Interview with Dr. Heather Fork

Dr. Heather Fork makes her third appearance on the Podcast in today’s interview with an important message about using LinkedIn.

Heather is an ICF master certified coach. She helps physicians find their best career path forward, whether in medicine, a nonclinical career, or something else.

In 2010 she founded the Doctor’s Crossing. Since that time, she has helped hundreds of physicians find greater career fulfillment and meaning in their work.

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New Podcast

She hosts the weekly Doctor’s Crossing Carpe Diem Podcast. And she is passionate about creating new resources to make it easier for physicians to navigate their careers.

She previously described her Resumé Writing Kit here on the PNC Podcast.

Using LinkedIn

Heather begins our discussion by explaining what LinkedIn is, and why it is unique among social media sites. She notes that when she started coaching, LinkedIn was not an essential tool for physicians seeking a new career. 

The biggest mistake physicians make is not getting in the parade and having fun. – Dr. Heather Fork

Today, she says that 100% of her clients use LinkedIn as an integral part of their career search strategy. That's why she found it so important to help her clients and other physicians by creating a LinkedIn course for them.


Dr. Heather Fork explains why LinkedIn is important, and how to use it in your professional life. She also explained the most critical functions to utilize and points out little-known tips when using it, including her “Alumni Hack.” She has created her own “how-to” course called LinkedIn for Physicians that anybody can purchase if they need help setting it up.

NOTE: Look below for a transcript of today's episode.

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Transcription PNC Podcast Episode 232

How to Land An Awesome Job Using LinkedIn

John: I'm very pleased to bring today's guest back to the podcast for the third time. She's been an awesome source of support for physicians struggling with their careers for many years and she's a very well-known ICF Master Certified Coach in resume and LinkedIn expert. Hello, Dr. Heather Fork.

Dr. Heather Fork: Hello, iconic Dr. John Jurica. Thank you so much for that very generous intro. And I have to say, I am a huge fan of yours. Yours is probably the first podcast I ever listened to.

John: Well, I'm happy to hear that and I'm glad to hear it. And it's mutual because I love your podcast. Oops. I shouldn't have spilled the beans that you have a podcast. That's one of the new things you're doing. But I love your podcast, I love your coaching, and your blog too has much good stuff on it. We're not going to go over all your past history because they can go back and listen to the previous episodes if they like. What I really want to know is since it's been about a year and a half, what new things have you been up to?

Dr. Heather Fork: Well, spoiler. A podcast.

John: There you go.

Dr. Heather Fork: Now, you inspired me with this medium that I've been putting off. And when I heard you and then Amy Porterfield, I thought this is so valuable. Especially since I don't really like to write and I've been blogging for 10 years, I just had to do something different.

The podcast started last October. And as you know, it's a lot of work to do a weekly podcast, but it's much fun and I love getting my former clients to come on and other guests because they're so fantastic. And what I hear from listeners is I don't feel alone anymore. Someone else feels the way I do. I don't feel like I'm damaged goods and I have hope.

John: Yeah. Well, it's been a while since I started, but one of the things I realized shortly after I started and I heard from people is that you are part of people's life. They know your voice. I was at a meeting once and someone came up to me and said, "Hey, I recognize you. Aren't you John Jurica?" We were at a meeting about nonclinical careers. But just that whole idea that you're talking to them directly.

Dr. Heather Fork: Yes, it's intimate. And I love it because you can really help people feel too what you're expressing and what the guests are expressing. I think it really changes the landscape from being something to just thinking about making changes, to feeling like it's really possible. That these people are really alive. Someone just didn't write a bunch of stuff and put it on a paper and made it up.

John: That's true. Now, oddly enough, there are some people that have never listened to a single podcast. I don't know how we get to them. But for those who are listening and want to learn about nonclinical careers or burnout or nontraditional careers or just, I don't know, feeling better about your life, definitely, you want to listen to Doctor's Crossing Carpe Diem podcast. Why did you pick that name?

Dr. Heather Fork: I just love the term "carpe diem". And my coaching program is called Carpe Diem because like Robin William said in that movie, "Dead Poets Society" that, "Before long we're going to be pushing up daisy's unless we carpe that diem." And we got on this path and our whole life has been planned out for us. And if we don't really question, is it what we really want to be doing? Is it making us happy? We'll be pushing up daisy's and saying, "Oh my God, I didn't get to have the life I wanted."

