6 Reasons to Login to LinkedIn

How Physicians Can Use Linkedin


October 2015

I successfully ignored LinkedIn for years. It seemed like the world’s most boring social network.

I didn’t really understand the utility of a professional networking platform until I needed it. Between jobs, in a new area, and looking for my next step, I got serious about building my profile and wrangling all of my contacts in LinkedIn. The site became my connection to my professional network, my first stop for finding job opportunities, and a resource for staying up to date on my industry.

If it’s been a while since you logged in to LinkedIn, here are six radiology-centric reasons to check-in with what is in fact not the world’s most boring social network.

It’s easy to get started. Kevin Pho, MD, (of KevinMD.com) describes getting on LinkedIn as a “low-threat, low-resource, high-yield action.” Putting together a profile takes about 45 minutes. To get started, you’ll just need a headshot (which most physicians have already) and your resume.

The time commitment is minimal. Once you’ve built your profile, you can engage with LinkedIn as much or as little as you like. Maybe you let it go on autopilot and just login once in a while to update your resume and add connections. If you’re looking for a new position or angling for a promotion, you might get on more often to share content with your followers, endorse your connections, and send messages to individuals in your network.

It’s a place to corral your contacts. As you’ve moved through each stage in your career, you’ve amassed professional relationships that you most likely want to keep track of. While Facebook does this for our personal lives, many professionals have reservations about sharing their vacation snaps and snarky status updates with the director of their residency program or the acquaintance from PGY1. LinkedIn collects everyone in a single place from which you can reach out in the future.

LinkedIn can help you control your online reputation. As Pho points out, LinkedIn profiles usually rank toward the top of search results for a person’s name, so having a well-done profile can push down negative reviews or other content you’d rather not emphasize. And there’s real value in the top result bring a site whose content you control, rather than a ratings site or generic directory listing.

It’s a light-touch marketing tool for your practice. While many physicians shy away from overt advertising, you can link to your practice website from your profile (which increases the business’ online clout and can point potential patients and referring providers to your practice). LinkedIn also allows users to learn more about the physicians who make up the practice. The information on the site screws more toward outreach or education rather than outright marketing, but it can still give your practice a boost.

Promoting your own work (and that of your connections) is built in. In addition to a section for publications, LinkedIn lets you share links to your work with your network, similar to a status update on Facebook. And a newish feature allows you to publish blog content right there on LinkedIn. And if you have a few spare seconds while you’re logged in, consider endorsing people in your network. LinkedIn will prompt you with items from your contacts’ skillsets and you can choose whether or not to endorse that skill. Not only does this information appear on their profile, but it also serves as a quick interaction between you and the other person. And, for me, that’s what LinkedIn does best: It helps me quickly and virtually interact with people from throughout my career, all in one place.

As a physician, how do you use LinkedIn? Do you have any reservations about being on the site?

By Lyndsee Cordes, managing editor of the ACR Bulletin

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