Using social media to find out and stand out

Learn how social media can help you to find out about career opportunities and gain tips on how your social media presence can help you to stand out to employers.


Social media and career development are a match… how? 

With social media being an integral part of daily life, you’ll probably be wondering where to start. There are so many options with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to name a few! Have you considered LinkedIn which is viewed as a professional social media channel? 

Why not start by learning how to make LinkedIn work for you by watching our video which provides a good introduction to finding out about jobs and careers. Plus, it provides tips on how to build an effective profile to stand out as an informed and interested candidate.

Take a look at the LinkedIn profile of 'student' Alex Winter.

Example student profile


Using social media can help you to develop your understanding of types of work and your awareness of opportunities by: 

  • Identifying which jobs and roles are out there; use hashtags to narrow your search. Use general job search hashtags such as #jobsearch, #recruiting and #hiringnow. You can also make your search more specific by using sector (e.g. #marketingjobs, #journojobs and #ITjobs) and/or location hashtags (#Edinburgh). See our sector-specific Twitter lists to view updates, advice and job opportunities that are of interest to you:

       Twitter lists @uofedcareers 

  • Researching employers - you can find information beyond what’s on an employer’s website. This  will help when you’re tailoring your job application or preparing for interview. For example, Facebook or Instagram stories can provide a behind the scenes insight or employers may offer a question and answer session. 

  • Exploring career paths of others to work out what’s a good fit for you - there will  be some fantastic opportunities and organisations you are not aware of…yet! LinkedIn is good for this. 

Using social media can help you to stand out by: 

  • Putting your best digital footprint forward; your digital footprint is the collection of data that represents your online presence. Potential employers may do background checks on your social media accounts, and if anything negative surfaces your  application could end up being rejected. 

  • Building a positive online presence – what goes online stays online; so, think before you post.  Watch the University of Edinburgh’s video for advice. 

  • Making connections – you never know who could be a useful contact at some stage in your career. Start by connecting with university classmates and lecturers. If you have a part-time job, connect with your employer. 

  • Evidencing your interest by following an employer on your preferred social media channel. Join relevant groups on LinkedIn. Share tweets and articles, perhaps with a thoughtful comment. 

  • Showcasing your skills – self-promotion is key. Put your work out there. For example, if you’re keen to work in marketing or journalism consider creating a blog. Keep up-to-date with content inspiration using Google Trends.

       Google Trends

  • There are free places to publish your blog such as:   

 Find out more

How to use social media in your job search (UoE login required)

Building a strong network (UoE login required)

Who should you network with? (UoE login required)

Questions to ask before connecting on LinkedIn (UoE log in required)