John: For sure. Yeah. Seize the day, right?

Dr. Heather Fork: Yes.

John: All right. Everyone's going to go listen to your podcast, but that is not really the main reason I wanted you to come on today because we discussed something a few years ago about creating different resources for people that we could share with our followers and our listeners and all that.

And then I saw that you, the expert in LinkedIn, recently created a course. But I'm going to just talk to you about LinkedIn. That's what we're going to spend the next 20 minutes doing, because I don't think that our listeners always understand the importance or why we should learn about it if we're not already using it. Just explain what LinkedIn is for those that have never used it, or have just dabbled a little bit and maybe why it's different from other social media sites.

Dr. Heather Fork: I'd love to. LinkedIn is considered the number one networking platform for professionals, and it has over 800 million members. So, it's worldwide. And I'd say the main thing about it, that's different from Facebook and Instagram and these other platforms is that it's really for those of you who want to have a professional platform, you can have your own profile, who want to network with other professionals with a really powerful search engine. I call it the Rolodex on Steroids. And also, be able to use your profile to apply for jobs and interact with recruiters. It's one-stop shopping and a platform that's continuing to evolve.

John: Well, I'm on LinkedIn fairly often. It's actually one way that I find podcast guests, for example. And being an introvert, I'm not a big networker per se, but it's an awesome way to network as is a podcast, of course.

But the thing is, I have never seen a nasty conversation on LinkedIn. People are like, they don't want to go to Twitter and Facebook because it's just loaded with sometimes some nasty stuff. And LinkedIn is, like you said, it's professional. It's a place where you can find jobs and post jobs, if you like. Does it come into play a lot in terms of the people you work with, that you coach or that you're teaching? I know you've done some speaking about LinkedIn. Does it seem to help them? And how often does it become a critical part of their career search?

Dr. Heather Fork: That's a great question, John. And I would say back in 2010 when I first started, LinkedIn was there, but it wasn't used as much. But now all of my clients use LinkedIn. And let me explain how it's helpful by painting a little scenario. Let's say we have two physicians and they're both applying for the same nonclinical job. One is on LinkedIn, one isn't. The one who isn't on LinkedIn applies through the regular channel, say maybe Indeed with their CV or resume. Then the other physician applies on LinkedIn. And the difference is when the recruiter gets a CV for that first physician, they just have the CV or resume. They don't see a picture. They don't see recommendations. They don't have this dynamic visual of the physician.

Then if they go to the physician who applied through LinkedIn or even has a link for their LinkedIn profile on their resume, that recruiter can click and then they already see this beautiful face. They see a lovely banner photo and then everything's right there that they need that would've been on the resume. Plus, there are a lot of additional things you can put on your LinkedIn profile. They might read a recommendation that describes exactly who they're looking for. That's not going to be on your resume.

John: Absolutely. Yeah. In my mind, I think about a Venn diagram, things overlap and a resume and LinkedIn overlap a lot, and then networking overlaps with your LinkedIn. And you're right. The LinkedIn profile is just so much more complete. Not that you want to send in a five-page resume. But if someone wants to look for that information, it's right there on LinkedIn.

Dr. Heather Fork: Exactly. So, the physician who's using LinkedIn, when they want to apply for a certain job, they could find a physician who's working in that company, and they can reach out to them for an informational interview. And then often those physicians get a finder's fee if they refer somebody who gets hired. So, there's an incentive for them to talk to you. If that person's applying and they were recommended by another physician, the recruiter already likes them because there's a much higher success rate for candidates found that way. It makes it easier. So, you can see how very quickly that physician who's on LinkedIn already has many advantages.

John: I had a podcast guest tell me once that submitting a CV on a website is the way of madness. She had literally said she had submitted a thousand resumes and had never received a response. And she noted that once she figured out that she just needed to have some connection with somebody, either find out who the hiring manager was or have somebody that she knows in the company, some touchpoint, then she had some actual jobs that were requesting she come and interview.

Dr. Heather Fork: Oh my gosh, that's such a discouraging story to send out thousands and not hear anything back. I'm surprised she persisted that long.

John: Well, I think it's misleading because it's just so easy. Oh, I'm just going to cut and paste and cut and paste and cut and paste. But no one's looking at those kinds of resumes, I don't think. My daughter is a recruiter for a big firm and they use LinkedIn constantly.

