Since LinkedIn has more than 400 million users total, Carlson said, "the potential for making positive connections with like-minded professionals is high. Nurses can use LinkedIn to strategically network with other nurses and healthcare colleagues. LinkedIn groups are highly useful forums for getting your questions answered and meeting other nurses with similar interests."
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You have the inside scoop on present and future employers. "If you're a nurse planning to move to another city or state and find a job quickly, LinkedIn's search function can help you find local healthcare professionals who may shed light on employers and facilities you're interested in," Carlson explained.
You're ready to roll with life changes. If you keep the experience portion of your LinkedIn profile updated, you can readily engage with any quick-breaking opportunities, from travel nurse jobs and new local nursing organizations to opportunities for speakers or committees. "One difference between your resume and your LinkedIn profile is that you can say a lot more since you have no limits on space," Carlson noted. "Feel free to add more meat to the bones of the descriptions of your work experience and your areas of expertise and accomplishment. If you've participated in research, held a seat on a committee, or otherwise been involved at work, make sure to describe your position and what was achieved by both you and the group."
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Hacks for building the best nurse LinkedIn profile
Especially if you haven't touched your LinkedIn profile since before 2017, when the company redesigned its layout and expanded the functions, you should investigate whether your profile needs an update.
Start with the "notifications" function, recommended the Eisenhower Health career blog, since LinkedIn automatically alerts all your connections each time you make a change to your profile. "That's helpful when your profile is complete or you've gotten a new job or promotion, but not so much when you're in the middle of making changes," EH emphasized. "No one needs or wants to see anything less than a completed, well-executed profile. Turn off notifications until you've perfected your profile. Just don't forget to turn them back on when you're ready to share it across your network."
Also, spend some time posting or revamping your profile photo. "Simply having a profile photo results in up to 21 times more profile views and nine times more connection requests," according to LinkedIn. The network has included photo editing and six photo filters since 2017.
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Just remember you have different goals on LinkedIn than you do with social media like Facebook, Eisenhower Health added. "This is not the place for a vacation selfie or glamour shot. Instead, invest in a professional portrait," it recommended. "You can use your smartphone in a pinch, but be careful to ensure the result is professional and puts you in a good light, literally. Experts recommend natural lighting and simple, neutral backgrounds. Prospective employers want to see you, after all, not where you are." And get a friend to help. That way, EH added, "you'll avoid awkward head or shoulder angles that scream selfie, plus you'll get a critical set of eyes to watch for stray hairs or ties or jewelry that have gone askew."
And once you've gotten a great LinkedIn profile going, make sure everyone can see it, TravelNurse Source advised. "Make your page public to use for your resume," TNS recommended. "When you have a great LinkedIn profile, you absolutely should make it a public URL so that you can put the address on your resume. If you have a lot of recommendations, experience, and endorsements; it can really add a lot to your chances of landing a job."
It's beneficial to customize that URL, too, but be professional, TNS added. "Stray away from one such as 'www.linkedin.com/bbygrl1988.'"