How to write a LinkedIn Profile for Locums

February 20th, 2020 Locum Optometry | Locum Pharmacy No Comments

Ever thought about how to write a LinkedIn profile for locums? Ever seen a good example of a locum profile?

As a successful locum who consistently fills their weekly shifts, using platforms like My Locum Choice, it’s easy to overlook LinkedIn as a place to find work.

But there are opportunities to be had by locums whose LinkedIn profiles are optimised for finding new opportunities.

Benefits of optimised LinkedIn profiles for locums

There are a number of benefits for locums who have invested some time in their LinkedIn profiles:

LinkedIn helps present you as a professional. There are plenty of incomplete, photoless profiles on LinkedIn. So, with a little effort, it’s easy to stand out.

By using the same information and same headshot, LinkedIn allows you to be consistent with your “brand” as a locum. Use LinkedIn as your definitive source of information that you can copy to other accounts.

A LinkedIn profile works while you’re asleep. That is, anyone can search and view your profile without you first having to send it to them.

LinkedIn allows you to expand your network of connections. You never know where opportunity may lie, so put yourself out there.

Being active on your LinkedIn account shows potential employers that you’re worth engaging with. So, raise awareness of your profession or give a shout out to the latest team you’ve worked with.

How to write a LinkedIn Profile for Locums

The first thing to know is that LinkedIn is not a CV database – it’s a professional networking site. So, whilst LinkedIn profiles have similarities to a CV, don’t treat writing your profile as if you were writing your CV. 

LinkedIn profile basics

Photo

No one likes photos of themselves but a good headshot is an investment. A clear, quality image of your smiling face is all you need. 

But avoid photos that put you in a non-professional setting e.g. at the beach on holiday.

Use the same photo on your LinkedIn profile and on your My Locum Choice profile for a consistent professional image.

Headline

Your headline is your “first impression” so make it count. 

Be clear what you are offering in the first five of six words and keep the whole headline under 120 characters. Avoid vague statements that don’t clearly describe your job:


Experienced Locum Pharmacist | Emergency Cover Specialist | Pharmacology Nerd

or

Providing pharmacy shift cover solutions through flexible deployment


See the difference?

Both headlines use the same number of words but the first one is clear, effective and still has personality. 

Banner

The banner is a great selling opportunity that is often overlooked on LinkedIn.

Use a free web app like canva.com to create a simple banner.

Make your banner 1584×396 pixels and choose a background – a plain colour is fine. Add your name, job title (e.g. Locum Optometrist) and contact info, such as an email, to the right-hand side of the image.

Anyone visiting your profile will immediately see who and what you are and how to contact you. Placing the text on the right-hand side means you profile pic won’t obscure the text, even on the app version of your profile page.

LinkedIn Profile for locums banner example
Canva is your friend.

LinkedIn About section for locums

The About section is the big opportunity to sell yourself.

Here are some tips on how to write a winning About section on your LinkedIn profile:

  • Write with your reader in mind e.g. a pharmacy manager or independent optician owner. Think about what you would want to read if you were doing the hiring.
  • Focus on your reader (and not on yourself) and how you can help them.
  • Get some form of contact info in within the first three lines.
  • As a rule, stick to content that is relevant to your profession i.e. locum pharmacist. But it’s refreshing to add a little personality occasionally.
  • Don’t write in the third person – it’s kind of weird.

LinkedIn doesn’t allow for much formatting so you have to be cunning to make your text look good and read well.

  • Avoid big blocks of text by using paragraphs to create white space
  • Limit your paragraphs to three or fewer sentences
  • Aim for sentences of 20 or fewer words
  • Use capitals for section headings
  • Bullet points make information easier to read
  • Emojis can be useful but don’t overdo them

Most people will scan your About section so use the above formatting tips to draw attention to your most important skills and services.

How to record your locum experience

So, this is the big question for a LinkedIn profile for locums.

If you’re working multiple shifts for multiple stores what is the best way to represent your experience without overloading the section or underselling yourself?

  • Adding a work experience entry for every single 8-hour shift you’ve ever worked just isn’t practical.
  • Yet a single entry as a “Locum Pharmacist” or “Locum Optometrist” will oversimplify your expertise.

So where is the balance?

Everyone is different and you have to choose the way that you think represents you best. But here are some ideas and different approaches:

  • Add the locum agencies you find work through to your experience section. Then, using the formatting tips from the About section, add the individual clients you have worked for.
  • If your regular customers are on LinkedIn, add them as experience.
  • It’s ok to have more than one “current employer”. Many freelance or self-employed people have multiple current roles. 
  • Only add experience that is relevant to your preferred career direction e.g. retail vs domiciliary.
  • Include experience where you have demonstrated a key skill you want to promote.
  • Don’t use one of the generic options in the company field such as “self-employed” or “locum optometrist”. These have been overused and won’t help people find you. Plus they look shabby without a business logo.
  • Consider making your own Locum business page (complete with simple logo) to keep your experience section looking slicker.
  • As you add new experience entries think about tweaking or removing older ones. Your new placements may supersede older ones.
  • Avoid unexplained gaps in your work history though. As long as you can show consistent work throughout your locuming career, you can choose which roles you want people to know about.

However you choose to show your work history, remember what the experience section is for – backing up your About section.

So, if you talk big about your vast knowledge of macular degeneration make sure your experience confirms your expertise.

And if you’re trying to promote your clinical knowledge, don’t highlight your community pharmacy experience. 

Add Licenses and Certifications.

This is a self-explanatory but import section for locums.

Adding your certifications and relevant training is another opportunity to add keywords that show up in searches.

LinkedIn has a number of pre-entered professional qualifications. But you can also add your own (which is fortunate as we couldn’t find a number of certificates relevant to pharmacy or optometry in the UK).

You can add your degree under education, in this License and Certification section or add it to both.

LinkedIn profile for locums: Bonus tips

  • Include the phrase “looking for locum pharmacist/optometrist” somewhere on your profile. This will help people find you in searches.
  • Think 90% business and 10% personality. Showing your true self helps make you more relatable and therefore employable.
  • Check out John Espirian for more advice on how to get the best from LinkedIn.
  • Turn off the “People also viewed” option in settings. You’re the locum the need – right?
  • Include the areas of the country you are willing to work in. If you like stay-aways as a locum make sure to add this in the About section.
  • Add a link to your profile on locum platforms, such as My Locum Choice, to make it even easier for someone to hire you.

My Locum Choice is here to help you on your locum journey. Whether you are new to locuming or you’re a seasoned pro, My Locum Choice is the friendly locum optom agency for you. We offer great advice and trusted service. So, check out the best locum shifts available through the MLC app today.


This article was written on behalf of My Locum Choice by Nicola Hasted from Pharmacy Mentor.

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