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LinkedIn assigns a URL to your profile, but most people will not be searching for you based on it as they might with some other social media sites. LinkedIn bases your URL on your name. You can customize it, but leave it as simple as you can.
LinkedIn allows you to create a profile manually. The first section is a summary, and you should use this area to highlight key accomplishments and achievements of which you are especially proud. Make it succinct, but let your pride shine through. This is the first section people see when they view your profile, so make it count.
There are sections for work experience, education and skills. Those in the beginning of their medical assistant career, may not have much relevant experience. Still, don’t leave this section blank. Fill in summer jobs or volunteer work. Even baby-sitting or paid yard work can show that you have initiative and will make a good employee.
LinkedIn has a list of hundreds of skills, but you can only claim 50. You’ll want to make them count, so only select legitimate skills that are relevant to medical assisting. You can ask your connections to endorse your skills, so that prospective employers know that other people agree with your assessment.
You can ask connections to provide written recommendations on your profile. These recommendations should be brief. Don’t ask friends and family to write recommendations since they will not carry much weight and will look desperate, unless they also have a legitimate expertise in medical assisting.
You can ask former managers from jobs you held in school, or your instructors if you don’t have any professional experience yet.
LinkedIn will search your contacts from Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo and other email programs to find connections. You can also connect with Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
LinkedIn also has many groups based on organizations, companies or common interests. Search the groups for those related to medical assistants and join as many as look interesting to you. Some groups require approval before you can become a member, so don’t be alarmed if they don’t show up on your profile right away.
You can also follow companies that are of interest to you, so if there’s a particular organization you want to work for, try to connect. LinkedIn will automatically show you connections that work there and notify you of open jobs.
You can search for people you want to connect with and ask if they will connect with you. LinkedIn does not show contact information for any member that is not already a connection, so you will need to wait until they respond to become connected.
You can search open jobs by key words, locations, companies and full, part-time or contract employment type. When you find a job you are interested in, LinkedIn will show you if you have any connections that can help you get connected to the hiring manager. In some cases, you may be directly connected; in others, you may be 2 or 3 degrees removed. If that is the case, LinkedIn helps you navigate the connections by asking for introductions from your connections.
In many cases you can apply for jobs you find on LinkedIn right from the job listing. LinkedIn will forward a copy of your profile. You can also attach a copy of your resume if you have one. You are usually required to add a cover letter. The cover letter should be created specifically for the job and include details about why you would be a good fit. Polish the cover letter until it is perfect. It is the first think the hiring manager will see from you, so you will want to make a great impression.
BeKnown is a Facebook app for the professional aspects of your life. Monster.com, a company that knows a thing or two about job-hunting online, owns BeKnown. BeKnown can help you in your search for a medical assistant job by connecting you with people and organizations that may be in a position to hire you. The first step is to claim your personal BeKnown URL, and then set up your profile.
Your Personal URL
BeKnown will suggest a URL based on your name. Since this is your professional page, resist the urge to select a cute, funny or sassy URL. Your best bet is to choose your first and last names, separated by a period or dash. If your name is common, add a middle initial. Never use a nickname that might be a turnoff to a prospective employer.
BeKnown makes it easy to set up your profile even if you don’t have a resume, by providing sections for professional experience, education, skills, interests and a summary. Take the time to create a profile that highlights your strengths. Don’t use slang, and make sure there are no spelling or grammar errors. It’s a good idea to create each section in a word processing program so that you can take advantage of the spelling and grammar checking tools. You can paste the final text into each section.
Even If you don’t have a lot of relevant experience, you still need to assure prospective employers that you are mature enough to hold a job, so add summer jobs or volunteer activities to round out this section. Also, add relevant skills to the skills section. For example, if your instructors in school said that you were great at giving injections or soothing frightened patients, add it here.
The “interests” section is the place to highlight professional areas that you might want to specialize in. For example, you might want to specialize in geriatrics or a large private practice. You can also include hobbies here, but keep these to a minimum— just enough to indicate that you have a well-rounded life.
BeKnown creates a timeline from your completed profile which functions like a resume would in traditional job searches. BeKnown will post anything on your Facebook timeline that is marked as public. To be totally private, use separate accounts and don’t mingle personal and professional information. To be triply safe, don’t post anything on your Facebook page that you wouldn’t want an employer to see.
BeKnown has a search capability that lets you find and connect with companies that you are interested in. You can connect with people from your school and use those connections to help introduce you to hiring opportunities. You will also see the organizations where other graduates are employed to help you target likely employers.
You can search for “medical assistant,” and variations. Check out the groups and follow the ones that are of interest.
There are handy links on the profile page to invite connections using Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and other social media.
Once your profile is set up and you have created your first few connections, click on the jobs link at the top of your profile page. There you can search for jobs based on keywords and locations. When you find one that interests you, clicking on it takes you to the posting on Monster.com where you can apply.
Your connections may also post jobs or just make general announcements that their employer is hiring. Follow up on these immediately.
BranchOut assigns a personal URL to you that prospective employers can use to find you and review your qualifications. You can change the URL that BranchOut assigns to you by editing your profile. Make sure that the URL you choose sounds professional.
BranchOut will let you upload a resume. If you don’t have one, take the time to create one. Don’t worry about a lot of fancy fonts and formatting. Be consistent in your format, and use a common font like Arial or Times New Roman. Include keywords for areas you are interested in. For example, if you want to work in hospice or in a large medical center, make sure you include this information in your resume. Be sure the resume is perfect before you upload it.
BranchOut also lets you post a selection of your professional accomplishments and highlights. Since you may not have a lot of professional experience at this point, add highlights from school or prior jobs. For example, did you graduate early, receive high honors or win an award? Post it here so employers get a sense that you will make a great employee.
When you apply for jobs, BranchOut sends your profile to prospective employers. When they look at your profile, you want them to see those accomplishments that you are most proud of. This is your chance to shine and to differentiate yourself from all the other applicants.
BranchOut doesn’t pull any information from your Facebook account, so you don’t need to worry too much about spillover of unprofessional photos or posts. Nonetheless, you should never post anything on Facebook that you would not want an employer to see. Make sure any photos you post on BranchOut are professional looking. Have a friend take a simple headshot against a plain background, and wear good clothes and a simple hairstyle. This should be the main photo you post.
You can search for connections by name, location, or company. Use this search feature to find fellow graduates from your school. Not only can you make them connections, but also finding out where they are working can provide insight as to organizations that hire graduates from your school.
Search on “medical assistant” to connect with organizations and other medical assistants. These connections can alert you to job openings and provide insight into the hiring process where they work. You will also find professional organizations that will provide even more networking opportunities.
There is a link to a job search function on the title bar. You can search by job title, location, company, experience level, and full/part time roles. When you find a job that’s of interest, you can apply right from the listing. BranchOut will send your profile directly to the hiring company.
This is why it is so important to be sure that your profile is complete, professional and perfect. People do pick up on typos and misspellings, especially in job applications. Of course, they will probably look at your BranchOut profile if they are interested. Everything on your profile should be geared toward polishing your professional image.