Linkedin is one of the most powerful tools for professional development that is rarely used by doctors. By having a profile on Linkedin, you strengthen your online presence, and grow your personal and professional networks.
Here’s some tips for how to maximise benefit. Note that instructions are for the Linkedin desktop website. The experience is very different on the mobile website and mobile app.
Upload a professional picture
Personal branding is so important for doctors, as discussed in this previous article. The Linkedin profile picture (and cover photo), like all profile picture, is the first impression someone has of you. We all know how important first impressions are. So make sure you have a professional looking profile picture, which is just of your head, looking forward, and smiling. Having other people in the photo is a no no. Background doesn’t matter too much as long as it doesn’t distract from your face.
Have a simple summary
Doctors are more than just doctors yet many don’t see it this way. They will tend to just say they are a doctor in a speciality and leave it at that. This is simple, but also boring. You need to concisely mention what makes you unique and interesting. Ideally, you want to put an elevator pitch here; an explanation of who you are, what you do, and the impact you have on the world.
Good example vs bad example
List your skills
Linkedin has a special section for skills called (imaginatively) “Skills & Endorsements” There are any obvious medical ones you can put down. But also think about skills that are important outside of medicine. You want to highlight these so people know what else you are good at. It’s also worth mentioning that your Linkedin Connections can endorse you by clicking the plus sign next to your skills which validates that you actually have a skill worth noticing. Ensure your most important skills come first in the Top Skills section.
It’s better to give than to receive. So seek out your connections and give them a recommendation. Head to their profile page and right click the dropdown menu by their profile picture.
Linkedin is a bit picky and you have to specify what role you both were in for the recommendation to have some context. So in other words you can’t just say “This person is a splendid fellow and I love them to pieces” You need to comment on skills and personal qualities that had a positive impact on a project or working relationship. Then others who view their profile can start building trust and recognise their worth.
Remember, it’s better to give to receive. But if people aren’t giving, then give them a nudge! You can request a recommendation by clicking “Ask for Recommendation” in your recommendations section, or more easily select the option from the dropdown menu near your profile picture. Fill out the form, and give a short but clear message to those you are sending the request to so they know what sort of recommendation they should give you. When they have done their recommendation, review it before publishing just in case any of it needs changing.
Update your status
If you want people to notice you or connect with you, update your status. This is virtually the same as Tweeting, posting on your Facebook timeline or any wall on a social networking site. Videos and images draws attention a lot more than words alone. Consider posting something you have learned or benefitted from recently.
This is a great way to connect with like minded people, or to find people you need to connect with for a specific agenda (mentorship, work opportunities, etc). Simply select the group option from the dropdown menu next to the omnisearch box at the top of Linkedin then type your keywords. Once you join a group you like, leave comments on posts, and write your own posts so you can be a part of the community.
What was the name of the person sitting at the bus stop the other day? Ya know, the one who wasn’t saying or doing anything. Of course, you don’t know who I’m talking about! Now let’s replace person with you, and bus stop with Linkedin. Unless you have content, which includes a completed profile, no one will notice you. We have already covered status updates and join groups, but you should bethink about sharing content too. Write a Post, Linkedin’s article writing feature, and write about something you are passionate about. Use the share functionality of someone else’s posts on Linkedin so others can benefit from it. Upload images and videos to keep people’s attention.
Connect with people
By actively using Linkedin, especially the groups and by visiting the feed on the homepage, you will come across other people you should add to your professional networking. You can also find suitable connections by visiting the Grow My Network section by clicking the icon next to your small profile picture in the top right of the Linkedin website
If you want to know more about using digital networking and developing your personal brand, please do get in touch.