The nursing profession is just that: a profession. LinkedIn happens to be a great resource for professionals, and LinkedIn for nurses is no exception.
In discussing LinkedIn for nurses, we reached out to our good friend, Erica MacDonald (@selfemployedMSN), one of our favorite multi-job nurses out there who has proven herself to be a nurse entrepreneur by working at the intersection of nursing and business.
Have you ever used LinkedIn to assist you in getting a job?
LinkedIn is an excellent platform for nurse business owners, self-employed nurses, or job searchers to find jobs or potential clients. LinkedIn has assisted me in finding jobs. In my freelance writing business, most clients seek me out on LinkedIn, as opposed to me approaching them. Personally, I have observed a positive correlation to the amount of time I spend on LinkedIn networking in groups to the amount of profile views and offers that come my way. Other people, businesses, and niches may not find this to be true for them. However, I suggest trying this strategy.
What do you find most valuable about having a LinkedIn profile?
The most valuable thing about having a LinkedIn profile is that it doubles as a resume and the fact that it has huge keyword value for people searching LinkedIn. Do you want to be found on LinkedIn by potential employers or clients? Pay attention to the keywords in your profile in terms of search optimization. Use keywords that potential employers or clients would use to search LinkedIn. However, be strategic when using them and do not keyword stuff your profile.
Have you ever written a piece for LinkedIn? Can you give an example of what posting it on LinkedIn did for you?
In the future, I may consider publishing on LinkedIn as I believe there is a definite value in doing so. Currently, I share blog posts as well as others on LinkedIn. The great thing about sharing content on LinkedIn is that it helps start conversations for group networking. Also, you may be attracting attention that you may not initially be aware of. For example, people have contacted me saying that they are familiar with my work yet they have never commented on a post. LinkedIn, like other social media platforms, has “social media lurkers”.
Do you find LinkedIn easy to use? Can you give any specific functions that you found to be especially easy?
I find that LinkedIn is easy to use. I think the way they allow users to build their profile using images alongside of text allows the user to effectively build a quick glance portfolio. It is an easy to use but crucial profile feature. Many people do not use this feature to its full potential. Get creative. Even as a nurse writer, I use images to round out my profile.
What advice would you give to a nurse contemplating creating a LinkedIn profile?
One of the best pieces of advice that I can give nurses is to use a professional looking profile picture. I know that you have probably heard this suggestion a thousand times. However, if you are not currently using a professional photo, this is the quickest way to start a profile makeover. In our culture, many people make quick judgments based on appearance even at the subconscious level. Make every effort to represent yourself professionally.
Erica MacDonald is a mother, wife, nurse educator, and writer. Several years into her nursing career, Erica started a nurse-owned business. She owns a web content writing business while being active in online nurse education. Erica writes about the topics of nursing, nursing education, health, and wellness, and is also available to help brands build engaging content for the nursing community.