Dr. Heather Fork: Well, it's really becoming the go-to platform for recruiters. And when you apply for a job on LinkedIn, often, you'll actually see the recruiter that's connected to that position and you can reach out to them. You can attach your resume right there in addition to the formal application process. You can start a relationship. You could also just look at jobs you're interested in and you may not be ready to apply, but you can connect with that recruiter and say, "Hey, I'm not ready yet, but I'd love to establish a relationship with you."

John: Yeah, absolutely. That's so true. You mentioned how all of your clients use LinkedIn. Can you give us some examples of where it was very critical to a particular, without naming names, particular clients?

Dr. Heather Fork: Sure. Absolutely. I have some great stories. I had one client who wanted to transition into a certain nonclinical area. And we were on the phone together and we were both searching on LinkedIn. And because she wasn't having a lot of success at first, connecting with a couple of folks on LinkedIn. So, I said, "Here, let's find somebody." I found this person with her same specialty, and she sent him a message. She heard from him the next day. They had a chat. It turns out they knew a couple of people in common who were working at that company as well. She ended up getting an interview and it took a while because they didn't quite have an opening then for her specialty, but she got the job and she's working in the job and she's really happy.

John: Very nice.

Dr. Heather Fork: I have another story. This was a physician who was brand new to LinkedIn. When she came to me, she didn't have a profile or anything. She created it. It really doesn't take that long when you just follow the steps. And I taught her my alumni hack, which is one of my favorite little things to do on LinkedIn that's very powerful, is to search your alumni network. That could be people you went to college with, med school, even your training program, and see if they're working in the industry or at the company that you're interested in.

She found someone who went to her small liberal arts college who was working in the company where she wanted to work. She messaged him, he got back to her right away, and said, "Send me a resume. I want to give it to the hiring manager." She did that. The hiring manager reaches out, interviews within a week. Does another interview, gets the job. There was one and done. One application, a couple of interviews, got the job.

John: It's amazing. I think sometimes we feel like if we're reaching out to someone, we haven't seen in 20 years, they're not going to respond. But the reality is when I'm on the receiving end, if I get a note of any sort, whether it's an email or LinkedIn and they're from my Alma mater. I mean, invariably, I respond immediately. That's just human nature, I think.

Dr. Heather Fork: You are family, and those little connections are huge. It's funny how we're like that. The first time we had gone to the school, like I said, 20 years ago or before you, or after you, but you are buddies.

John: Yeah. Even if it's someone from two or three years, if you're at the same school, you just have that bond and can talk about the different things and you feel like you're somehow you owe that person for some reason in a good way.

Dr. Heather Fork: Yeah. You just feel this common connection. That really it feels like a blood brother or something.

John: Now, I hear another thing people tell me about LinkedIn is they create a profile and they should put certain keywords if they're looking to be found by someone. Is that a big thing? Is that a minor thing to consider?

Dr. Heather Fork: That's a great question, John. Now, there's something on LinkedIn called "Your headline". And this is what comes below your name, or you have your degrees and everything. And by default, LinkedIn puts in the company where you're working and your job title. That's just by default. But you can customize this headline with keywords that will help recruiters find you or the people you want to find you. For example, it might just say that you're a physician at Slippery Rock Clinic, or something like that. But you can put in, medical writer, consultant, physician advisor, you can put in expert witness, the side gigs that you might be doing. Even you can say, "Seeking position in drug safety".

John: Wow. Nice. That helps really to key off those who are actually looking on LinkedIn for someone to contact like a recruiter or something like that.

Dr. Heather Fork: You can do that. And then those keywords also are important to have in your "About section", which is like your customized bio. They can also go in your "Experience section". They can go anywhere on your profile and they are searchable.

John: That really helps. I'm telling you. Let me turn it around now. Here's the way I like to look at things sometimes is like, let's look at the other side of the coin. What are the mistakes? Now, we've kind of alluded to them in a way by what a good way to use LinkedIn is. But have you seen working with people and said, "Wait a second, this is why people aren't looking at your profile?" Any common mistakes that we make when we first start to use LinkedIn?

Dr. Heather Fork: I would say there definitely are mistakes like that, of not optimizing the profile. And there are lots of ways to do that. But some of the biggest mistakes are really just not getting in the parade and then shutting the parade down too soon. What do I mean by that? Not getting in the parade is saying, well, I'm a private person. I really don't like to put myself out there, or I'm really introverted. I don't like to network. Or you get on LinkedIn, you put up a basic profile. Maybe you send a few messages, apply for a few jobs, nothing happens. And you just say, well, this doesn't work and I don't have time. Which I completely understand. It is not the most intuitive platform. And these things that I teach in the course help you know how to use it and use it strategically so it's not wasting your time.

