Updating and managing your LinkedIn profile has become as important as updating your resume. Many of us joined this professional “social media” networking site several years ago. We connected online with business associates and colleagues. We continue to like it because it is exclusively business-focused compared to other social media outlets.
It is a mandatory online presence for all business professionals or executives who are in their career or pursuing a change of careers. It contains more than 180 million members from more than 200 countries and all executives from the Fortune 500 companies. Health system CIOs, who are technically well-informed, are expected to maintain an updated profile on LinkedIn. How does your profile look today?
I did a quick online check on about 25 prominent health system CIOs to see what their profiles look like. Here are my findings:
- Three of the 25 are not on LinkedIn at all
- Of the remaining 22:
- Four did not have a photo
- Five had casual or very poor quality photos
- Eight had short employment descriptions, no summaries or details
- Seven had 500+ connections, while others fell short on connections
- One had no group connections and others had some or many group connections
Why update your profile?
As a health system CIO, your LinkedIn profile is discoverable through searches. Any Google search will bring up your profile. Our Witt/Kieffer database has a LinkedIn tab for every person in our database. We review executives at client sites before each visit, and we screen candidates interested in a search opportunity. If we cannot find you on LinkedIn, we will consider that a “red flag.”
Please use a professional photo in business attire for your profile. As I mentioned above, four CIOs did not have a photo on their LinkedIn profile, and I do not know why. The worst thing to do is have a casual or unprofessional photo on your profile, so no camping or holiday photos allowed.
The LinkedIn personal profile is your business presence. It is not necessary to upload your full resume to your LinkedIn account, but they should be consistent. Tell your unique work story; use the keywords that LinkedIn suggests to describe your professional experience and to outline your employers and titles.
It’s good to join several groups of like-minded peers, to participate in discussions, and to display the group logos on your profile page. This shows others that you are keeping professionally active and in touch with peers. You may wish to join groups for alumni associations and other interests that you feel reflect favorably upon your career profile.
Connections, privacy, and recommendations
In Part II, I will make suggestions to help you manage your connections, privacy, and recommendations.