While social media is certainly a powerful force in many aspects of our everyday lives, it may not seem like the most obvious tool to help in your nurse job search. But your social media accounts can be a great resource to help you land your next (or first!) job.
Create a Complete LinkedIn Profile
We’ll start with the obvious: LinkedIn was created to be the “world’s largest professional network,” so it’s a great place not only to search for jobs, but also for online networking. However, what may not be so apparent is the need to have a great profile.
If you are actively searching, be sure to list not only where you’ve worked, but also the duties and accomplishments that make you stand out at your job. If you are looking for your first nursing job, the same ideas apply to your education background: Don’t just include where you went to school; write about what made you stand out at that school. This is a great way to position yourself above the crowd.
Don’t Limit Your Job Search to LinkedIn
While LinkedIn is a great resource, it shouldn’t be the only social network you turn to in your search. There is and will continue to be a nursing shortage, and employers are hiring. In fact, the most recent employment numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor show that healthcare is second on the list of industries currently doing the most hiring, adding 33,000 jobs in August 2013 alone.
And those jobs are not just showing up on job boards and LinkedIn. The York Daily Record reported that workplaces in Pennsylvania that were having trouble filling positions turned to Facebook and Twitter to advertise local jobs. This use of social networks to find qualified workers is not unique to that region.
Let Others Know You Are Looking
It probably goes without saying that this advice doesn’t apply if you’re currently working a job and don’t want to let your bosses know you are intending to leave. But if you are a new graduate or are returning to the nursing field after an absence, be sure to advertise yourself on all of your existing social networks. This can often lead to opportunities you didn’t know existed and otherwise wouldn’t have known about.
Use Social Media to Learn More About Nursing
Social media is a great way to stay current on nursing news, trends and breakthroughs. In addition to nurse bloggers and other online resources, you can also follow your favorite nurse leaders on Twitter and Facebook.
While this might not directly land you an interview, it certainly can help once you do get the interview. Showing that you are a well-rounded candidate up-to-date on the latest nurse trends can be a determining factor in who gets the job when candidates have similar education or experience backgrounds.
Establish Yourself As a Thought Leader
You can take the last step even further by creating a blog that you use to establish yourself as a thought leader in the nurse community. While this is one that will take quite a bit of time, it really can distinguish you in the nurse talent pool.
Additionally, this is not just something you can do while looking for a job, and if you enjoy writing, it can be a great way to provide a creative outlet while you work.
One last note that applies to all of the above tips: Never post anything online that shouldn’t be made public – even if you think you’re posting privately. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing has a great guide for how nurses should use social media.
Have you ever landed a job through social media? Share your experiences in the comments section below!