John: Okay. Now you mentioned the course. I mentioned it earlier and I do want to learn more about the course. I do want to remind my listeners though, of course of your website, That's where pretty much they can find everything. Now I understand also, you have a page there that has a bunch of free resources. That looked pretty awesome. Can you tell us about that first?

Dr. Heather Fork: Absolutely. On my website, under the freebie tab, there are these downloadable PDFs that you can have. One is a starter kit that's very extensive on how you can go from being overwhelmed at the crossroad to figuring out how to move forward. That has a lot of great information for your career process. Then there's one on medical writing. There's one on pharma. There's a chart review. There might be some others there. I can't quite remember, but you can go to the freebie tab and take whatever you want.

John: I went and looked today. I think there were at least six that were there and they address different things. I've downloaded several of them, of course, but I would recommend people to go. And you can go directly there at, or just go to the website and look for it.

Okay. Now you have a LinkedIn course. This is something that I have been looking forward to for a long time. One of those things that I thought we really needed. I have this little video that I made five years ago where I built a LinkedIn profile. It is so dated. It is so ugly. And then I just said, "I'm not going to do anything, because I'm waiting for Heather to come out with her course." So, it's called what? LinkedIn course for physicians?

Dr. Heather Fork: You always do quality work and you're also incredibly prolific. You put about a hundred things to my one.

John: Okay. I'm not going to argue with you except that this course is beautiful. I will say that it's a lot prettier than anything I've produced. It's just awesome. Tell us about how it's structured and what does it go through?

Dr. Heather Fork: Thanks for asking. And I have to say, this has been the hardest thing I've done in my business. It took me a year. It wouldn't take me that long if I was doing the second one, but the course is three hours of video that's broken down into 22 short lessons, five minutes to 10 minutes. And what it does is it walks you through creating your profile, then teaches you how to start networking and message people. There are specific examples and templates to use of, "Well, what do you say in that message when you only have 300 characters? What do you do when someone doesn't respond to that message, and then how do you write longer messages"? We cover networking and then we go on to "How to start searching for jobs?" Because that's another thing that really gets people in a twist is, "I see all these job descriptions and they want five to seven years and I'm not qualified" and that's another area of difficulty. I really talk about that.

And then I also show them how to apply for jobs and work with recruiters. And there's all these little things you don't really know about. For example, did you know, John, that you can put yourself in anonymous mode when you want to go look at people's profile, but you don't want them to see that you've been visiting them and then you can turn it back on and be visible?

John: No, no, I've never tried that, but it would be definitely a useful tool.

Dr. Heather Fork: It really is. You can stalk a bit on LinkedIn.

John: One of the things that I did find out though is if you have a profile and you want to make a change to it and you don't want your boss to be notified of the change, you can go in and turn that off temporarily or permanently where they won't be notified of new changes. You can be a little under the radar that way.

Dr. Heather Fork: Yes, that's 100% correct. You can stop those notifications to your contacts. A couple of other things about the course is that I really wanted to make it easy to use. With each lesson, there's a downloadable cheat sheet that goes over all the steps, and in the videos, I'll teach about how to do something. For example, how to write your "About section". And then I'll go on LinkedIn in the video and show them exactly how to do it, where to click, where to go, and then show examples of other physicians about sections.

My goal was to take the frustration out, make it doable. And I love people now responding to me saying, "Oh, the course was really easy to use. I'm really happy with my profile now," and they'll send me their profile. And it's so fun to see how great they look.

John: It's good to have someone who really understands how something like this is used telling you and teaching you about it because I've been using LinkedIn for a long time. And I was just in your course a couple of days ago and there was a whole section. I was like, "Oh, I could probably really get my connections up quite a bit using this technique that you described". Which is again, reaching out to alumni or other ways of networking. And then, there's different ways that you can connect. There are some with a message, without a message. And I just really was really impressed and I'm definitely going to go back and go through that section. Especially when I'm looking for a new podcast guest.

Dr. Heather Fork: Well, thank you. And that was my goal to just make it easy because we don't have extra time to waste and I don't want people to get frustrated and then give up.

