The internet is a powerful tool. Google gives people much more agency to quickly find information about physicians and their background. Social media has a very real power to influence people’s perception of you. As a medical professional, it’s important to put your best foot forward—for a variety of reasons.
Not only could employers use it to screen you, but your patients are also more than likely Googling your name and seeking a variety of online resources to research your background. Since your patients and your future practice have this unique window to see who you are as a professional (and a person), it’s important to ensure that you don’t give them a reason to find a better option.
Instead, use your social accounts to help build your reputation. Today, we’ve compiled some quick tips to help you make sure that your social media accounts can pass the screening test. Read on for some obvious don’ts and a few less obvious (but equally important) do’s!
First, make sure that you aren’t posting one of the following social media sins:
- Inappropriate photos
- Discriminatory comments about race, religion, etc.
- Information about drinking or using drugs
- Disparaging remarks about co-workers or employers
If any of the content is questionable or has the potential to be offensive, your best bet is to hide or remove it from your social media pages. Take some time to comb through your posts and photos, especially if you’ve had your accounts since college. Any of these pictures or comments could negatively impact your employment opportunities with a hospital, medical practice, or a recruiter. Making your personal accounts private is an easy way to hide some of your more casual content.
Less Obvious Do’s
You’ve often heard that social media can hurt you. However, your social media presence can also support, or even enhance, your qualifications. Previously, we posted an article about the benefits of healthcare leaders increasing their social IQ. However, it’s equally important for physicians and other providers to do the same.
Many employers conduct social media searches, not seeking out reasons not to hire but simply to make sure an applicant’s background matches his or her reported qualifications. So, you can simultaneously ensure they find a few extra reasons to hire you. Or, if potential patients are looking, they could be pleasantly surprised by your social savviness!
Your recruiter or potential employer may use your account to get an idea of your personality and discover whether you would fit with the organization’s culture. On the other hand, your potential patients may be seeking out reviews from other patients. Unfortunately, you may not be able to control what reviewers have to say. However, you can enhance your social presence by:
- Sharing resourceful articles and information
- Posting your own research or publications
- Answering questions and communicating intelligently
- Following other thought leaders in your field and participating in online dialogue
Particularly for a locum tenens physician, PA, or CRNA who is working with multiple medical organizations, an active social media account helps people get a better feel for who you are as an individual. Patients who are researching you may be pleasantly surprised to see your thoughtful activity in a positive way. Even if they happen to stumble upon a less-than-enthusiastic review from a patient, your articles and positivity could combat their initial perception.
An easy rule of thumb is to think of it this way: the medical community would rather see a more robust LinkedIn presence and fewer Facebook or Instagram posts. An employer or patient will feel much more comfortable with a Dr. Stevens who just published an article about groundbreaking genetic therapy than a Dr. Stevens who posted a rather risqué photo album of a weekend at a casino.
To get more information about how you can use social media effectively when seeking permanent placement opportunities, contact one of our experienced recruiters at 603.288.1624.