Healthcare workers can benefit from this important career networking site
LinkedIn is a great resource for people in any career field. This article focuses on people entering the healthcare workforce, such as sonographers, health information technology specialists, medical assistants, and other similar career paths.
What are the benefits to creating a LinkedIn profile if you are in the healthcare field? There are many, but here are just a few:
- Access to job listings in allied health and healthcare
- Ability to follow healthcare organizations and professional associations that interest you
- Networking options that allow you to connect with fellow healthcare professionals
- Ability to market yourself and your career experience online for free
With these benefits, there are plenty of reasons to join LinkedIn. If you haven’t already created a profile, why not begin building one today? With just a few easy tips, you can raise your profile to the level of “All Star.”
Creating an All-Star profile
Tip #1: Post a professional photo!
A photo tends to be the first thing that people will notice about your profile. Profiles without a photograph look incomplete, and viewers—including potential employers—may overlook you. Profiles with a silly or inappropriate photo will make you look unprofessional. Make sure your photo looks professional. You should wear a business-like suit or blouse in the photo, or if you prefer, you could wear work-related clothes. For instance, if you are medical assistant, you could wear solid-color scrubs to show what you will look like in a work setting. Whatever the case, you want to look like a professional in your photo.
Tip #2: Use healthcare keywords that relate to your career
If an employer is searching LinkedIn for someone with your skill set, you will want your profile to come up. But it won’t come up if you don’t have the right keywords. Start with your Professional Headline (the one right under your name) and your Summary. Be sure they contain a few of the most important keywords in your field. Try to incorporate keywords in all of the fields when appropriate.
When choosing keywords, think of the key job titles and job skills that an employer might want—including any variations of them. For instance, if you got trained to be a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, make sure you include that term, as well as related terms like ultrasound technician, sonography, and ultrasonographer. Also include key skills that are likely to be searched on, like obstetrical scanning, maternal-fetal scanning, abdominal scanning, or whatever other relevant skills you may have.
Tip #3: Do what LinkedIn tells you to do
LinkedIn “holds your hand” throughout the process of creating a profile. It prompts you to fill in fields such as Summary, Experience, Education, and Skills. Make sure you fill in as many fields as possible that LinkedIn suggests. This helps you have a complete file that LinkedIn will rate higher. This is an opportunity to use a variety of keywords to make sure you’ve covered all the possibilities in your job field.
Tip #4: Go back to your profile frequently
LinkedIn likes it when people use the site and when they update their information. Go into “edit” mode frequently, and you will find that LinkedIn will suggest ways to improve your profile. It may ask you about your interests, or ask you to insert links, or ask you to endorse a colleague for their skills. It just takes a few clicks to respond to the suggestions, and this is a good way to keep your profile active and up-to-date.
Tip #5: Start networking with others in the field of healthcare.
LinkedIn is a resource that seems to keep growing and improving. Look at some of the many ways you can use it as a networking tool:
- Make connections. Find other people you know, including friends or colleagues in the field of allied health and health care. Connect with them. Read their profiles. Send them a LinkedIn message with a positive comment relating to their career. Endorse them for their career skills.
- Follow your interests. Under the tab called “interests,” you can learn a lot! You can follow companies or organizations, which is a great tool for jobseekers wanting to know more about key employers in their regions. You can join groups that share your professional goals and follow what they post. There are groups for all sorts of healthcare professionals, such as sonographers, medical assistants, CNAs, dental assistants, and more.
- Endorse your colleagues. Endorsing others is a good will gesture that show that you appreciate and value the skills they have. If you endorse others, you may find that people begin to endorse your skills too. Having endorsements helps make your profile look stronger to potential employers.
Tip #6: Sign up for automatic job alerts
Like many job posting sites, LinkedIn will send you daily or weekly listings of jobs in your field. This saves you tons of time in searching their listings. You can set up several different job alerts and customize them for salary range, location, and industry. This gives you a greater chance of finding a job ad that fits your qualifications. When creating your job alerts, be sure to use a variety of keywords, so that the job alerts will pick up similar job titles. For instance, if you are a medical biller/medical coder, you might also want to enter in search terms like health claims specialist, surgical coder, audit specialist, reimbursement specialist, or medical records coder.
Bonus Tip: How to Create a Shorter LinkedIn URL
When you create a LinkedIn profile, it will have a very long URL. You can share this URL on your resume, but it will look long and unmanageable. A better approach is to create a shortcut URL. Do this looking at the dropdown menu for “View Profile As.” Choose “Manage Public Profile Settings,” and near the top right side of that selection is a spot where you can edit “your public profile URL.” Pick something short and professional. This URL is something you can use in your resume, your cover letters, and in your email signature line.
With these tips, you should be well on your way to getting the most out of LinkedIn. It’s a useful tool whether you are looking for a job, making career connections, or staying abreast of the news in your field. Try to keep your profile up-to-date at all times, and use this free tool throughout your entire career.
These tips were provided by the American College for Medical Careers in Orlando, Florida. We provide career advice and career training in the healthcare and allied health fields. Contact us for more information.