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The benefits of LinkedIn for nursing professionals.

LinkedIn is the most valuable social media network for nursing professionals. Even if you are not into social networking, LinkedIn is a great social site to join. This social networking site is different from Facebook and Twitter because it hosts a professional atmosphere, and those who utilize this network have a professional purpose. LinkedIn contains worldwide professionals, discussion forums, employment opportunities and excellent contacts. Creating a LinkedIn account is a great way to increase your online presence, while connecting with people who share similar interests.

If you are just getting started with LinkedIn or you already have a profile, here are some tips to practice.

Maintaining Your Profile

Maintaining your profile is important on LinkedIn. Make sure your profile and career information is accurate and complete. Your picture, name and personal headline follow you around LinkedIn. Upload a professional photo (not you and someone else), your name should include your credentials, and your headline should highlight your attributes in 120 characters or less. Do not copy and paste your entire resume, instead highlight your career and greatest accomplishments. Make your profile public, and update it regularly.

Recommendations

Provide recommendations for professionals that you would refer to a colleague or friend. Do not make recommendations for people you do not know. Write recommendations for people who offer strong skills. Avoid writing recommendations, hoping that person will write one for you; this is known as "referral swapping."

Take Part in Discussion Boards

Discussion boards are a fantastic feature of LinkedIn. You can join groups that interest you, and connect with professionals who share similar interests. Activity on discussion boards is a fantastic way to build your reputation and expand your network exponentially.

Separate Professional & Personal Accounts

LinkedIn is a place for professionals, do not include your Facebook and Twitter accounts on your account. Always keep your personal and professional accounts separate on all social media sites.

Making Connections

It easy to find people on LinkedIn by searching old emails, college alumni, and co-workers. Adding connections can help increase your reach on this social site. When making connections, LinkedIn experts recommend writing why you want to connect. For example, "I have been following your comments on better patient outcomes, and would welcome the opportunity to connect with you." Building your connections is an excellent way to expand your network.

Finding You Online

People seeking specific expertise, backgrounds or skill sets can locate LinkedIn profiles through the advanced people search function. Keywords are important in searches, using descriptive words and phrases in your profile will lead others to you. The larger your connections and the more groups you are involved in, the more likely you will show up more through LinkedIn searches.

If you would like to develop professional connections, connect with those who share similar interests, or find a job, having a professional LinkedIn profile can open up many opportunities.

Mary Beth Zaber, RN, BSN

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Author:Zaber, Mary Beth
Publication:Maryland Nurse
Date:May 1, 2013
Words:482
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