What is Social Media?
Social Media is a powerful tool for interacting with people online. Special websites also known as social media platforms are used to share messages, ideas, information, and other content. People can communicate via discussion forums, videos, blogs, and more. Not only is social media about communication, it can help people learn and share new things and use information for social, networking, or professional purposes. Examples of social media platforms are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and RxEconsult.
According to the Multi-generational Job Search study, people spend 5 to 20 hours per week searching for jobs on social media in 2012.
In 2011, the AMN Healthcare conducted a survey on social media use and benefits with over 70,000 respondents who were healthcare professionals. Some interesting results found were:
Using Social Media to Develop a Pharmacy Career
Professional social media platforms have extensive job listings and you can network with employers. People may find surprising new opportunities after exploring these platforms. Many of these websites allow users to search for a variety of pharmacy companies and hospitals. For example:
On LinkedIn, the search can be filtered to a specific company for the user to connect with. Some of these companies will list the positions that are available and their locations. People can also find hiring recruiters, district managers, and other employees by typing in the name of the company and search under the filter for people. There are a number of pharmacy and healthcare groups that people can join. Searches can be filtered by groups as well.
On RxEconsult, there is a section for healthcare jobs where you can search for jobs by location and keywords such as the name of the position. The position, location, job description, requirements, and contact information are clearly displayed. You can apply directly online or by contacting the employer.
Networking is very important in creating a foundation and building connections to help develop a pharmacy career. It is an opportunity for professionals to connect with other professionals and by visible. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind:
People can connect directly with company recruiters or be referred to a recruiter by a company’s employee or a friend. People can also look into another person’s connections and groups and make new connections or join new groups.
By knowing more people and having more connections, more career opportunities may present themselves. However, it is crucial to be selective in choosing people and groups to network with. The contacts and groups should offer a potential in assisting career development. Overall, it is very important to have a goal and develop a strategy for professional networking.
On a side note, efficient networking takes time. People have to increase their visibility and keep in touch with their connections and groups. Recruiters need to be given the chance to look at profiles and online activities. Remember, a general discussion on a healthcare topic may have quick responses. However, a response or offer for a career may take days, weeks, or months. Patience is a virtue.
One of the most important reasons for using professional social media is showcase your expertise and increase your visibility. That is the start of social networking. It is important to be interactive and fully use the online resources to communicate with others. Here are ways to be more noticeable on the social media platforms:
Profiles allow you to showcase your background, experience, skills and capability, expertise, and accomplishments. Upload a professional profile picture. Provide a clear reason for networking. For instance, instead of listing “seeking pharmacist position”, clarify what type of position and in what type of pharmacy or what type of pharmacy activity. Make sure profiles are complete, easy to follow, and gives a good impression. Upload document or video resumes or curriculum vitae (CV) on platforms like RxEconsult.
A great way to let others know about you is to post something on the social media platforms. Post questions, responses, comments, information, updates, events, and “like” other posts. Make sure the posts are relevant to the target audience and useful with links to the articles and other sources. Many sites have social media share icons that automatically share your post on other platforms. Share on multiple platforms. Also use platforms like RxEconsult to publish and share your own work. See below for more details on learning and sharing.
Keeping in Touch
Sometimes, your desired job position may not be available or you are networking for future roles. Staying active in social media may help you obtain an offer later. Remember, getting noticed is not enough. Show that you are a persistent, driven, and active individual by keeping in touch with your connections and groups; and by continuously drawing back the audience’s attention. Recruiters will notice those that go above and beyond in the online community rather than doing minimal activity.
One of the common mistakes among many unsuccessful social media users is that they are not particiapting in the conversation. Therefore, post on the platforms on a daily or weekly basis. Post on the pages of your connections and groups as well.
Engage in conversations with others instead of being passive. Encourage viewers to “like” and share your posts.
Sometimes important messages can get lost or overlooked in text messages, phone calls, voice messages, and emails. Most platforms have their own private messaging system to utilize for professional communication.
Sharing and Learning
Publish and promote your own work to showcase your expertise and educate others. RxEconsult ecourages users to share healthcare knowledge in form of articles such as drug monographs, drug comparisons, health briefs, case studies, business insights, and more. Papers, posters, presentations, class assignments, survey results can be converted to articles and published. Read Content Marketing for Healthcare Professionals and Businesses.
Pose questions in the form of polls and surveys to gather opinions, experience, and trends. Post links to the surveys and their results on the platforms. Posting these on various social media platforms can help to gain more participants and the results could be of use to others too. This can also show to others your involvement and engagement in professional activities.
Lastly, use social media to gain an incredible learning experience. It is not just about the medical knowledge. Use social media platforms to understand your profession and how to build a professional pharmacy career. Find mentors that can guide and share their experiences with you. They can also make helpful referrals.
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