How to make your LinkedIn profile stand out and work for you.
LinkedIn is a business networking site that boasts more than 590 million professionals. This is a prime piece of real-estate for all industries, including healthcare.“First of all, it allows you to showcase your background, experience, and credentials as well as the kind of person you are,” says ShellyÂ Elsliger, a globally recognized LinkedIn trainer, coach, speaker, and President of Linked Express, a LinkedIn Coaching company located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. “Relationship building is very important and we have no choice to be effectively doing it also online.”LinkedIn is key to keeping up on industry news and being recognized as a leader in the field, according to Elsliger. “It also helps to increase your visibility,” she says. “Kevin Pho, MD, is a great example of a healthcare professional who proactively uses LinkedIn andÂ believes strongly in the power of LinkedIn as a platform to share his insight, knowledge, recommendations, career advice as well as a space to bring his stories to life so he can also be seen as a leader in his field online.”Consumers or career?Should LinkedIn be used to leverage your professional career or build relationships? It can be tailored for both, according to Elsliger.“LinkedIn is a great way for healthcare executives to show their human side and connect with their patients,” Elsliger says. “It is the perfect space for you to represent your brand and your practice. You can also easily follow and support patients and also engage with them by writing articles/posts that could clearly be important and relevant to them. LinkedIn is a great way to show credibility and likability-two important characteristics in building relationships. It is also a platform that lends itself to the Art of Reciprocity-mutual kindness and support goes far on LinkedIn.”Furthermore, Elsliger says, collaboration and reciprocity are two of the best ways to get noticed and remembered on LinkedIn.“Having a presence on LinkedIn can ultimately lead to partnerships, job offers, research, interaction, exchange of information, and project collaboration,” she says. “Sixty-six percent of jobs are found passively on LinkedIn; so, having an optimized LinkedIn profile easily discovered by recruiters, medical industry leaders, and other healthcare professionals, could ultimately potentially lead to future professional success and advancement.”There are six things that healthcare executives should keep in mind about LinkedIn, according to Elsliger:
Use the platform to be a thought leader. “Taking full advantage of the newsfeed and prime blog space to write articles via LinkedIn Pulse allows healthcare professionals to stand out as experts in their field,” Elsliger says.
Social recognition matters. “Getting recommendations from team members and clients can help confirm your likeability as well as your success in what you do,” she says.
LinkedIn is not about titles but rather about the person behind the title. “Show who you are and let your personality shine,” she says. “Write in first person so you own your space and your story.”
Customize your headline so that it does not default to your title. “The 220 characters available to help you is to showcase your unique value proposition and help you stand out,” Elsliger says. “It is a key part of the LinkedIn search algorithm so putting in key functional/searchable words can help you to get found in search results.”
Ditch the default and customize your background photo. “This is prime visual real estate to help you to showcase and highlight your personal/professional brand visually,” she says.
Consistency is key. This is true on any social media platform, but especially LinkedIn, according to Elsliger, if the objective is to get found and get known. “Getting known as a specialist/expert can go far on LinkedIn but if you are simply on LinkedIn, but not LinkedIn, the value you can actually bring will be easily lost unless you are supporting your claims,” she says.
Healthcare executives should write their LinkedIn profile as a story-“written in a way to give people some insight into their character as well as their credentials,” according to Elsliger.
An amazing LinkedIn story has five key elements (each of these taken from Shelly Elsliger's own LinkedIn profile):
A background photo (cover page) with a connection to industry. Make sure your profile photo is approachable and front-facing.
A customized tagline (branding statement) that tells people what you offer in a clear and expressive manner (title). This is the place to distinguish yourself and stand out.
The summary (story) should be a 2,000-character summary with a catchy beginning, a solid body outlining key points, successes, specializations, and what makes you, you. “Inject personality and remember humans connect with humans so tell your career story and make it interesting,” Elsliger says. “Give viewers a glimpse of your life without too much detail but enough to raise curiosity so they want to read more.”
Your experience (credibility). “Take a cupcake approach,” Elsliger says. “Start with a summary to outline the kind of person you, in the role, and what you do that differentiates you. You can add roles and responsibilities but stay away from what is intuitive and focus on telling interested readers what they don’t know.”
The skills section. Take an 80%-20% approach to the skill section, according to Elsliger. “Think of skills related specifically to your field and specialty; words that should also be sprinkled liberally throughout your LinkedIn story,” she says. “The other 20% is on the softer side; those transferable skills that make you who you are and the kind of professional you are. The three top skills are most important because they follow you and they should represent the skills most related to your marketability in terms of your career story; the ones that people can easily relate with you and therefore, endorse.”