Monday, 3 June 2013

LinkedIn: The Hows and Whys

Being the social media ~*Queen*~ I am, I jumped on the LinkedIn train right from the start. I saw the potential in it to be a great networking tool for new grads as well as current professionals to connect and collaborate.

I've had a few people ask me - Why should I sign up? It's just another social media fad!

Answer: Even if it does turn out to be a fad (unlikely), it will take you maybe 30 minutes to create a great profile you can use to network and explore. Another benefit is if you have a recognizable name you can have help "control" what is found about you. Creating a LinkedIn profile will push that link to the top when you are searched so they will see your professional profile instead of possible other less desirable links.

Here are some tips for creating your own LinkedIn Profile:

1. Pick a Recognizable Tag Line

This is a key to what people will see if they search your name. Pick something that you want associated with your name right now. If you're a student in clinical - mention that. If you're working in a doctor's office - mention that. Whatever you choose, make sure it's something that will draw people to your profile. I am currently (only for a few more months) the President of our Student Society, so I mentioned that.

LinkedInTitle

2. A Clear Photo!

Do not use photos of you at a bar, club, playing soccer (unless you are looking to be recruited for a soccer team?) etc. Pick something clear and professional that shows your face. It does not have to be perfect or professionally taken but try to pick something that you like. and wouldn't mind someone seeing. People like to see that this text profile/resume belongs to a real person! (you can see my photo I use in the above point).

3. Select Carefully

You don't have to put every.single.job. that you've ever worked on your LinkedIn. Select the important ones or ones you found valuable. It's just like creating a resume - you don't want it so long that people have to put aside an afternoon to read it. I selected jobs I worked at for a long period of time (at least 1 year) or where I had significant responsibility that would carry over to another position.

4. Brag

What's nice about LinkedIn is you have the opportunity to brag about your qualifications more as well as explain things more in-depth than you would on a resume. Take the space to highlight your experiences in school or at your job and how that would carry forward. You won an award? Talk about how special you are for winning it! You did some amazing volunteering? Talk about what you did to improve that after school program/workflow/project.

5. Create a Custom URL

You can edit the long number/letter URL you receive when you first start your profile to make it a short custom one you can attach to emails, business cards or tweet. Click edit on your profile page and a tiny blue edit should show up next to your current URL:

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 9.19.18 PM

Click this button and you should be brought to what your public page looks like. If you scroll down on the right hand side there will be a "Your Public Profile URL" banner where you can edit your URL To something more customized. Use something like "FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME" or "INITIALFULLLASTNAME". Do not use "Sugarbabyx0123" or "scienceluverxxx"....

6. Keep Your Profile Updated

Spend a few minutes every week to check in your profile, see who has visited and tweak anything you might have noticed while browsing other profiles. I got a lot of my inspiration looking at other LinkedIn user's profiles so I recommend connecting with users and seeing how they have their info laid out!

7. Connect to relevent Groups

There are tons of groups for every profession on the planet. Find some relevant to your selected profession and connect. They often have job postings, news on the field, free conferences or scholarships you can be a part of. If you're looking for some for Med Lab Science I would recommend checking out: MLO - Medical Laboratory Observer, ASCP - American Society for Clinical Pathology and American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.

You can also connect with companies directly such as Gamma-Dynacare, St.Michael's Hospital, Alpha Labs etc. Just search them and select "Follow".

Hope these tips help you out and feel free to send me an email at Krista@medlabmaven.com if you want to connect on LinkedIn!

-K

2 comments:

  1. I did not know about the ability to edit the profile URL. Appreciate the tip!

    ReplyDelete
  2. […] made a LinkedIn yet – MAKE ONE NOW! I talk about how to maximize your profile in my post on LinkedIn from earlier this year. LinkedIn is a great way to network with people you might not […]

    ReplyDelete

Leave your thoughts on this post!