Leveraging Your Connections

One of the hardest realities that physicians face when trying to transition out of clinical medicine is getting accustomed to using LinkedIn and other social media platforms for networking purposes. As a clinical physician, most of us never had to use LinkedIn to get a job. We were in high demand, and obtaining a clinical job was easy. Most physicians who attempt to transition into non-clinical careers often find themselves submitting applications only to never hear back. It is not unusual to apply to many, many jobs before even getting an interview. It often feels like when one applies on LinkedIn or a company’s website, the application goes into a black hole only to never be found again.  So how do we work around this?

One of most important things you can do to help your transition is build your network, and for this purpose I recommend LinkedIn. While LinkedIn may be new to some of you, it is not difficult to set up and get it up to speed in this time of technology. LinkedIn will allow you to connect to key opinion leaders in your field, ex-colleagues and other peers. Choose your connections carefully and connect with those that have similar interests as you (in this case, it may be other physicians working in industry for example). Do not avoid recruiters, they can be your allies and use keywords on your profile to allow these recruits to find you.  Your connections (whether recruiters or other physicians or hiring managers) can exponentially increase your exposure and access to other connections. In order to grow your network on LinkedIn commenting on other people’s posts is important. This will not only show that you’re engaged, but again, can increase your exposure to others.  Strategic and consistent commenting on posts will get you a long way.
If there is a job you are interested in, see if any of your connections work for this company. Check if a hiring manager is listed on the job posting and reach out directly.  If not, check for any “second” connections and look for mutual contacts. Reach out to them and see if they’re willing to answer a few questions for you. This is sometimes known as an informational interview. Reach out and check if they have 15 minutes to answer a few questions about the company, the job, the culture, etc. You must be specific with questions. Simply asking them to tell you more about their job is a very general question and you may not get any replies from already busy physicians. If you have specific questions, it also shows you’ve done your homework regarding the position you’re pursuing.
Now get to setting up your LinkedIn profile and treat it like your new Twitter or Facebook. Browse it every day for new opportunities, set up notification emails, comment on other’s posts and reach out!

To read more about leveraging your LinkedIn profile, click here