Why Social Media is Important
Employers are increasingly engaging with students and graduates via social media. Ensuring you have a professional online presence which recruiters can access easily can help you find and secure work experience and employment opportunities.
Use the tabs below to learn about building your online presence, finding vacancies and utilising commonly used social media sites.
- Building Your Online Presence
Online presence is the term used for describing how you appear to all web users. Aim to ensure that freely available content linked to you and your name is professional and that any other content is filtered appropriately for access by particular groups such as family, friends or work colleagues.
- Type your name into a search engine to ensure you are happy with the content listed. You can use online tools to assess your online visibility.
- Consider who can see your profile on each of the social media sites you use and make sure you set your privacy settings, including pictures, appropriately.
- Be in control of your digital footprint. Check what others can post about you and ensure that you have control of any posts and pictures in which you are tagged.
- Evaluate different social media sites to decide which are right for you, and establish your personal purpose for each. For example: LinkedIn for work and professional purposes, Facebook for friends and family, Twitter to share specific interest areas.
- Consider diverse types of sites in which to build your profile, targeted to the types of career you are pursuing. For example, create blogs/vlogs, picture and video content to build an online portfolio for more creative career areas.
- Establish an efficient way to manage your social media accounts, especially if you have 3 or more. Online tools can help with this.
- Finding Vacancies
You can find a rich source of information about job and work experience opportunities via social media. This ranges from featured job advertisements, to gaining an insight into companies and employers through the information they share.
- Decide which sites could be useful to you for finding work experience or job opportunities. Consider those you are already using and possible sites to join.
- Find company/organisation profiles, pages and groups for the areas in which you are interested. Posts of interest could include job adverts and closing dates, application tips and opportunities to communicate with recent recruits.
- Identify any recruitment specific areas of the sites to which you belong and review these areas regularly.
- Raise your profile, and chances of connecting with people (and their opportunities), by contributing with considered and relevant status updates, researched questions, evidenced opinions or answers which add something of value to discussions.
- Be proactive with the insights you gain from social media sites. For example, news about an office expansion could provide an opportunity for you to get in contact to find out more.
Managing Your Profile
- Be concise, use professional and accurate language, and target it to your chosen areas of employment so that it appears in relevant searches.
- Consider who you are connected to on LinkedIn (individually and via groups) as this will influence who will find you in a LinkedIn search.
- When you request to connect with new contacts always customise your message to say why you want to connect and why this could be relevant to them.
- Get feedback on your profile. We are happy to give you feedback about the content and relevance of your LinkedIn profile.
- Consider the connections you make – it is as much (if not more) about quality as it is about quantity.
- Start off by joining relevant groups to open up your network of contacts. Professional bodies (such as Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors or Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) will usually have a group although some will be restricted to members.
- Be considerate of your connections – asking for advice about finding opportunities of interest is better than asking for a job in the first instance and more likely to result in a positive response.
- 'Follow' companies/organisations of interest and search for points you have in common with employees, eg search for employees who have previously studied at the University of Aberdeen by refining your search by 'school'.
- Search for current opportunities on LinkedIn Jobs
- Recommended resources on networking, including ones specific to the use of social media.
Managing Your Profile
- Review your privacy settings to check you are happy with what the world (and therefore recruiters) can see. Watch out for pictures, particularly those in which you have been tagged.
- Consider the 'apps' you have signed up for and the access they have to your profile. Also consider the privacy settings when ‘liking’ a friends photo or post as this may be set to ‘public’ or ‘friends of friends’.
- If you 'friend' a company or their representative remember that this will allow them a higher level of access to the content on your profile.
- 'Like' company and organisation pages in your areas of interest.
- Join relevant groups – for example, some companies will have groups set up for their successful applicants to get to know each other prior to starting their employment.
- Look out for live Q&A sessions and do not be afraid to contribute with well researched questions (ie do not ask a question which you can answer from information on their website).
- Share the types of opportunities you are looking for via status updates to see if any of your connections can help. You can also ask your connections to share your update to their profile to widen the network.
- 'Like' the relevant Careers Service Facebook pages.
• Recommended resources for networking, including ones specific to the use of social media.
Managing Your Profile
- Consider what you want to achieve with Twitter. At its best, you can use it to interact with others who share specific interest areas (it is not uncommon to have a range of Twitter accounts for different purposes) – eg the professional you, the sportsperson you, and the personal interest you.
- When using Twitter, volume, quality and relevance of content are of equal importance. There is a fine balance to achieve between not tweeting enough and lacking visibility, and tweeting too much resulting in being ‘unfollowed’.
- Be aware that you can also be judged by content from others with which you visibly interact by retweeting.
- To keep your account within your own control, make sure you have to approve who follows you.
- Be aware of any 'apps' which use your Twitter profile and what type of access they have to your content and photographs.
- Follow company profiles and any employees of interest, media and organisations of relevance (such as orchestras, festivals and radio stations for those seeking opportunities in music).
- Follow career-relevant profiles linked to the industry you are interested in, the job types you are seeking or the level of opportunity you are seeking (eg work experience, graduate jobs).
- Follow the Careers Service - @AbdnUniCareers
- Recommended resources for networking, including ones specific to the use of social media.