Whether you’re starting a brand new job search or are well into your career, you have an incredible opportunity. Never before has it been so easy to build, or destroy, a professional image of yourself using digital media sites and tools.
Out of all the sites dedicated to helping you build your media presence, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking platform. People from all over the world use LinkedIn to build their reputation and create an online presence as they manage their careers. Joining LinkedIn can help you stay in touch or reconnect with past classmates, coworkers and managers. It is also useful to help you make connections in your industry, locate job opportunities and stay up to date on industry news.
LinkedIn is especially important for nursing and healthcare professionals, as this group is well represented on the site. As of August 2012, LinkedIn has more than 175 million members in over 200 countries and territories. And in 2011, it was estimated that nearly two million of these members were affiliated with healthcare careers.
So what is the fastest way you can learn more about LinkedIn and get started creating your professional brand online? Go to the LinkedIn Learning Center for Students to see how you can start building a solid network and professional nursing brand while you are in school or if you are a recent graduate. Watch the videos that are provided and be sure to review the following handouts on the LinkedIn website:
Already out of school and have a basic profile? View the job seeker user guides to learn some more advanced features about maximizing your connections and your profile.
Remember, LinkedIn is used for more than job searching and just having an online résumé. Industry news, connections to professional groups and associations and broad scope networking are all features that can help a nurse cultivate collaborative and leadership skills. It is important to be active with the site even after a position is obtained.