Across disciplines, research staff and students are encouraged to use social media as a means of disseminating their work, achieving impact, engaging with the public, modernising their teaching, and expanding professional networks.Using social media is a great way to reach out and engage. It provides you with opportunity to articulate and promote your research, your message and yourself to others, and future employers.
Find and be found
In finding the perfect job, it’s often been about who you know. Now, thanks to social media, who you know – and who knows you – can quickly change for the better. So, be proactive and selective about who you engage with.
It’s estimated that 37% of employers look up candidates on social media sites or search engines. So before connecting, be aware of your ‘digital footprint’. Think about what your prospective employer can see if they were to ‘Google’ you? What will it say about you and what you do?
You have control of the image you project. Manage your ‘digital footprint’ well and you can use it to make a positive impression. Think about:
• Your image – use an appropriate profile photograph or avatar.
• Privacy – check settings to see who can access your profile.
• Your impact – avoid discussing current or past jobs negatively.
• A consistent profile – match your online profile with your ‘paper profile’.
• Personal versus professional – what does your network say about you?
• Discretion – don’t give too much information!
Enhance your job search
Many employers are now using social media as a means to advertise and promote placements and vacancies. Use social media to research the organizations and people where you might want to work before you reach out to apply for a job or schedule an informational interview.
Once you land an interview, research thoroughly in order to be prepared to talk about the company. You can learn from their company website of course, but again, their social sites will also provide great insight into the organisation, the department’s personalities, and the company’s culture and values. In addition to LinkedIn and Twitter, research whether the organization you’d like to work for is on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, or Tumblr. Read their blogs. The more you can learn in advance, the better you’ll be able to show how well you’d fit in and provide value.
What can social media do for you?
Find out more about using the most popular social media tools for your career:
A well thought out profile can be more than an online CV. Beyond your work history, education and skills, you get the chance to display recommendations, work that you’ve done and groups or discussions that you’re part of.
If you haven’t got a LinkedIn profile, or you think yours is in need of a makeover, read how and why you should use LinkedIn and consider joining our Alumni or Graduate Apprentices groups to get started.
If you want to keep your social social media life separate from your professional social media life, adjust your privacy settings accordingly. Any not-for-the-workplace content should not be open to prospective employers. However, if you really want to impress, why not work on your profile and let them see it? Joining groups and being actively involved in discussions could get you noticed for the right reasons. Read how to use facebook to find a job.
#ThinkBeforeYouTweet might be a good mantra for those who manage to get themselves fired because of twitter, or miss out on new jobs. Most people, however, can use twitter to find jobs through following employers and creating a ‘jobs’ list news feed.
Demonstrating your ‘interest in…’, or that you ‘keep up-to-date-with’ particular topics can be difficult to express on a CV, whereas relevant tweets and feeds can prove your interests without the clichés. To get started, try following us first and see how you get on.
Pintrest, Instagram, YouTube, g+, Flickr, Blogs – whatever form your digital footprint takes, remember that your online presence can either boost your appeal or spoil your chances. For further information on how social media applications can help at all stages of the academic research process: from exploration to engagement, from planning to publicising, and much more, visit the Newcastle University Guide to Social Media for Research
Need more help?
• Attend our careers workshops on using social media. For dates and times, see the Events page on the Careers Service website.
• If you need more help using social media for your career, come in and talk to an information officer – no appointment necessary.