John: No, absolutely. And it can be frustrating until you really get a feel for it. Well, there are different ways that they can access this course. They can get it from your website, but I happen to be an affiliate. I have a link for it. And the only reason the listeners might want to buy it through my link is that they also get a free bundle of courses from my nonclinical career academy worth a couple of hundred dollars.

I'll put my link for them to look at, And I'll probably put that actually on my website at some point permanently if you'll let me, but that's an easy way to go. If they happen to be at your website, they're going to obviously sign up there. You've got some other resources there as well. So, anything else you want to tell us about the LinkedIn course before we move on off that topic?

Dr. Heather Fork: Before I say anything else about the course, I do want to say, please get it from John because he's so wonderful. He works so hard and I'd really like to support him. Please feel free to use his link. And if you come to my site, and you forgot his, just email me and I'll send it to you. I want you to support him, but thank you for all you do for me.

About the course and LinkedIn in general, I would just like to say that if you feel that this is not what you're naturally good at, networking or putting yourself out there, just let go of that. Because a lot of my clients are introverted. They had the same feelings about LinkedIn. They would drop their shoulders and just feel like, "Ugh, do I really have to, Heather?"

But once they get on there and do things such as usually the alumni hack and they get someone to respond to them, they're really happy. It's a game-changer. And all of a sudden, they see that being on LinkedIn is like treasure hunting. We don't have to call it networking. Let's just call it treasure hunting because you do find these treasures of people who will definitely help you out and open doors.

John: Yeah, that's so true. That's so true. Maybe I'll make you step back even further, just in considering all the clients that you've known over the years and the people you're helping now, any other advice you have for physicians who just right now happen to be just kind of frustrated with the whole process of thinking about doing a side gig or trying to overcome burnout or anything like that?

Dr. Heather Fork: Yes. Yes. And if I can go back to my parade metaphor.

John: Sure.

Dr. Heather Fork: I would say, just get in the parade. Don't sit on the sidelines and watch other people's floats go by and say, "Oh, well, look what they're doing. Why can't that be me? They probably just knew somebody or that's not going to happen to me." I say, get in the parade, start building your float. And when you're building your float for the parade, you start with your platform. And you don't have to know where the parade is going. Just start with your profile or just start thinking about what you want to do, what's working, what's not working. Build your platform.

And then when you're actually on your float and riding in the parade, have fun. Don't look around at other people's floats and say, "Oh, theirs is better than mine. I'll never be like them." Cheer them on, dance on your platform, and have fun because it's not about getting to the end of the parade, we're all going to get there, but we want to be enjoying the parade while it's happening, which it's your life. I'm there standing on the sidelines cheering you on. Get in there so I can wave my pom-poms for you.

John: That is so cool, Heather. It is. And listeners can get a sense if they haven't read your blog or listened to your podcast, they're going to get more of what you just heard. That's a good thing. Let's go over that again.

The podcast is the Doctor's Crossing Carpe Diem podcast. They're going to find that on any app, Spotify, Apple, whatever. Definitely listen to that, go to, and look for those free resources. And if you want to learn more about the course, go to, and you'll have a page there where you can learn more about it. I think we've covered everything I wanted to cover today, Heather. This has been fantastic and fun. I'm always happy to be able to spend a few minutes talking to you.

Dr. Heather Fork: It's such an honor, John. I'm a huge fan of yours. And can I put a plugin for your new script app that you have?

John: Yes.

Dr. Heather Fork: I love all the things John does. If you haven't heard about his new script app is a community where you can join very, very affordably and get a lot of wonderful content, access to his courses, access to mentors. John, you can let people know the price and how they find it. But I think it's something to really look into.

John: Yeah. The nice thing about it too is it's not limited to physicians. And so, most of us work in teams, whether clinically or nonclinically. It's actually designed for any healthcare licensed professionals, psychologists, social workers, PAs, MPs, oral surgeons, and doctors. It's like less than $5 a month. It's I appreciate you bringing that up today, Heather.

Dr. Heather Fork: Yeah. How can you not? $5 Starbucks, miss that for one day, get the new script app and you'll be doing a jig.

John: Absolutely. All right, Heather. Well, thank you much. I guess we're at the end of our time now, I'm going to say goodbye and I hope to see you again soon and back on the podcast sometime.

Dr. Heather Fork: Thank you, John. I really appreciate you having me on.

John: You're welcome. Bye-bye.

Dr. Heather Fork: Bye-bye.


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