Using LinkedIn and social media

LinkedIn is the world’s largest social network for professionals with over 610 million members worldwide as of February 2019. By creating a LinkedIn account and developing an effective profile you can ensure that you have a professional online presence, increase your visibility to prospective employers, search for jobs and network with people who may help you to develop in your career. This is important because according to the Guardian Jobs Recruiter Survey in 2015, three-quarters of recruiters have looked up potential candidates on social media and 96% of respondents used LinkedIn to do so. Furthermore, there are some professions, for example, Nursing and Teaching where there will be guidelines for the use of social media.

It is important to approach your social media presence in a way that helps, rather than hinder, your job prospects, by:

  • Avoiding online rants and outbursts
  • Managing your privacy settings
  • Doing regular Google searches and self-auditing your digital footprint
  • Thinking about your photos and what impression they give of you
  • Using social media to showcase you
  • Building professional networks

Developing your LinkedIn Profile

More and more employers are turning to LinkedIn to hire new talent. Make your profile stand out with these top tips:

  • Upload a photo and cover image - Adding a professional photo of yourself is crucial - your page is 7 times more likely to be viewed if you have one. A background image also allows you to show some originality.
  • Add a headline and summary - Highlight your career goals and academic interests in your headline and summary.
  • Dissertation Title; Degree Modules; New Opportunities - Think about including your dissertation title, degree modules or type of job you’re looking for.
  • Highlight work you’re proud of - Add examples of your work such as excerpts from assignments, videos or weblinks to highlight your ability and interests. And don’t forget to add a watermark with your name on any uploads.
  • Add connections and join groups - Making the right connections is key. Hallam’s Alumni group is a great place to start networking. Make sure you follow companies and professional bodies in the sector of interest.
  • Utilise endorsements - Ask current and former employers to add recommendations and not just endorsements. These can be viewed as positive testimonials by potential employers.

Enhance your skills profile by doing a course through LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning enables you to explore thousands of business, tech, and creative courses to get the skills you need. As a SHU student you can undertake LinkedIn Learning courses for free. 

Making connections and contributing

Your LinkedIn profile is more than just an online version of your CV. It can be a great space to network with people who can help you in your future career. You can build your network on LinkedIn by:

  • Following companies
  • Joining professional groups
  • Searching for Employment Opportunities
  • Networking with SHU Alumni (graduates)
  • Using the Alumni Tool for Sheffield Hallam University
  • Sharing articles, photos, videos or ideas

Need further help and support?

Have a look at the video, suggested links and useful files on this page. You can also book an appointment with an Employability Adviser or attend one of our LinkedIn workshops.

Last modified: 
Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 16:28