When I opened my firm in 2005 a very good friend of mine suggested I sign up for LinkedIn. It would be the “new big thing to connect with people in our industry,” he claimed. He was right. I am so glad I listened. I started building my profile over 10 years ago and I add connections every day. It’s what I do.
For people in the job market, it’s essential to know how to make your profile stand out as you face the healthcare IT marketplace. Having a CIO or CMIO title is certainly impressive but let us venture beyond the title for a moment…
I’ve seen the good, the bad and unfortunately the ugly. We live in an online world today and your virtual presence is your brand and you need to make it count. Here are a few tips from someone that looks at HCIT executive profiles on a regular basis.
Photo: Make sure it’s a professional looking photo and you look the part. While it’s great that you have great snapshots of yourself on a fishing boat enjoying your favorite adult beverage with your friends, that’s not the image you want to communicate to the market. Neither is a photo of you on your family vacation at Disney. And please take down that photo of you that was taken (over) 20 years ago.
Summary: This part of LinkedIn is very similar to an executive summary we’ve all written, except it’s about you! Make it interesting. Make sure you capture your expertise and what you are passionate about in the way you write your summary. The summary needs to be a synopsis of your career and not a manifesto. Make it short and make it count!
Groups: Make sure you join Groups that are relevant to the HCIT market as a whole. While some of you may want to be lifetime executives in the hospital space, others may choose to expand their reach. Maybe try your hand at the vendor market or work for a VC backed company. If so make sure you join groups that help you gain exposure to a broader audience.
Accomplishments: In each of your roles during your career I am sure you have a list of career success metrics associated with each position you’ve held. Take a step back and make sure you have listed your accomplishments in the order or importance to an outsider. Drop the bullets that don’t help position you as a high performer.
Additional Info: Don’t make it too difficult for people to contact you. If you are actually in the market, make sure you add your email address to this section so recruiters and companies will be able to reach you without burning an In-Mail to get your attention. You might consider adding your cell number as well. You can always take it down after you find a new role.
Connections: This is really where it matters. If you don’t have at least 500 connections, get busy today and start building your network. I have over 5,000 direct connections in my network—all HCIT centric. I turn down connections daily from those people that are not tied to our industry. Find people that you share commonality with, or targets you want to get to know. Connect with professionals in the Groups you’ve joined or that graduated from the same school you attended.
Recommendations: These matter. Have a former CEO or other executives write a brief recommendation on you and your accomplishments. I recommend at least three or four recommendations from peers or people you reported to. Again, think sound bites—a few sentences will suffice.
LinkedIn is the best tool you can possibly have in your arsenal besides your own personal networking when it comes to landing a new gig. Use it regularly and keep growing and adding people in our space to your network. Make these changes today and your profile—and your brand will surely stand out.