Find out about networking for healthcare professionals, business professionals, nonprofit professionals, and more
Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between Facebook and LinkedIn? You may know many people who have Facebook accounts, but what is LinkedIn all about? LinkedIn is similar to Facebook and other social media, but it is for professional networking instead of social networking.
According to Wikipedia, LinkedIn had 500 million users in 200 countries as of April 2017. That’s a large network! Why join it? Joining LinkedIn allows you to post a customized profile, search for job postings in your field, apply for jobs, and connect with other professionals like yourself. And best of all, joining is free (although you can pay for upgrades if you choose).
How do you create a great LinkedIn Profile?
If you are in career school, college, or just entering the job market, now is the time to start working on your own LinkedIn profile. Creating a profile isn’t hard at all, so there’s no reason to procrastinate. LinkedIn for Dummies, 4th edition, by John Wiley Publishers, offers some great suggestions on making a successful profile. Some of the suggestions include:
1) Complete your profile as fully as possible
When you start creating your profile, LinkedIn will walk you through all the different fields you can fill out. Try to complete as many fields as possible. This will give you a more thorough profile that is more likely to impress potential employers.
2) Get a professional-looking headshot
There’s no question—the first thing that people notice about your profile is your photograph. So you want it to be a photograph that you are proud of! Have a friend take a photograph of you dressed in professional clothing. Make sure it’s a photo that you would like potential employers to see.
3) Write a good headline
The headline field is somewhat short—only 120 characters. Many people simply put their current job title in this field, and that’s okay. Others like to get more creative and use this space to describe what they do “in a nutshell.” You don’t even have to use complete sentences. Try putting key phrases that employers might search for, such as:
Licensed Practical Nurse | Compassion in Nursing | Alzheimer’s Experience | Geriatric Care
4) Focus on your summary: Examples of LinkedIn Summaries
One of the key elements of a good LinkedIn profile is your summary statement. In this section, you have 2,000 characters to “market yourself” to potential employers. The reason this is so important is that it appears at the very top of your profile, just under your headline. So, how do you write a good LinkedIn Summary? What should it say? How should it serve as a marketing (or branding) tool for you as a professional?
To begin, think of the strengths that make you who you are: what you do, what you’ve achieved, your passions, how you’re different from others, and the positive things others have said about you. Put these thoughts into one or two paragraphs. Next, focus on your first two sentences—these are the two that employers will see automatically, before they have to click to read more. Are these sentences compelling? If not, keep working. You want these two sentences to communicate what you have to offer, and to inspire the reader to click the “read more” button.
For more details on crafting the perfect LinkedIn summary, try How to Write a Stellar LinkedIn Summary, as published in Forbes. For more examples of LinkedIn summaries and templates to help you get started, try the Muse’s 5 Templates That'll Make Writing the Perfect LinkedIn Summary a Breeze.
5) Create a shortened URL
Before you post your profile, be sure to create a shortened URL. (The automatic URL will be too long.) Here’s how to do it:
- Click on your icon at the top of the page
- Choose View Profile
- Choose “Edit your public profile & URL” in the right column
- Click on the pencil icon in the right column under Edit public profile URL. This will allow you to type in a new URL
- Choose something that is professional-sounding, preferably your first and last name
6) Have someone proofread your profile before posting
Just like you should ask someone to proofread your resume before sending it, you should have someone proofread your LinkedIn profile before posting it. We all make mistakes, and that’s why it’s important to have a fresh set of eyes take a look at your profile. When you’re satisfied that you’ve caught all the errors, it’s ready to post!
7) Remember to keep it current
Your LinkedIn profile is something that can stay with you for your entire career. It’s important to keep it up-to-date, especially if you are in the middle of a job search. When you make updates, be careful to turn off the notifications (otherwise, everyone in your network will get notifications every time you make a change). Here’s how to turn off LinkedIn notifications:
- Click on your icon/photo at the top of the page
- Choose Settings & Privacy
- Click on the Privacy tab
- Click on “Sharing profile edits” and slide the bar to “No”
- You can turn it back to “Yes” after you’ve made your updates
8) Take time to build your career network
How do you build a career network? Networking for healthcare professionals, business professionals, nonprofit professionals—and all professionals—has never been simpler now that LinkedIn is available. The Huffington Post offers some helpful suggestions on how to maximize the networking power of LinkedIn; here are some below.
- Search for former co-workers or former classmates, and make LinkedIn connections with them
- Join LinkedIn groups that center on your career field
- Follow companies that interest you
- Post interesting articles that are related to your career field
- Add multimedia to your profile to create interest in your profile
- Under the “My Network” tab, scroll through the “People You May Know,” and invite them to be your connections
- Give recommendations and endorsements to others
- Ask a trusted colleague to write a recommendation for you
For more advice on making the most out of LinkedIn, try Are You Getting Enough Out of LinkedIn?
With these starters, you should be well on your way to creating an impressive and effective LinkedIn profile. There’s no better time than the present to get started!
The Harris Casel Institute in Melbourne, Florida posts career-related blog articles to help its students get started in their new career fields. If you are interested in starting your new career path with us, check out our short-term healthcare training programs in nursing assisting, practical nursing, medical billing and coding, and more. To learn more, fill out our online form or sign up for a tour today. Or try us by phone at 321-676-4066. We can’t wait to hear from you!