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Clinical Systems Leadership

LinkedIn for Nurses: The Do's and Don'ts

LinkedIn is one of the most powerful business networking tools that exists on the internet. It’s a place for people to flaunt their abilities, make connections with others in their field, show off knowledge and skills, and search for new career opportunities. LinkedIn isn’t only for corporate America, it can also be useful for those in the medical field, especially nurses. Here are a few pointers on using LinkedIn to get noticed in the nursing world.


Image via Flickr by Nan Palmero

Do: Have a Complete Profile
The first thing anyone will see when they come to your LinkedIn profile is your image. Have no image? Then your page was probably skipped over by dozens upon dozens of potential connections. Be sure to use a professional photo of yourself, preferably a headshot, or an action shot of you on the job. Avoid using pictures of large groups, family, and most of all, pets.

Don’t: Treat LinkedIn like Twitter
LinkedIn isn’t a social network where people go just to chat and shoot the breeze. There are other social networks for those purposes, but LinkedIn is not one of them. Sharing interesting articles about your profession, posting inspirational quotes, and giving suggestions to others in your field are perfectly acceptable in moderation. In fact, posting relevant content can make you appear as an authority in your field. However, be aware that people on any social network get annoyed easily with overzealous posters.

Do: Join Professional Groups
One of the cool features that LinkedIn offers is the ability to create groups that other professionals in your field can join. It’s a support group of sorts that can include people from all around the world. On LinkedIn, the nursing field already features popular groups such as the RN Network and the American Nurses Association. Their groups are perfect places to ask others about possible jobs in other states, different policies and trainings, and other industry related questions or concerns that other nurses may want to answer.

Don’t: Connect with People Just to Have More Connections
As mentioned before, LinkedIn is a very different social network than Facebook or Twitter. Connecting on LinkedIn insinuates that you have some sort of professional relationship with the person. Yes, having lots of connections will give you access to even more people and possibilities, but it may also “cloud the air” on your profile. A golden rule of LinkedIn connections is that, if there isn’t a professional benefit for either party, then it’s better to not connect with that person.

Do: Show Off a Bit
Here’s the place to show off any professional awards, accolades, or special recognition that you may have received during your professional career. Think of your LinkedIn profile as adigital trophy case for your accomplishments. If you’ve ever had your writing published, here is a perfect place to showcase your work. If you’ve been recognized in a journal or other publication, there’s a place for that, as well. Remember, this is the social network where most people who visit your page will have the same interests as you. Don’t be afraid to show them off.

LinkedIn is a great tool to build connections with others, find new opportunities, and learn new skills about your career. It’s a proven social media platform that can support hundreds, if not thousands, of different careers and professions. Follow these tips when setting up your LinkedIn account, and you’ll see the benefits come rolling in.

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