Your Online Presence – What You Need to Know

Person exploring their online presence

The majority of us have a digital presence.  Through social media, employment, and a number of other platforms we can easily be found through an Internet search.  So whether you’re actively looking, or passively interested in a better opportunity, you need to ensure your online presence is accurate, up-to-date, comprehensive and builds credibility.  One of the first things an employer will do when they’re vetting you is examine your online presence.

Why Your Digital Resume Matters

If I’m working on a search with very specific criteria, I want to ensure that the candidate is the right match before I reach out to present an opportunity.  LinkedIn is a great tool for identifying candidates with a specific skill set.  As a recruiter, LinkedIn also gives me a better understanding of a candidate and where they stand in their career.

A LinkedIn profile is your digital resume. It can be the first digital impression an employer has of you. In addition to education and employment history, you’ll want to include skills and training that you have achieved in Integrative and Functional Medicine.

The skills section in your profile has limited options to choose from that are relevant to Integrative and Functional Medicine.  You need to ensure your profile includes those skills specific to this field. You can easily add key words in your summary and experience sections to do this.

Many practitioners in this field are experts on a specific topic or specialize in a particular treatment.  Including those key words regarding your specialty makes it easy for recruiters AND patients to find you.  Some examples are women’s health, pain management, Lyme, brain health or autoimmune disease.   Get those key words in there!  The right people can find you and it builds your credibility.

Have you completed courses or programs for Health Coaching or Nutrition?  Did you complete a Medical Acupuncture course? Are you trained and skilled in Regenerative Medicine? Any courses on Reversing Brain Disorders?  What about courses in Mind-Body Medicine? Don’t be shy about including all the advanced education you’re getting in this field.

You should update your resume and LinkedIn profile regularly. You’re building an active portfolio.  Get into the habit of updating your portfolio following any course, publication or notable achievement.

I also recommend getting recommendations from peers and employers on LinkedIn.  These testimonials carry more weight in my mind because they are not anonymous, as they sometimes are on websites. Endorsements and recommendations can really help build a stronger profile.

And finally, don’t leave out any awards, publications or major achievements. Were you recognized as a contributor or “Best of” in your community?  Include books you have written or contributed to, relevant published research papers or articles in media.

I’m always surprised when I review a candidate’s CV and it includes a Certification they have achieved from a reputable program, but it’s not on their LinkedIn profile. That is vital information you want available to prospective employers, patients and peers.   Examples of some of these programs are Certification in Functional Medicine, Fellowship or Board Certification in Integrative Medicine, Certification from Nutrition or Health Coaching programs. Those are significant achievements that give you credibility.

Showcase all of your education, experience, skills, awards and notable publications. Your LinkedIn profile is a powerful marketing tool that establishes a professional and credible online presence.

Managing Your Online Reputation

CareerBuilder estimates 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates. When it comes to social media like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, think before you post.  It’s important to understand your privacy settings, but even if your privacy is tightened up, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  Ask yourself if it’s worth the career risk before posting.

Give some thought before you comment to a blog, forum, anything online.  Make sure it is thoughtful and intelligent.  You’re leaving footprints that can be damaging to your credibility and reputation.  Keep in mind that whatever you share could come back to haunt you.

Videos are becoming increasingly popular and viewed as king of content.  You Tube is now the second largest search engine on the web.  Videos can be a great way to showcase your strengths. You can demonstrate knowledge, speaking skills and personality.

Your online presence communicates what you’re passionate about and that can be a positive influence when an employer is screening you.  They may recognize one of your passions as a great fit for their culture.

The first place we look to search for information on anything, including people, is online. Take the time to Google yourself to ensure you have a professional presence on every platform.  What is your digital footprint online?

Building Your Personal Brand

Your online presence creates your personal brand and can be a powerful asset. The brand you build around yourself can be one of the most important ways to advance your career.  We’re in a digital world and the need for an online presence will continue to grow in importance. It lets people know who you are, and showcases your experience and talent.  Take the time to make it work for you, it’s time well spent.

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