LinkedIn is the most popular professional platform and has practically become a necessity in the world of networking. Don’t get fooled into thinking that because you’re in school you don’t need to be updating your profile and networking. LinkedIn is a great way to follow people you know, industry professionals, and join groups to keep up with the latest healthcare updates. And of course, it’s never too early to get the attention of potential employers. Take these steps to ensure that your page stands out.
Have an attention-grabbing headline
This is a great place to introduce yourself as a student in your specific school or program and what your interest is. Consider something like “(Program) candidate interested in (interest)”. This headline will appear under your name anytime you post or appear in a search so it’s a great way to immediately communicate what you’re doing and your interests.
Write a summary
Some people will tell you this part is optional but I’m here to tell you it’s not. Because you likely don’t have as much work experience, this is a great opportunity to make a strong case for yourself for a potential future employer. Introduce yourself and give an overview of any major projects, achievements, awards, or training you’ve received that’s relevant to your field.
Be thorough about your education
This is your time to shine. All those great classes you’ve been paying for? List them here. Include relevant classes to your expertise. For example, if you took a course on research and want to research your career list that class here. Include a short description of what the course covered that an employer might find relevant and your grade in the class if you did well.
Include any volunteer information
Volunteering is important in the healthcare field because it further communicates your dedication to wanting to help people. Whether it’s healthcare-related or not, show employers that giving back is important to you. If you don’t have any volunteer experiences consider volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about in your local community.
Up your skills and endorsements
Don’t fall to the temptation of listing every single skill you have in this section. We recommend making a list of the top skills needed in your field, filtering out which ones you have experience in, and then getting friends and colleagues to endorse you for them on your page. Focusing on relevant skills will get you better matches for potential jobs and recruiters.
Include any languages you may know
Cultural awareness in healthcare is always an important factor so if you speak more than one language or have studied one previously be sure to mention it here. The nice thing about this section is that you can mention what level of proficiency you have in a language so you can list anything from a native fluency to elementary proficiency.
Show off those awards, honors, and/or certificates
This section speaks to your leadership, commitment, and ability to go above and beyond the call of duty. List any recognitions you have received and a short description of what you were recognized for. If it was particularly competitive include how many people you were up against. For example: “chosen as undergraduate of the year out of 2,000 applicants”.
Search on LinkedIn for groups relevant to your field that you would find interesting. This is a great way to connect with other like-minded individuals and stay up to date with industry news. It’s best practice to try and engage within these groups to make lasting connections so be sure to post, like, and comment when you can.
Follow companies and influencers
Have some industry leaders in mind that you admire? Like a specific company for the impact, they’re making in communities? Follow them on LinkedIn! This is a great way to keep up with the work that they’re doing. Be sure to follow companies you would be interested in working at someday that way you can receive updates on your timeline when they have any openings.
Like any other social media platform, it’s one thing to have an account but it’s another thing to be engaged with your audience on it. The real benefit of LinkedIn is posting, liking, commenting, and generally engaging with the people you follow. This is the best way to expand your network and show some personality on the site. And when it’s time to apply to a new role people will already be familiar with your involvement in healthcare due to your engagement.
Many times students will wait until right before they graduate or when they’re on the job hunt to make these investments into their LinkedIn. Working on your profile throughout your time in school will set you apart from the rest of your colleagues and get you that much closer to landing your ideal next role.