Pharmacists Increasingly Use Social Media for Job Search

Pharmacists are the most avid users of social media as part of their job search compared with other health care professionals, a new survey finds.

Pharmacists are the most avid users of social media as part of their job search compared with other health care professionals, a new survey finds.

Pharmacists have increased their use of social media to find jobs in recent years and are more likely to use social media as part of a job search than other groups of health care professionals, according to the results of a new report.

The report, released on November 12, 2013, by AMN Healthcare, is based on a survey of health care professionals regarding their job search experiences and social media habits. The survey, conducted in the spring of 2013, is a follow-up to 2 previous surveys conducted in 2010 and 2011. It included responses from pharmacists, physicians, registered nurses, allied professionals, and other health care professionals, such as nurse practitioners and dentists.

A total of 1902 professionals were surveyed, including 237 pharmacists. Overall, the report finds that 42% of respondents used social media as part of their job search, double the rate reported in 2010. In their job search, health care professionals primarily used social media to look at job postings, research companies, and identify professional connections who could help them land a job.

Compared with all other health professionals surveyed, pharmacists were the most likely to use social media during a job search. Nearly half (47%) of pharmacists reported using social media in their job searches, compared with just 28% of physicians. Among the pharmacists who reported using social media, 60% said they used the networking websites to look for job postings, compared with 53% of allied professionals, 49% of nurses, and 43% of physicians.

Pharmacists were also significantly more likely to use social media to network with other professionals. Overall, the portion of respondents who used social media for professional networking decreased from 48% in 2011 to 43% in 2013. However, pharmacists comprised the only group of professionals whose rate of online networking consistently increased, from 36% in 2010 to 47% in 2011 to 50% in 2013. A majority of pharmacists (71%) enhanced their online profiles this year, and pharmacists were the most likely to do so compared with other professionals.

LinkedIn was the most popular social media site for job searching among pharmacists followed by Facebook, with 72% and 41% of reporting use of the sites, respectively. Pharmacists also spent the most time on LinkedIn and Google+ compared with all other professionals. When asked which health care focused website they preferred, 67% of pharmacists said Medscape.

Increased use of social media among pharmacists led to more job interviews. While only 5.3% of allied professionals, 3.3% of physicians, and 3.2% of nurses secured interviews through social media, 8% of pharmacists succeeded in doing so. They received fewer job offers, however, with just 0.8% of pharmacists landing a new job through social media.

As social media use has steadily increased, so has the number of pharmacists seeking out new positions. Although the portion of pharmacists seeking new employment in 2013 decreased from 42% in 2011 to 35% in 2013, the portion of pharmacists who reported actively searching for a new position over the past 2 years increased from 43% in 2010 to 56% in 2011 to 68% in 2013.

Many pharmacists reported using multiple resources to find jobs in addition to social media, while other professionals dramatically decreased their use of other resources. The other resources pharmacists reported using included online job boards (77%), applying for a job on the company’s website (70%), search engines (52%), and referrals (51%).