LinkedIN can be all too often overlooked by physicians who see it as more of a corporate tool for the business world. This isn’t the case however, with more and more medics realising how useful it can be.
Here’s a quick guide therefore to 5 things you should do to maximise your LinkedIN profile.
1 - Keywords are, well, the key
What many people don’t realise when they use LinkedIN is that using certain keywords can help others find you. Use these throughout your profile, and in the content you post and share, to highlight your strengths, major achievements and interests within your professional life.
From a medical professional's perspective remember to include any areas of special interest that you have researched, areas that you hope to develop your understanding of in the future and projects that you have been involved in.
2 - Network constantly
LinkedIN has plenty of ways to successfully network with hundreds of people in your specialty and beyond. To get the most out of the website make sure you are active on it as often as possible. This can involve joining groups in areas that interest you, providing recommendations for colleagues, sharing the latest news from your area, along with other articles that you find interesting, joining discussions and publishing blog posts of your own.
That’s not all, simply looking at other profiles can drive more people to yours - and so increase your professional network of contacts. Something that can be potentially crucial if you are considering a new role elsewhere.
3 - Keep it up to date and interesting
It may seem like a big task to keep your CV up to date, however keeping your LinkedIN updated and fresh shouldn’t be as tiresome. Make sure that it is kept as current as possible, with job descriptions, experience and any other recent projects all mentioned.
Remember though that your LinkedIN profile isn’t your CV, and so you can be more creative. The best way to do this is by making your biography chatty and informal, whilst remaining factual and professional. Treat it as if you are describing yourself to a friend is what we usually recommend, and that technique seems to work well.
4 - Add a photo
Having a picture on your page may seem like a trivial thing, however it really helps to convey an initial professional image. According to LinkedIN’s own statistics you are seven times more likely to have your profile viewed if it contains a picture, so it’s a simple way to help get noticed.
Make sure the image is professional however, that doesn’t mean it has to be you in hospital carrying out a procedure, but it does mean that it should make you appear like the sort of person you would work with.
Don’t consider using a picture from a party or similar event, and don’t pull any Facebook-esque poses. It creates a horribly unprofessional image. Leave out any special effects, unless they black and white which can often look good, and try and avoid any busy backgrounds.
5 - Include a link on any documentation you have
Think of LinkedIN like a way of marketing yourself. You want as many people as possible to view and connect with your profile, and so you need to try and reach the largest possible audience.
Don’t be afraid to put a LinkedIN link in your email signature, and consider putting a link on any business cards that you have. In bigger private institutions, or amongst medics who do a lot of Locum work, business cards are growing in popularity, and a strong LinkedIN profile can help create a great first impression.
Have we missed anything out, or do you disagree with what we’ve said? Let us know on social media.