Careers and Employability Service

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Using social media

Social media and networking sites can be used for careers research, job-seeking and to market yourself to future employers

Different websites are used for professional and social networking – your Facebook profile may not present you to employers in the best possible light! - however you can’t ignore Facebook for job-seeking. Many employers use it to promote their brand and their graduate programmes, and to enable potential candidates to network with staff. This can help you to pick up useful tips on the company, the recruitment process, and to come over as a well-informed candidate, so it is well worth making use of.

Google yourself

Stories of recruiters checking out potential candidates via Facebook are largely exaggerated (most recruiters don’t have the time or staff to do this!) but it does happen, so set your privacy settings to the highest possible level and make sure your profile picture is one that you would be happy for a future employer to see.

Try Googling your name to see what can be found. Are there any old social networks that you have information on, or forum posts, or photos that you don’t want employers to see?

Personal branding

A well-developed online presence through blogging, social media and networking can demonstrate that you have the desired skills and knowledge without necessarily the hands on experience. By developing your personal brand, you can increase your employability, protect your online privacy, show your passion and proactive nature, get noticed by potential employers, develop important relationships, and establish a strong, professional social media presence.
The brand that you are promoting to employers should show you in the best possible light. Don’t be one of the job hunters who Facebooked themselves out of their jobs!

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site with over 90 million members worldwide. Network online with professionals from all kinds of different sectors: there are also groups for different regions and institutions such as universities (including one for Kent alumni). Make sure that your LinkedIn page sells you effectively - it should be a bit like an online CV, and also allows you to mention your career goals. It's a good idea to put your photo in your profile as people are four times more likely to connect to you if they can see your picture.

Twitter

Viadeo, YouTube and Twitter

Viadeo is a French-based site similar to LinkedIn. Although it has fewer users overall it claims to be the number one site in Europe for business networking and is expanding worldwide.

YouTube is not just about funny animals and music videos – it is the second-largest search engine and a great way to find advice from graduate recruiters on interviews or get insights into what it is like working at different companies. If you feel that you come over better in person than on an application form, here is your chance to prove it: tell people about yourself and what you can offer on a video CV like this one or this one. See our advice on video CVs.

Twitter - as with Facebook, graduate recruiters make extensive use of Twitter, giving out information about their organisations as well as actually posting job vacancies. You don’t have to tweet – you can just follow companies, brands, people or issues of interest to you and get an insight into current issues and concerns from what they say. You can show your interest in a particular career, or tweet about current affairs in the sector you wish to work in. Your Twitter bio should include your degree and some of your relevant skills.

Blogs

These are another good way to get an insight into an organisation – graduate recruiters often encourage their graduate trainees, interns and placement students to blog about their experiences – although you need to be aware that these blogs will usually have been vetted by the corporate communications department to make sure that the blogger is presenting the right image!

“Unofficial” blogs can give an even more valuable insight, although they may need to be taken with a pinch of salt. To find useful blogs, Google the name of the company or career area you are interested in, e.g. IBM+blog or barrister+blog.

Having your own blog can demonstrate your writing skills, your knowledge of a particular area and your enthusiasm to a wide audience. If you can establish yourself as an online authority in your field, you'll be a long way ahead of other online candidates. Your blog should demonstrate your forward thinking, your passion for the industry and an insight into how you work.

 

 

 

Careers and Employability Service - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7ND, T: +44 (0)1227 764000 ext. 3299

Last Updated: 30/05/2022