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10 LinkedIn Profile Tips for Physician Assistants

Although LinkedIn is not used as pervasively in the health care field as it is in private industries, a LinkedIn Profile is more than just transcribing your resume online; you can optimize it to encourage networking and woo job recruiters.  LinkedinLogoTransparent

Visit our sample “LinkedIn Profile” and feel free
to use this as a template for customizing your profile.

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1. LinkedIn Profile is not a direct transcription of your Resume

You should be catering your LinkedIn Profile according to your objectives for using LinkedIn.  Are you trying to build your network? Promote your profession? Find a job? Look for clients? There’s no utility in listing every single experience you’ve had from time of birth to present. It has to be focused and tailored – especially since the attention span of the viewer is only a few seconds you want to make sure you highlight important points concisely; and don’t lose your audience by writing an essay under each LinkedIn category heading. [hr]

2 Add “CCPA or PA-C” after your Name

First name, last name and include “CCPA, PA, PA Candidate, PAS1 or PAS2) after the last name to quickly draw attention to your credentials whenever anyone glances at your name on LinkedIn. palink

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3. Use the same profile picture across all social media platforms

Choose a professional head shot with a soft background, posing with you facing the camera, good resolution (avoid grainy, pixellated or blurry pictures such as one taken with a low-quality webcam). Body language has a significant impact on the impression you make during an interview. In an online context, your profile photo reveals more than meets the eye suggesting photos that give impression of confidence and approachability are a winning combination, which convey an interest and desire to interact. Libby Kane suggests (1) Not using a profile pic, (2) using a non-professional photo (e.g. dog photos), (3) misrepresenting your appearance (e.g. posting a younger picture because you are afraid of age discrimination) are some of the 8 Mistakes You Should Never Make on LinkedIn. Also see 10 terrible examples of Linkedin Profile Photos.

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Use the same profile picture across all social media platforms (e.g. on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) that are being used for professional purposes. The concept of “personal branding” refers to marketing yourself and your “career brand” (in this case, the Physician Assistant Profession) in which a recommendation on many marketing sites is to be consistent with your personal branding. Read How to Showcase your professional brand on LinkedIn.

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4. Use “Physician Assistant” in your headline

These key search terms will make it easier for those trying to network with Physician Assistants to find you. These include head hunters, recruiters, potential employers, PA students, pre-PA students, etc.

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5. Use the summary to outline your career trajectory, interests & a call to action

Summary is LinkedIn’s equivalent of the “Cover Letter”, use it as an opportunity to introduce the viewer to you. PA Source suggests using this approach:

  • Write in the first person. It comes across as more assertive, personable and less passive than third person as if you are directly addressing the person viewing your profile.
  • You can choose to write in paragraph or bullet form. Bullet form allows you to make concise points. Paragraphs are much more formal. Choose the format that best suits your preferences.

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6. Do not list every job you’ve ever had, or every school you have attended

Do not list your high school education. At this point where you attended high school will not have an impact on your PA career unless you are using it to network with old classmates. Do not include every single job you’ve ever worked at if it will not somehow enhance your ability to network or obtain work. For instance, the job you had in high school working retail, amusement park, delivering newspapers. DO include your undergraduate, graduate work as well as where you did Physician Assistant School.

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7. Include your Clerkship rotations if you’re a PA student or new PA grad

You can choose to highlight your clerkship rotations under “Experience” or “Education”; where you place it depends on how much you want to emphasize your experience in school.

Experience - Clinical Clerk

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8. Add your PA-C or CCPA Certification

If you are CCPA or PA-C – Include whether you are a Canadian Certified Physician Assistant (CCPA) or Physician Assistant Certified (PA-C), the overseeing body, and if you wish include the year you were certified as well. Here are a few examples:

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9. Customize your Linkedin Profile URL

Visit the Public Profile Edit Setting, and select the link that allows you to customize your profile URL: Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 12.57.10 PM

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10. Add LinkedIn Profile to your Email Signature

Make it easier for those in your existing network to connect with you, especially having gone through all of that work to modify your profile. Use Step 8 to customize a URL for your LinkedIn profile. Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 1.01.18 PM [hr_shadow]

Infographic:

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Anne Dang, CCPA

Anne is a Canadian trained Physician Assistant (PA) practicing in Orthopaedic Surgery, and continues to remain active in the PA community. She enjoys teaching, mentoring, and creative writing.She also enjoys graphic and web-design as a hobby, and has found away to turn her love for tech and social media into a medium to help promote the Physician Assistant Profession.

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