LinkedIn is a business standard now, but you may wonder if you really need it. Many people think an online profile, which highlights your career achievements and makes connections with others in the field easy and reliable, is strictly a job-seeking tool.
Because of that view, not all nurses see LinkedIn as a valuable career resource. If you are a nurse who has no intention of looking for a new job or even taking one if an offer was made to you, do you still really need a LinkedIn profile?
Absolutely! Even if you are content with your job and not looking for something else, LinkedIn is incredibly useful. Here are four easy ways to use all LinkedIn has to offer you even if you aren't looking for a job.
1. Join a Group
One of the biggest benefits LinkedIn offers to nurses is the chance to join groups that interest you, says Marie-Elena Barry, a senior practice and policy analyst at the American Nurses Association. If you have particular interest in infectious disease or diabetes, you can find a group of like-minded people who hail from around the globe to talk with.
2. Participate in Discussions
You can be a member of five groups, but you can't just sit and read, says Barry. You need to become part of the conversation to get the most out of the discussion. With a few comments, you could be connecting with and sharing information with nurses who share your exact interests and specialties. “Whatever effort you put into LinkedIn is what you get back,” Barry says.
3. Post Interesting Links to Studies, Findings, News
If you come across an interesting study, post a link to it so your connections can access the information, too. You don't want to become a serial poster – someone who posts things just to do it. Choose carefully the things you share and others will appreciate your approach. And each time you post something, it gets your name out there and builds your professional reputation.
4. Polish Up!
Keeping your LinkedIn profile updated is important. If your online profile is polished and professional (with a professional-looking photo, too), it increases your credibility and shows your attention to detail. Every now and then, take a look at your profile and make some changes. Have you recently participated in a new project at work? Have you initiated a new assessment or innovative procedure? List those accomplishments with clear and direct descriptions. Each time you change your profile, it is listed in the feed, so don't make little changes every day or it may make you look disorganized to others.
Use LinkedIn as a great networking tool, even if you aren't looking for a job. The connections you form and information you gain are both invaluable.