Employers are checking your social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and now even Tik Tok!
Don’t believe me?
A recent study by the Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 84% of employers recruit via social media, and 43% of employers screen job candidates through social networks and search engines.
Because of this, there are important do’s and don’ts for your social media presence as a nurse practitioner.
In today’s episode, I’m giving you my top social media best practices for NP’s:
- How to protect your social media privacy during your job search
- Why you should have a LinkedIn account (and how it can actually help you get hired!)
- The three big No’s to avoid on social media as a nurse practitioner
- How to leverage the power of community and social media to find great opportunities
LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED TODAY:
- Click Here To Read The Full Transcription for this episode!
- If you are ready to become the NP you always wanted to be, then NP Society membership is the place for you. This is a community that is designed for Nurse Practitioners (and students) to thrive beyond the clinical setting. Head to www.thenpsociety.com to choose your membership level today!
Listen to more episodes here!
Social Media Do’s & Don’ts For NPs
Tips for branding your social media presence while job searching.
Do: Take inventory of your social media accounts & adjust Privacy Settings
Conduct a social media audit on yourself. Here’s how:
Steps For Auditing Your FACEBOOK Profile
First, I want you to head to Facebook to make sure that all of your posts (past and present) are set to “Friends Only”. Double check your profile picture and your cover photos, since those are usually set to public by default and change them if necessary.
Now, your short bio, which on Facebook, is a newer thing underneath your name on your profile that is usually Public. I recommend removing that if it’s something that’s completely unprofessional, or it’s not something that you want everyone to read. Alternatively, you can make it in alignment with your professional persona, if you so choose. Keep in mind that while Facebook is not really meant to be a professional platform (and you certainly don’t have to really say anything about yourself professionally here) just make sure that it’s not something that you don’t want people or potential employers reading about you.
As an aside, you may want to consider changing your name so that you are less searchable. Some ideas could include:
- Using your first and middle name only
- Changing your last name
- Spelling your name phonetically
Once you’re done with all these little changes, you can go to the Privacy Settings and preview yourself as a Non-Friend. This is so that you can make sure that the degree of privacy that you’ve set up is how you’ve intended it to be.
Steps For Auditing Your Instagram Profile
There aren’t as many privacy tweaks as privacy settings on Instagram as there are on Facebook. You basically have two options on Instagram – a “Public” account – where employers can see everything that you post, or a “Private” account, where they can’t see anything.
I recommend setting your personal Instagram account to Private.
You can also change your display name so that you do not show up in search. Your display name is the bolded title that goes underneath your username and it is searchable!
Your bio, your Instagram handle, and your main photo will always be public, so keep that in mind.
These are settings that you can also do on TikTok.
Do: Consider creating a LinkedIn account
I’m a big proponent on LinkedIn, I have training courses on LinkedIn. And frankly, it’s the primary platform for managerial folks and HR professionals. Even if not a ton of nurses or nurse practitioners are on LinkedIn, this platform is where all the executives, all the C suite leaders, and all the HR recruiters are. So employers are going to be there and they’re probably going to look for you there. If you have a LinkedIn profile already, that’s great! Just make sure that it’s up to date. And if you don’t have one, consider spending 30 minutes to create a very basic profile. It’s totally free. You can put as much or as little on there as you want. Having a basic profile that shows that you exist on LinkedIn can be really helpful when those hiring managers and potential employers are conducting their vetting process.
Don’t: Post Photos or Information About Patients
So this should go without saying, but it gets violated all the time. There are some gray areas that people still get in trouble for…
For example, if you’re in a Facebook group with other nurse practitioners, don’t use the group as your personal consult network and risk violating HIPAA. Don’t post a picture of your patient’s rash, asking, “What is this?”
Along those same lines, avoid saying anything disparaging about your employer. I have seen many folks recently get “canceled” or even get fired!
Know your social media policies of your employer or your school inside and out, and don’t violate it…. Unless you’re not attached to your job or your school and you’re willing to potentially take a hit or lose your position.
Don’t: Accept “Friend Requests” From Patients And Use Social Media to Disseminate Medical Advice.
There is definitely a personal and professional crossover on social media, and many professionals maintain a presence on social media which I love. I love this kind of open access medical education movement that is happening on social media on platforms like Instagram and Tiktok.
But it is important to be mindful again of your organization’s social media policies. And it’s also important to set boundaries and keep it clear that you are only providing medical advice in the setting of your workplace.
You can easily fulfill this by including a little disclaimer statement somewhere on your bio.
Here are a couple of examples:
- “Information for educational purposes only.”
- “These are my thoughts and not my employer’s thoughts.”
- “Content does not equal medical advice.”
Find some way to make it super clear, so that you don’t find yourself violating your organization’s social media policy or find yourself in some sort of malpractice situation.
If you are employed, you can also talk to HR to ensure that your content and your presence is not a violation or a conflict. Some employers have either non-compete clauses or conflict statements in their employment agreements. And if you have a platform where you are making money, or even just providing content, you want to make sure that you’re not in conflict with anything through your employer.
Do: Use Social Media To Build Community
Network with other health care professionals who you likely wouldn’t be able to meet in real life. Leverage connections for mutual benefits, Give and get support and guidance from communities online.
One of the amazing benefits of social media is the fact that it’s a place for us to be in community with people who we normally wouldn’t get to meet because of our geography.
Find opportunities to take advantage of this, whether it’s creating a community of peers who you’ve who you’ve met, or joining somebody’s community so that you are learning from an expert who you otherwise wouldn’t be able to learn from, like the NP Society!
The NP Society is the community that I founded for nurse practitioners and NP students. It’s really my dream community for nurse practitioners so I hope that you will consider checking us out or joining us!
What other social media etiquette tips do you have?
Let me know on Instagram @theresumerx. I always love hearing from you and knowing that you are tuning in and hearing your takeaways!