Social Media to Find a Job for Allied Health Professionals
By Ed Lamb, Contributor
Using social media to find a job has become standard in all allied health professions.
But social media in health care encompasses much more than learning about and responding to job postings. With just a little planning, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts can open doors and create meaningful personal and professional connections that expand career opportunities.
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First, Understand You Are Your Online Profile
Current and potential employers can find every post you make publicly accessible. They can also find what other people post about you by name.
This has definite benefits when you want to use social media to find a job. It is why you should make your resume on LinkedIn searchable and update it often.
It is also why you want to maintain a professional Facebook page. You could find it beneficial to blog about your experiences or share them on a YouTube channel.
The high visibility of public social media activity could also create a negative image. You probably know without needing a reminder that you should keep certain pictures and opinions offline or, at the very least, off a Facebook or Twitter feed that anyone can access.
You also need to avoid naming patients, directly criticizing employers and supervisors, and friending or following individuals and groups that make you look bad by association.
Creating completely separate and strictly private social media accounts for personal, political and cultural activities will go a long way toward maintaining a professional image online.
Treat LinkedIn as Your Base for Using Social Media to Find a Job
Take advantage of all the job search and networking opportunities LinkedIn offers. Don’t just throw up your resume and check the option for letting employers and recruiters contact you.
Fill in biographical details, expand on your educational achievements and highlight advanced certifications. Consider sharing news articles, medical studies, and policy updates to demonstrate that you stay on top of developments that impact you and your patients.
List special skills, even if they may not directly relate to your work as an allied health professional. Never neglect to let people know that you speak or read and write languages other than English.
Choose your connections judiciously, but choose them. Seek out thought and practice leaders in your field, and join LinkedIn groups relevant to the work you do, the work you want to do and the places you wish to travel.
Lastly, resist the urge to outright ask for jobs while using social media. Even though most other LinkedIn users will recognize that you participate in networking activities in order to learn about and make yourself a candidate for employment, you benefit from showing interest without coming across as needy.
Friend and Follow Employers and Professional Associations When Using Social Media to Find a Job
Facebook and Twitter can serve as valuable social media adjuncts to LinkedIn. Most importantly, friending and following national and state associations for therapists and technicians will alert you to valuable career development opportunities.
Many associations offer continuing education courses. The organizations also hold conferences and sponsor formal and informal in-person networking opportunities. All such opportunities to learn and to get to know fellow allied health professionals will be announced well in advance on social media, along with links and details for registering.
Connecting with employers on Facebook and Twitter will deliver less immediately tangible career benefits but will give you a good sense of what to expect from working for a particular hospital, clinic or home health care company.
Social Media and Finding a Job Go Hand-in-Hand
Even if you feel you have a 100-percent professional social media profile, you can learn a lot from searching for yourself online. Expect a recruiter or potential employer to see what you find.
If some of the information proves less than flattering, do not despair of landing a dream assignment. Instead, commit to limiting or eliminating some types of social media posts as you continue your online job search.
Recruiters and employers put the most stock in more-recent and more job-related social media posts. So give them plenty of the types of posts to find.
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