Your LinkedIn profile is your professional branding tool on social media. I wrote about using LinkedIn two years ago (See “What Are Your Red Flags?” and “Successfully Managing Your Account”), and it is a topic you should revisit often. LinkedIn is a great way to market yourself in a very competitive world, whether you are secure in your position or becoming a candidate in a search for a new job. As a networking site with 347 million members, LinkedIn can connect you with colleagues and business friends, but you may also be hit with frequent requests to connect with people you do not know and receive unwanted messages or requests. Let’s review the reasons for refreshing your online business presence and protecting yourself during the process.
I looked at the LinkedIn profiles of about 25 health system CIOs, and found the following factors important in conveying the “best” business leader profile.
As a health system CIO, your LinkedIn profile will be viewed by many. Having a professional photo in business attire will be to your advantage. Consider a good professional photo a must.
Build up your connections to 500-plus. You may not have 3,000, but in this day and age if you are less than 500-plus (like, for example, 134), the number looks a little sad. Use LinkedIn to your advantage and connect with as many legitimate people in the industry as possible.
In this important section of the LinkedIn profile, write one or more paragraphs describing your career. Look at it frequently and add to it as needed. The keywords that are important in healthcare IT should be prominent. Be careful not to sound too salesy or boastful, nor too dull and generic.
Be sure to list all your key positions, employers, and years with each organization under the Experience section. You can give a brief description of your roles, but it doesn’t have to be a duplicate of your resume — or as lengthy. If you are actively looking for a position and are between jobs, consider listing “Independent Consultant” as a position. It gives you a chance to fill a gap between jobs and shows that you have left a previous job.
Be active on LinkedIn; join groups of interest and follow their discussions. There are associations, vendors, universities, etc. to follow.
Publications, Projects, Speaking
You can add unique projects you are working on and list your publications and speaking events. Use this as a way to increase your exposure to more of these career enhancements.
If you have been fortunate enough to receive recommendations and acknowledgement of skills, you are lucky. List them.
Don’t forget to manage your privacy as needed through the “Settings” feature in LinkedIn. Managing your privacy will allow you to either be open and seen, or to remain more private. Here are the privacy controls to make those decisions:
- Turn on/off activity broadcasts — option to display or not to everyone
- Select who can see your activity feed — either everyone or “Only me”
- Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile — your name, title, and company; an anonymous profile but with title and company; or totally anonymous
- Select who can see your connections — either everyone or “Only me”
- Show/hide “Viewer of this profile also viewed” box — option to display or not
A well written and connected LinkedIn profile is an excellent part of your career narrative and deserves your regular time and attention.