With LinkedIn’s professional reputation, its use among doctors has been increasing. A quick search will show you that there are now well over 2 million people in the healthcare industry on LinkedIn.
While social networks like Facebook and Twitter are great for engaging patients and attracting new business, the benefits of LinkedIn revolve more around professional development.
A doctor’s LinkedIn profile is very important because….
- LinkedIn is the place to post your CV online. Even if you’re happy with your current situation or are self-employed with no plans to apply for a new position, doctor’s LinkedIn profile is necessary for networking reasons. When you meet someone new (perhaps at an industry convention) they will go back to the office and Google your name to learn a little more about you. LinkedIn profiles typically pop-up on the first page of Google results, giving your new acquaintance a quick, professional glimpse into your career and credentials. However, if you’re nowhere to be found, you may miss out on a potential business opportunity.
- A potential patient may hear about you through a friend, and will likely turn to Google to learn as much about you as they can. Patients who find your complete profile on LinkedIn will feel more comfortable knowing more information about you and it will put their mind at ease; it may even be the determining factor for choosing you as their new healthcare provider.
- LinkedIn groups provide a place for medical professionals, and those with similar interests, to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts. These communities allow physicians like you to stay in touch with the latest trends in the medical industry.
LinkedIn members with complete profiles receive 40 times more engagement than profiles containing basic job descriptions and career histories. A doctor’s LinkedIn profile should include the following 5 things:
1. Profile Picture and Headline
Your LinkedIn profile photo should be professional, and it’s worth the extra time and money to hire a professional photographer. Anything less doesn’t leave nearly the same impression.
Your name should ONLY contain your name. Keep it clean and concise!
Your headline should be catchy and have keywords you want to be found for. Create a headline that captures the attention of potential patients and those in the medical field to encourage them to check out your profile.
Your LinkedIn summary is one of the most important details of your entire profile. Make sure you are always writing in the first person and summarize why you went to college to become a doctor, your specialty areas, and your passions in the medical field.
List the jobs you held as a doctor, and include what you accomplished at each one. If possible, include videos or photos.
4. Skills and Expertise
Add at least 5 key skills that are representative of your expertise, such as surgeries or specialty skillsets.
5. Education, Honors, and Awards
Besides including your undergraduate and doctorate degree, you should include any honors or awards you have received. Honors and awards allow you to stand out from other physicians. Don’t be afraid to showcase your accomplishments on your profile.
Other LinkedIn Tips Include:
A strong profile includes the same kinds of words a patient would use to search. For example, someone searching for a specific health issue or condition may search for a doctors specializing in that area or for a hospital/clinic that specializes in treating that specific illness. Share where you have worked, your responsibilities, your title and your major accomplishments related to your specialty.
In order to get a big enough network to be useful to you professionally and to be visible on LinkedIn, proactively connect with people in your industry and those you know personally; such as, fellow alumni from medical school, other experts in the medical field, former colleagues, friends, and family.
Have at Least Five Recommendations
Recommendations are the key to building online credibility, which is especially important as a doctor since many patients want to feel secure about their choice in physician. Ask former colleagues or current patients to write a short paragraph about you; testimonials are paramount to distinguishing you from your competition.
Add Rich Media
LinkedIn’s latest update allows users to add videos or slideshow presentations to your LinkedIn profile. If you have any rich media resources about you or your practice, it’s advisable to add or share this information on your LinkedIn profile.