Top tips for using social media to enhance graduate employability
Discover how you can use social media to your advantage when searching for graduate jobs.
Social media is becoming increasingly more important in the workplace, with many organisations using it to advertise jobs, search for prospective employees, and even directly recruit people. Engaging with social media is a great way to showcase your skills and ensure that you don’t miss out on any job opportunities. To help you make the most of your online presence, we have put together our top tips for using social media to boost your employability and optimise your graduate job search.
8 top tips for using LinkedIn
Considered 'the social network for professionals', LinkedIn is a powerful tool for enhancing your employability. It provides you with many opportunities to grow your career and connect with other professionals. Here are our top tips for making the most of your LinkedIn profile:
- Promote yourself. Your LinkedIn profile is essentially an online CV, so don’t be afraid to use every opportunity to list your experience, qualifications and skills on your profile.
- Write a strong headline. Your headline will be the first thing employers read so it is important to make it stand out. Use industry-related keywords to describe what you do and what you are aspiring to do (such as Business Management Graduate and Aspiring Digital Marketer with a Passion for Campaign Management and Search Engine Optimisation), this will ensure that your profile will appear in searches that are relevant to you.
- Include a profile photo. A professional looking headshot is best for your photo and will help employers to put a face to your name.
- Create a profile summary. Your summary is a great opportunity to encapsulate your key skills and experience, you can also use this to highlight what you are seeking next.
- Make connections. Connect with individuals you’ve worked with, join groups of like-minded individuals and participate in discussions to grow your network.
- Profile your skills. Adding skills to your profile will increase your profile views. Your connections can also ‘endorse’ these skills or provide you with recommendations, which enhances your credibility. Make sure you recommend and endorse your connections, as this will increase the likeliness of them returning the favour.
- Showcase your work. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to upload media such as documents, images, links, videos and presentations, so you can upload any work that you are particularly proud of.
- Keep it professional. LinkedIn is a professional profile and everything you write will be in the public domain, so ensure that you remain truthful, accurate and professional.
How to use social media to grow your professional brand and search for jobs
Social media can also be used to actively search and apply for jobs. Take a look at our top tips for making the most of your profiles and job hunting using social media:
- Follow companies you are interested in as they often advertise new vacancies on their social media accounts. This is also a good way of keeping up with the latest news in your industry.
- Use your social media to highlight your location and what kind of work you are looking for.
- Engage and build your network by getting involved in discussions across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For example, Twitter can be used to follow the key influencers in your industry and favourite and retweet related content which demonstrates your passion.
- Follow graduate recruitment agencies, they are a good source for job opportunities and tips for graduate employment.
- Download the LinkedIn jobs app and save time by applying for jobs with just one click using your LinkedIn profile.
- Keep your social media up to date, always add any new experience or qualifications to ensure that any potential employers can see your full range of skills and experience.
- Once you have secured an interview, it can be helpful to use social media to research the company you are interviewing for and search for information on their interviewing processes.
How to make sure your social media is appropriate
Although there are many ways you can use social media to enhance your graduate employability, it could also hinder your chances of getting that dream job if you don't use it appropriately. Here are the top two things you should always consider:
- Unlike LinkedIn, you may not want potential employers to see everything across all of your social media channels. Make sure you keep on top of your privacy settings to control access to your personal profiles.
- Ensure that there are no inappropriate photos or references and always keep your language and tone professional on your public social media channels.
I feel that Surrey’s careful approach of focusing students’ employability and career potential has helped me to finish my degree as a well-rounded and ambitious graduate. - Matt Prescott, MEng Chemical Engineering
Careers support available at Surrey
At the University of Surrey, we are proud of our track record for graduate employability. Here are just some of the ways that we can help you in your quest for a graduate job:
- Read more tips on our Careers Blog and explore our Employability & Careers Centre website to find out more information on career planning, job hunting and securing your dream graduate job. There is also an Online Vacancy Service where you can search and apply for jobs.
- Visit our Employability & Careers Centre for individual guidance and advice, including mock interviews with a Careers Adviser. Support is available for current students and recent University of Surrey graduates who have completed their studies within the last three years.
- Take a look at our LinkedIn Alumni tool to research what graduates with your degree are doing and to find Surrey Alumni who are working in organisations and jobs that interest you.