The Secret Weapon Missing From Your CV: Social Media

How’s that blue screen treatin’ ya? Whether or not we want to admit it, we all have some level of social media addiction. You might find yourself victim to the never-ending Instagram feed, get lost in the constant stream of LinkedIn articles, or check constantly for tweets from your favorite accounts. As humans, we look for ways to feel connected, and social media does just that.

When you comb past the cat memes and selfie sticks, social media is quite the resource. It helps us keep in touch with family and friends (and some people we’ve probably never met before), gives us instant access to news, and let’s us present our personal or company image however we want. But, what if you invested a little bit of your social media time into networking with health groups on your favorite platforms?

As a physician, social media can be a great source of leverage when you’re job hunting. Below are five ways that you can use, and abuse, your presence on social media as you reach out to health groups and hospitals.

Use social media to create an image for yourself

One of the earliest appeals for using social media was being able to create and control your online identity. It allowed users to share their world with others in a way no other form of technology had done before. This ability to sculpt a persona is still a huge factor in why people use social media, and it can be your first step in showing health groups who you are as a physician and person.

It’s safe to say that recruiters at any practice are going to look you up on social media. Use this as an opportunity to show your personality and opinions—just remember to keep things professional. Show genuine ways that you prioritize family, friends, and health. This is another way for you to build a foundation as someone that can be trustworthy with patients.

Use social media to become a thought leader

Recruiters like to hire people that bring something to the table—especially in such a rapidly evolving field as medicine. You won’t regret being in the know on what’s happening in the industry, saying something about it, and discussing it with others. Being a “thought leader” on social media means you provide followers with interesting and thought-provoking news and research, and this sort of online presence can knock the socks off of a potential employer.

As a physician, thought leadership lets you take your practice off of the examination table and into the real world, connecting your patients and colleagues with vital information—even when they aren’t seeing you for a check-up.

However, don’t take this as an invitation to mindlessly dump content on your feed. You need to use a little finesse. Post with purpose by sharing information at times when it will reach the most people, discuss topics you care about, and interact with others online through comments.

Use social media to network with like-minded people

Our next tip is to find like-minded people to network with. This isn’t an invitation to reconnect with some long-lost high school crush, but rather to create mutually beneficial professional relationships. Find thought leaders who can provide you with valuable industry information. Connect with people that care about a specialty you’re interested in, or ask fellow medical professionals about their thoughts on a new drug on the market.

You can also try connecting with prospective employers, such as recruiters and hospitals. This is an opportunity to do a little social media sleuthing; you might find content on their profiles that can be used as talking points in an interview.

Use social media to learn more about your potential employer

Social media is not a one-way street. To expand on our last point, a physician recruiter can use social media to find out more about you, but you can also use social media to find out more about them—perhaps something that they didn’t want you to see, says Carisa Miklusak, CEO of tilr.com.

“On Facebook, for example, a job seeker may be able to read about the organization on the Info tab, see pictures of a recent team outing to get a feel for the culture and follow recent conversations between customers and the brand or employees and the brand – all critical factors in making a decision,” Miklusak said. Social networking lets you dig deeper to see the things the company didn’t intend for you to see. “Candidates should use these tools to pre-interview companies and determine if they are a true fit.” Get an inside scoop on the health group you’re interested in working for.

Use social media, but stay digitally “dirt free”

Even if you’re not an aspiring social media guru, you shouldn’t let your social media accounts be detrimental to your job search. Social media is a place for you to express yourself, but keep in mind how your posts could be perceived by potential health group recruiters.

Physicians have a serious job, often with someone’s life on the line, and a recruiter wants to see that you have a level head. Ideally, no one should judge you for what you do in your personal life, but once it goes on social media, it’s out there for everyone to see. Consider keeping those crazy pictures from Friday night tucked away in your phone, and hold in those racy political opinions to awkwardly bring up at the next family holiday gathering and away from your news feed.

As a physician looking for a job, social media can be a powerful tool for you. Knowing how to market yourself to your audience can give you a competitive edge as you compete for jobs with other physicians. Want more job hunting tips? Read the Career Beat blog. Ready to start searching for jobs? PhysEmp lets you apply for the perfect job quickly and easily.

How to Make the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Profile

Who you are is what you post. You’re no stranger to the impact social media has on a personal brand. Just look at Donald Trump—the newest president practically built his political platform around his Twitter account. As a physician, you probably won’t reach the audience you need by tweeting your thoughts and slogans to the world, but you can reach potential employers another way. Hint: It starts with “Linked” and ends with “In.”

LinkedIn is arguably the most important platform for professionals of all types. What was once used mostly by professionals, LinkedIn has grown into a multi-faceted social media scape much like Facebook. While many bells and whistles have been added to LinkedIn over the years, its main use as a sort of online resume is still its most important asset, and as a physician on the job hunt, you should know how to effectively use it.

Beef up your profile with your successes

No one likes a Chatty Cathy who never stops talking about themselves. The tables turn when it comes to LinkedIn, however. Go to town—using your profile, tell prospective hospitals and health groups what kind of physician you are, what you’ve accomplished through med school, residency, etc., and what kind of doctor you hope to be going forward. There is one thing that you will want to focus on the most, though—your achievements.

Most people know to list the responsibilities they had at their previous job, but you can go a step further. Rather than describing each bedpan change and paperwork filing job you were expected to do, pinpoint the accomplishments you’re most proud of. Consider how you made a difference, where you had influence, or how you brought about change. Include experiences like suggesting more efficient ways to analyze labs and blood work or organizing study groups for Boards.

Know who your audience is

It’s a classic marketing misstep—you can spend all this time creating advertising and branding for a product or service, but if you don’t know your audience, then all of your hard work was for naught. In this case, the product is you, and the audience is the hospital or health group looking at your resumé.

One of the most integral parts of LinkedIn is networking. You want to connect with as many fellow physicians, medical thought leaders, and influential people as possible, but you don’t want to go on a random adding spree just to get your number of connections up. Make sure the connections you’re making are mutually beneficial. Are you looking for recruiters, researchers, or patients? Are you actively looking to join a health group, or do you just want to build your network?

Be aware of your target audience with each click of the “Connect” button. It’s okay to be a little vain on LinkedIn—think to yourself, “Will this person provide any benefit to my medical career?”

Make yourself searchable, but still personable

LinkedIn’s search engine runs on keywords, so it’s a great strategy to incorporate them when building your LinkedIn profile. In order to increase your chances of being seen by recruiters, use thoughtful keywords throughout your profile when you mention volunteer work, research opportunities, med school activities, and previous physician experiences. But wait, there’s more!

Instead of just blindly adding keywords to your profile, try searching for the job you want and then use the buzzwords you find in those listings. Then strategically add these keywords to your profile, this way your profile will rank higher in search results.

As a physician on the job hunt, you want to make sure you are telling your story—the path that led you to where you are today. Focus on writing a concise summary of yourself in the summary field and save the keywords for “specialties,” which appears as a subsection within the summary and can be changed when you click to edit your summary. This way, you’ll make a great first impression that leads into a solid, strategized list of specialties.

LinkedIn has made it easier than ever to put yourself out there to connect with people in your field. And, as a result, it has become even more important to pay attention to how you present yourself online as you search for jobs. Read more about how to leverage social media to advance your job search here.

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