LinkedIn is a great source for job postings for practical nurses and nursing assistants
In today’s job market, it is not enough to have a strong resume and cover letter. Professionals in just about every industry—including the nursing and healthcare industry—are using LinkedIn to search for jobs, build their careers, and expand their professional networks. If you don’t already have a strong profile, now’s the time to create one! LinkedIn is very user-friendly, and better yet, it is free!
If you are just finishing up a healthcare training program, and are ready to get out in the workforce, here are some tips to help you get started.
Tip 1: Include a professional photo of yourself
No matter how good your profile is, it won’t look good without a photo. Potential employers will think your profile is incomplete without it. Be sure that your photo is professional looking. Most people wear business attire for the photo, but as someone in the nursing field, you can choose to wear your scrubs for the picture. Be sure it’s a posed photograph with a plain background. It’s best to look straight at the camera.
Tip 2: Turn off the notifications while you are creating your profile
LinkedIn automatically alerts all of your connections when you make changes to your profile. Not everyone wants to see every single update you make. To turn off this feature, hover over your picture in the top right corner. Choose Privacy & Settings/Privacy Control/Choose Whether or Not to Share Your Profile Edits. Just unclick this option and the alerts will stop.
Tip 3: Follow LinkedIn’s prompts as you create your profile
LinkedIn is very user friendly, and it prompts you through every step of creating your file. Try to fill out every field as completely as possible. You can re-use parts of your resume for the sections on experience, education, and job skills.
Tip 4: Put your most relevant skills at the top
You can re-order your skills in LinkedIn. What are the skills you want potential employers to see first? Put them at the top. For instance, if you have just completed a practical nursing training program, but are still working in a retail job while you look for a nursing position, you want to put your practical nursing skills at the top and your retail skills lower in the list.
Tip 5: Make your headline meaningful
The headline is the first line that appears after your name. Many LinkedIn experts think that this is the most important field. Be sure to make it count. Many people use a formula like this: [Professional] who does [skill] for [client/employer]. For example, “Practical nurse who provides patient-centered rehabilitative care in long-term care settings.”
Tip 6: Add keywords
What are the keywords in your career field? One way to find out is to search current job ads for the position you want. Look for the recurring terms, and be sure to use those same terms in your headline and throughout your profile. For example, nursing assistants might use terms like nursing, rehabilitative care, personal care, skilled care, standard precautions, communications, patient privacy, confidentiality, and patient hygiene, along with the description of your nursing skills, such as vital signs, first aid, CPR, and your license or certification.
Tip 7: Create a shorter URL
When you have created your profile, LinkedIn will automatically assign it a URL, but it will be long and cumbersome. Hover over your picture in the upper right corner. Choose Privacy & Settings/Helpful Links/Edit your Public Profile. On this screen you will see your URL with a pencil next to it. Click on the pencil, and it will allow you to create a shorter URL. Try to keep it simple like www.linkedin.com/in/firstnamelastname. Once you have a shorter URL, you can also insert it into your resume, cover letter, and email signature line.
Tip 8: Look at other people’s profiles in the nursing field. Once you’ve gotten the basics of your profile written, do a search to find what other professionals in the field of nursing are doing with their profiles. Never copy anything, but you can certainly use other profiles to get ideas on how to improve your own.
Tip 9: Proofread and post
Re-read everything you have written, and ask a trusted friend or mentor to read your profile too. Once it’s ready, you can start inviting people to connect with you, and you will be surprised at how many people invite you to be connected to them. As time goes on, you will build more and more connections!
Congratulations on creating your LinkedIn profile! Make sure you visit LinkedIn often to update your profile, make connections, and see what your colleagues are posting.
In next week’s blog, we will cover “Tips for Making the Most out of LinkedIn.” Stay tuned!
The Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health, located in Manchester, New Hampshire, is committed to helping its students build their careers. Our blog offers career advice and helpful hints for those interested in the field of nursing and allied health. Contact us for more information about our training programs.