Even if you don’t consider yourself an avid user of social media platforms, have never posted a ‘tweet’, and have never ever poked anyone on Facebook (we don’t blame you), more than likely you’ve left some sort of online footprint. Most often, this footprint goes unnoticed and without consequence. However, your nurse practitioner job search is an entirely different story.
As a nurse practitioner, maintaining an awareness of your online presence is a must. Avoid these common social media mistakes NPs make that damage your cred and jeopardize your chances of landing a job.
1. Neglecting to change your Google+ or email platform profile photo
I love receiving emails accompanied by a smiling headshot in the upper right hand corner. Emailing can seem impersonal when you don’t know the party on the receiving end. But, a glimpse at a friendly face helps email come across in a warmer manner. When it comes to the nurse practitioner job search, an image of the sender makes a reply to a job inquiry more (or less) likely.
Keep the photo associated with your email account at least semi-professional. It can be a headshot of your smiling mug in everyday attire, but make sure your appearance in the pic is one that looks hire-worthy for a professional position. If you aren’t sure if you have a photo associated with your email account, send a test email to a friend to find out.
2. Poorly maintaining your LinkedIn account
Nurse practitioners should view LinkedIn as an extension of a resume. To start, make sure the experience you have listed on your resume matches up with your LinkedIn profile. Inconsistencies are a red flag. Keep your profile polished and professional. This is not a social media platform for posting pics of your kids or chatting publicly about weekend plans. Rather, use LinkedIn as a networking tool.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, make one! This is an easy way to give employers a better idea as to your skill set, experience and career ambitions. Making a positive impression online just might be enough to land your next job interview.
3. Your Facebook profile isn’t as private as you think
Be cautious about anything and everything you post online. Even if your account is labeled as ‘private’, incriminating photos and comments are prone to circulate. A staffer in HR at your employer of interest may very well be connected to you personally through a mutual friend, for example. Your Facebook profile doesn’t need to scream ‘professional’, but delete any photos that could be off-putting to an employer. And, keep any online posts or communication appropriate. To sum it up, if you wouldn’t want your boss to see it, take it down.
4. Sloppy communication is your M.O.
Should an employer investigate you online, the expectation is not that your social media communication be 100% professional in nature. Personal (but not too personal) posts on appropriate social media platforms are just fine. But, do make sure that your communication corresponds with your level of education. Misspellings and crude jargon on any social media platform may give an interviewer the wrong impression of your capabilities.
5. You’ve got a bad attitude…and it shows
Bashing your coworkers, current employer, or simply others online is a huge ‘no, no’. Posting negative comments about your current boss or job leaves an employer thinking you will do the same about them in the future should you accept the position. Keep social communication overall positive. And, when it comes to your career, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
6. Forgetting to check your online patient reviews
There are an increasing number of online platforms that allow patients to review nurse practitioners online. How are your patient reviews? If you notice that a patient has posted misinformation regarding the care you provided, reach out to the company hosting the forum. Provided that the comment is inconsistent with others on your profile, the comment may be removed. Negative online reviews can quickly derail a job search as they speak directly to your career performance.
For extra credit, ask patients with whom you have a good relationship to rate you. Then, mention this high ranking or rating on your LinkedIn profile. Bam! You’ve turned social media involvement from a potential pitfall into a career boosting weapon.
What does your social media presence look like? Do you need to make any changes in anticipation of your job search?
Looking for a job? Check out the ThriveAP Job Board. We have nurse practitioner and physician assistant positions posted across the country and look forward to helping you with your search!