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Want to Know the Best Gift You Can Give Your Career This Holiday Season?

December 2, 2010
by Gwen Darling
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Do this one thing to get the attention you deserve

I’ve talked about the value of LinkedIn pretty regularly here on HCI. What it is, how to make connections and even how to be polite about the whole networking with strangers thing. As someone who works with both Healthcare IT candidates and employers, I hear LinkedIn success stories daily from both sides, and actually have one myself, since a LinkedIn connection is what initially diverted my career path to this fine industry. So when it comes to the importance of maximizing the resources of LinkedIn, I get it. However, since I have added C-Level sourcing to my list of services, now I REALLY get it.

How about you? Maybe I’ve convinced with you with my oh-so-tactful prodding, perhaps you got on the ball after a colleague sent you an invitation to connect, or it’s very likely that you’re just brilliant all on your own, but at this point, I’m guessing by now you probably have a LinkedIn profile. That’s fabulous, truly it is. But here’s the thing. If you haven’t taken the time to build out your profile, and taken advantage of all the very cool bells and whistles that LinkedIn provides, you’re missing the boat. And most likely you’re missing many lucrative career opportunities, as well.

Here’s how it typically goes down. Say XYZ Hospital has an exciting new opportunity for a new CIO or CMIO. The hospital retains an executive search firm that specializes in Healthcare IT, and gives them a very thorough ideal candidate profile and job description. At that point, the sourcing begins. Experienced firms draw upon their own existing networks, contacts, and connections, but they also look for fresh faces and perspectives to add to the pool of possibilities. Enter LinkedIn. Sourcing experts will turn to this comprehensive resource to identify strong candidates to add to the mix.

You’ve got CIO in your title, and you’ve indicated that you’re a part of the Hospital and Health Care industry – you’re golden, right? Well, maybe not. Here’s where you may be getting left behind. Let’s say XYZ Hospital is looking for someone with a strong McKesson background who has significant supervisory and leadership experience in, at the minimum, a 400-bed hospital. You may have all of those credentials and more, but if your profile looks like this, it would require a psychic, not a sourcer, to find you:

On the other hand, if you give your profile the respect it deserves, it might look something like that of Craig Ireland’s, for instance. Take a look. Not only did Craig provide a good description of the facilities in which he has worked, but he also took the time to provide a detailed summary of his accomplishments, full of exactly the kind of keywords that make finding a McKesson-savvy CIO with extensive leadership experience a lot easier.

So back to that gift for your career. Chances are good that sometime this month, in-between the holiday parties, the Grinch, and the eggnog, you’ll have some spare time to make your LinkedIn profile just a bit more descriptive, a tad more exciting, a lot more. . . festive. Do it! It won't take long. And then you can add visions of new opportunities to those sugar plums dancing in your head. Happy Holidays!


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