Careers and Employability Centre

Social media for job hunting

Social media is a great way to research careers, find vacancies and create a professional online presence so that employers can find you. According to a recent survey, 73% of recruiters have hired candidates through social media and 93% said they review a candidate’s social profile before making a decision to hire.  

The main social media platforms used by jobseekers and recruiters are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Other platforms can also be useful for showcasing your skills and work eg. Blogger, Instagram, YouTube, GitHub.

Key steps to creating an effective social media profile:

  • Build a professional online presence
  • Network online with contacts
  • Join groups relevant to your job area
  • Contribute to groups relevant to your job area
  • Follow companies that you want to work for
  • Build up recommendations from contacts
  • Regularly update and manage your online presence
Before you get started...

Being proactive and developing an online presence is an important aspect of job hunting. But it’s not just about creating an online CV; be strategic and before you start think about:

  • what job areas you're interested in
  • what skills and qualities are important to employers in these areas
  • what social media sites employers in these areas use
  • what currently comes up when you 'Google' your name
  • what you want employers to know about you

LinkedIn is a business and employment-orientated social network and the platform most used by recruiters to hire candidates. It is a professional network where jobseekers can promote their skills and experience, connect with other individuals and recruiters, share information and find vacancies.

Your LinkedIn profile functions as an online CV and can be viewed in full by any LinkedIn member. It’s therefore important to make a good impression!



Twitter can be a useful networking and jobsearch tool. It offers the opportunity to research and keep up-to-date with companies and business trends, make contacts and network, find job openings and build your own online brand/identity.


Though traditionally a personal social networking tool, some employers are now reviewing jobseekers’ Facebook profiles before interviewing or hiring candidates, so keeping it professional (or private!) is important.

Tips for a professional online presence
  • Keep your professional and private social media profiles separate
  • Use appropriate and professional photos
  • Check your communication style and spellings – no text speak, emojis etc.
  • Be honest about your qualifications and experience
  • Upload examples of work or include links to sites where it's hosted
  • Manage your online presence by regularly Googling your name
  • Tighten up your security settings; make sure employers aren’t going to see images of you out on Saturday night, and don't make negative comments about employers or colleagues, or comments that could be interpreted as racist, sexist etc.

Networking online

Build up your online contacts by connecting with:

  • Sussex alumni through LinkedIn
  • Friends that work in related areas
  • Colleagues you may have worked with on placements, part time jobs, internships etc
  • Tutors from University

Joining groups

  • Be selective - which groups allow you to network with the innovators or leaders in your field?
  • Contribute so that you create a proactive presence
  • Regularly reconsider whether the group is worth being a member of; if not, are there other groups that would be better to join?

Presentation slides