LinkedIn Magic for Savvy 21st - Century Nurses

  1. LinkedIn has moved far beyond just a platform for online resumes. It is now a veritable treasure trove of support for your nursing career providing a place to connect to professionals that can help you achieve your career goals. Are you utilizing the wonderful networking opportunities LinkedIn has to offer?

    LinkedIn Magic for Savvy 21st - Century Nurses

    For savvy nurses, LinkedIn is the premier platform for meeting like-minded colleagues and creating a robust online presence for your personal brand. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile and mastering the platform can really boost your nursing career, and there's no time like the present to stake your claim in the LinkedIn universe.

    The Profile is King (or Queen)

    Back in the day, LinkedIn was generally seen as an online resume. To this day, you can easily create a chronological list of your employment and educational history on LinkedIn. However, beyond these basic "resume" components, there's much more to making your profile sing.

    Those who understand how to use LinkedIn create a written summary that's positioned at the top of their profile just below the header areas that contains headshot, name and title, and other demographics. The summary is a love letter to those visiting your profile, and it's recommended that it be in the 1st person so that the reader can connect with you on a personal level. Remember, it's all about you and who you are.

    Your profile can include uploaded PDF versions of your resume, papers you've published, videos or photos of you in action, or perhaps e-posters or other documents you're proud of.

    There's also a section for skills you'd like to be endorsed for, organizations you follow, and recommendations you've given and received. Personal testimonials and endorsements for your top skills are LinkedIn gold, so request and give written testimonials and endorsements on a regular basis -- this provides you with "social proof", web-based confirmation by others of how awesome you really are.

    Making your profile shine means that you pepper your profile with keywords that will help you get found. Recruiters hang out on LinkedIn seeking candidates for available positions that are often not posted elsewhere; in fact, in your profile settings you can flag your profile as fair game for recruiters.

    The Magic of Connection

    Creating a solid community of connections is definitely one of LinkedIn's main benefits. Your network can consist of former colleagues, as well as new acquaintances encountered on the platform. For previous or current colleagues, consider exchanging recommendations as a way of helping each other elevate the quality of your profiles.
    You never know what will come of a new professional relationship: someone may be a valuable resource for finding a job, receiving a recommendation, or crucial career advice when you need it most.

    If you're planning to move to a new city, LinkedIn is a powerful research tool. Using the advanced search function, you can find nurses living in the city where you'd like to move and seek out their advice. You can also find those who work for a particular employer and request a moment of their time to communicate your specific questions via phone or email.

    From my own experience, the serendipity of new connections can lead to surprising outcomes, so keeping an open mind is key.

    A Treasure Trove

    LinkedIn is a veritable treasure trove of support for your nursing career. Members' posts can include links to interesting articles and research, random thoughts, and industry news. Thousands of LinkedIn groups offer you another way to connect with fellow professionals - nurse entrepreneurs, med-surg nurses, students, and others use groups to keep in touch, discuss salient topics, and build relationships.

    Finally, you can use LinkedIn as a proving ground for your own skills as a writer. The LinkedIn publishing format allows you to write and share original articles, which is a powerful way to take a stand, share your opinions, and positions yourself as a nurse influencer.

    For more reasons than this article can contain, quality time spent on LinkedIn is indeed time well spent. If you need support optimizing your profile, find the help you need - the positive effort you invest in your LinkedIn presence will pay for itself in a broad array of satisfying dividends throughout your nursing career.
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    About Nurse Keith, BSN, RN

    Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, social media influencer, keynote speaker, author, and popular career columnist. With more than two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses. Keith’s career coaching services include resumes and cover letters, LinkedIn optimization, networking and interview skills, career management, and shaping the individualized nursing career that’s just right for you.

    Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 3; Likes: 12
    from NM , US
    Specialty: 23 year(s) of experience

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