Use social media to boost your career

Why use social media?

Social media allows you to showcase your skills and strengths to potential employers. You can also research companies, join industry groups and connect with people who can help you in your career. Companies are increasingly using social media as a cost effective way to recruit new staff – 91% of companies surveyed said they used social media to screen potential employees.

Developing your online profile

Employers actively seek out online CVs, LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, tweets, blogs and chat groups in order to gain access to the best possible prospective employees.

There is no doubt that your online profile will be of interest to prospective employers, so it is extremely important to develop this with care. Many of our workshops cover personal branding to help give you the skills to portray the right image to employers. Login to MyCDES and sign up for one - our 'LinkedIn Tutorial' session might be of particular interest. 

LinkedIn is perhaps the most useful tool. Your profile should present your professional image to the world, so come to our workshops or check out these top tips that can help you build a winning profile.

Exploring opportunities through social media

It is important to utilise social media proactively in your job search. More and more organisations are using it as a means of creating and then accessing an engaged group of prospective employees. They do this through discussion groups, job groups and advertised positions. Here are some examples of these:

Think carefully about your online profile

While social media can be of great benefit to job seekers, you need to be careful about what you post online and how you interact with people. 

Want to know more? Have a look at this series of videos. This covers various aspects of social media and careers from getting started to job-hunting to presenting yourself online. Thanks to CareerPlayer for supplying these Graduate Careers Advice Videos.

Social media top tips

• Limit who can access your profile, but still review your private profiles and postings.

• Be comfortable with the image you portray.

• Know what others are posting about you.

• Be considerate and don't say anything online that you wouldn't say face to face.

• Refrain from spamming, trolling and flaming.

• Engage selectively in professional networks to maintain your digital reputation.

• What you post leaves a virtual, permanent reflection of your identity that may never go away. Even after you delete your own content, it may remain elsewhere online and you have little control over its interpretation or replication.

• Monitor your online information and correct any misinformation.

• Consider what potential employers and colleagues will see when they find you on social media.

• Type your name in Google and see what comes up.

• Set up a Google Alert for your name/any key word that you want to keep updated about - any time you are written about on the internet you will receive an email from Google directing you to the content.

• Check social network privacy settings. When social network sites are updated, they will often revert back to a default setting.

• Finally – keep it private – if you don’t want employers, lecturers, colleagues or your family to see it, then don’t put it up! Once content goes online, it can never be taken back.

Next: Interviews >