When looking for a new nursing job, keep in mind that social medial has become a highly popular tool for job search and networking in nearly all industries, including healthcare. Using social media provides a convenient and effective method to identify new opportunities.
The Growth of Social Media
Social medial sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have become important tools for candidates and employers to connect, even at great distances. A such, social media can be a great resource for those nurses seeking to relocate and identify new nursing jobs in other parts of the country—or around the world.
A recent study conducted by CareerBuilder.com found that over 22 percent of hiring managers in all sectors routinely peruse social medial sites to identify viable candidates for job vacancies. The study also found that an additional ten percent of hiring managers plan to incorporate social media into their recruitment strategies in the near future.
Most hiring managers use social media to obtain an impression of the person behind the résumé. In older times, hiring managers had to wait for in-person interview to obtain a 360 degree perspective of job candidates; now all it takes is a simple search of social media profiles.
While nursing skills and knowledge remain the primary factors in hiring decisions by nurse administrators, social media profiles also allow these hiring managers to determine whether the candidate will be a fit with overall facility culture. This determination can be made from the pictures posted to the candidate profile, perusing lists of friends and connections, reviewing groups that candidates belong to, style of language (e.g. word usage), as well as lists of hobbies and interests.
Social Media and Nursing Job Search
Are nurses and other health care professionals actually using social media as a job search resource?
A 2010 survey conducted by AMN Healthcare, a large healthcare staffing and workforce solutions firm asked nurses, doctors, as well as allied health personnel about their use of social media to help with job search. Of the nearly 1,250 healthcare professionals who took part in the survey, 60 percent reported to have been involved in job search over the past two years, 26 percent reported being actively involved in full time job search at the time of the survey, 21 percent claimed to be seeking contract or temporary work, and 14 percent were actively seeking part time work.
Respondents noted that their preferred job search methods included (in order of priority) in-person and social media networking, referrals, direct contact with potential employers, search engines, and healthcare job boards.
Specifically, of those who participated in the survey, about 2 in 5 claimed that they used at least one social media during their job search. Allied health professionals (23 percent) and nurses (22 percent) used social media most often, followed by pharmacists (18 percent) and doctors (15 percent). However, outcomes have been somewhat mixedt with only 6 percent reporting being invited to an interview and 3 percent being offered a job they identified through social media.
The results showed that most health care professionals (37 percent) use social media for networking rather than direct job search. Top sites, in order of popularity, for networking were reported to be Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter. Nurses, at 41 percent, had the highest usage of social media for professional networking. When asked which social media site they would use if they had the choice of only one, the majority of respondents (64 percent) reported they would use Facebook.
Healthcare Organizations Use Social Media to Recruit
Recent studies suggest that over 1000 hospitals throughout the country now host a presence on one of the social media sites, most often Facebook and Twitter but LinkedIn as well. Nearly 10 percent of these hospitals also host their own blogs so that it seems many hospitals are using social media for a variety of purposes; i.e. networking, recruiting and marketing. For example, Twitter and Facebook provide a venue for healthcare facilities to post information regarding their health care services and education programs, while LinkedIn is a popular site for posting nursing job opportunities.
Creating a Social Media Profile for Nursing Job Search
The growing popularity of social media means that these sites can be a very valuable tool for nursing job search. However, to be successful you will need to develop a presence that will serve as an effective marketing tool and get the attention of nursing administrators.
Create a professional social media profile
Limit the information you include in your social media profile to that which you would want a potential employer to see. While you want to establish a warm and friendly tone, keep your profile professional with no slang or impolitic language. Post pictures in keeping with the professional image you wish to portray. Best to use a picture in which you are dressed in professional attire as you would dress if going on an interview.
The most appropriate time to create a professional profile is BEFORE you begin your nursing job search. Keep in mind that you may be in consideration for a nursing job without your even being aware of it should potential employers be perusing social media profiles for viable candidates. Any delay in removing less than professional content leaves you open to the risk that a potential employer may read it with the result that you are knocked out of the running before you even know you were in it!
Unless you limit access to your friends or connections list, potential employers will be able to view these lists and view select profiles as well. As they say, “we are judged by the company we keep” so exercise sound judgment in who you choose to connect with–or at least hide these lists.
Join Professional Groups
While the purpose of social media is to connect with others who share your personal interests, it will advance your candidacy if you also join professionally-based groups. With regard to nursing jobs, there are many associations representing nearly all nursing specialties that maintain a presence on most of the major social media sites. Not only will this provide evidence of your active involvement in professional activities but the connections you make can also help you tap into the hidden job market.
Don’t Mention Your Nursing Job Search
Just as nursing administrators may be perusing social media profiles so, too, may your current employer. Picture your supervisor perusing profiles only to come upon yours and discovering that you have been very busy on your days off searching for a new nursing job. At the least this will result in an awkward relationship between yourself and your boss; at the most it could seriously jeopardize your future employment with the facility. Even if your supervisor does not see your profile it is likely that one your colleagues may see it and inadvertently mention your job search around the facility.