meet for coffee are another great way that can get you in contact with the right people.
Even if you’re not looking for a job, LinkedIn is a key resource. Use it to learn about nursing trends, changes in the field, solutions to common problems nurses face and a gateway to academic resources you didn’t know were available. Take a minute to check out some nursing profiles today. You’re bound to learn something new.