Social Media - professional networking and job hunting
The majority of employers use social media to recruit staff and screen candidates. Using sites such as LinkedIn, Saint Connect and Twitter can be a powerful way to boost your employability. Facebook, Instagram, and blogs have plenty to offer as well.
Using social media can help you to:
- Research employers and career paths
- Find opportunities
- Build a professional network
- Market yourself to employers
Remember that you don't need to use every platform - read our tips below and decide which sites will work best for you!
Whenever you share, like or comment online, you are building up a collection of information which employers can trace back to you. This is your ‘digital footprint’.
It is important to make sure your online identity reflects what you want employers to see. Try searching for yourself online and check the results. Remove anything inappropriate and make sure to check your privacy settings on a regular basis.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site where you can build an online CV, connect with others and search for opportunities. Set up your profile by reading our tips for getting started on LinkedIn. Once you have a profile, you can use LinkedIn to:
- Build your Network - Reach out to family members, friends, colleagues, alumni and people within your field of interest. Our guide to networking can help you make meaningful connections with those able to help you.
- Join Groups - Join a professional group to stay abreast of what is happening in that sector. You can also use the St Andrews University Alumni group to network with our graduates.
- Research Careers - Company profiles are a great way to find out more about organisations and to research career paths. Follow employers for updates and engage with the content they share.
- Search for Vacancies - Find opportunities on LinkedIn by searching for jobs, using filters such as industry, location and date. You can also save your searches and choose to get notified about new results.
- Build your Brand - Engage with posts and articles that relate to your field of interest, and even share some interesting content of your own. This will contribute to your digital footprint in a positive way.
Find out more about using LinkedIn effectively:
Saint Connect is St Andrews global, online community. Saint Connect can bring you together with alumni and friends of the University, who are able to help you navigate your future. You can use Saint Connect to:
- Find a Mentor - Connect with people within your field of interest to ask them questions, gain an insight into different sectors, and to gain support throughout your career journey. Our networking tips can help you to get started.
- Find Opportunities - Take a look at the jobs and events advertised through the platform. Network with alumni who can open doors for you in the workplace and signpost you to vacancies.
- Join Groups - Stay up to date with your departments, societies and sports teams by joining groups within Saint Connect. Our alumni clubs worldwide also have groups you can join based on location.
To find out more about Saint Connect, email email@example.com.
Used in the right way, Twitter can be an effective tool for finding jobs and networking with professionals. Recruiters often tweet vacancies and give out information about their organisations. You can use it to:
- Search for Vacancies - Find advertised jobs on Twitter by searching for keywords and hashtags. Search engines such as Twitjobseek make this easier, by pulling advertised vacancies from Twitter into one place.
- Build your Network - Connect with professionals in your field of interest. Re-tweet interesting posts with thoughtful comments and join in conversations. Remember to build a relationship before asking about opportunities!
- Research Careers - Following graduate recruiters and employers is a good way to find out more about their companies. Look out for application tips, or live ‘Q&A’ events. You can also use Twitter to contact recruiters with quick questions.
- Build your Brand - Follow people, companies, and issues of interest. Engage with relevant content and start tweeting yourself. If you have a LinkedIn profile or a blog, add that to your Twitter account to give employers an insight into your activities.
For more advice about using Twitter: How to Find a Graduate Job Using Twitter.
Companies often use Facebook and Instagram to promote their organisations, so these sites can be a great tool for research. You can pick up tips about recruitment processes and look out for events that will help you with your job search.
Follow the University of St Andrews Careers Centre on Facebook to keep up to date with careers-related activities.
Many organisations use blogs to share articles which reflect their views and values, whilst major recruiters encourage trainees to write about their experiences. Independent blogs can also be good sources of advice – for example, US careers expert Lindsey Pollak’s blog.
Writing your own blog can demonstrate your communication skills and knowledge of a particular area. It will help you to build a brand, and market yourself to employers as an enthusiastic and interested candidate.