How to use social media when looking for a job

Last updated: 14 Jul 2023, 09:52

Social media can be a real help when embarking on your job hunt or career planning. Having a social media presence can support your networking activities and can also help you to identify job opportunities. Remember, though, that while social media networks can help you find a job, they won’t do it on their own. You need to be strategic and proactive in how you use them.

Social Media

Manage your online profile

Networking for career progression is a ‘slow burn’ so the real value of social networking is not about ‘getting a job’ – at least not straight away. It's about creating your public, and professional, image – what some career experts call your ‘personal brand’.

Your ‘digital footprint’ is likely to be spread across several different places on the web (try Googling yourself and see what you find). You need to ensure that your social presence matches the professional image you want employers to see. Be clear about who you are, what you can offer and what you want, then make sure that message gets across in the different social media that you use.

In social media, the boundaries between personal and professional can be blurred, so you need to decide how much you will reveal. If necessary, have separate accounts for professional and personal use. Don’t let your digital footprint work against you.


As a way of being headhunted, LinkedIn is probably more useful for experienced hires than for graduates. However, it’s a great way to get an online CV that showcases your experience and skills.

Complete your profile as fully as possible, then put the link on your email footer, on your social media profiles and even on your ‘real’ CV. Update your profile regularly with examples of activities that could enhance your employability. Look at people in jobs you'd like to do, for ideas on how best to present yourself.

Many companies post jobs on LinkedIn, so it is very useful for finding and applying to jobs.


Instagram has the potential to be tricky. If you’re using Instagram to interact with potential employers, ensure they only see things that fit your professional image or keep your account private. It would also be a good idea to have a separate, professional Instagram account that you use for this purpose. You can use this account to follow employers and influential people in your industry.


Like with Instagram, you should be conscious of what you post on TikTok and the impression it gives of you. You can use TikTok to view employer content and get a feel for company culture. You can also use TikTok to build a professional profile, network with others in your industry and interact with employers.


Make your Twitter bio as specific as possible – this will help people decide whether to follow you. Add a professional-looking photograph, preferably the same as you use for LinkedIn. State that you are looking for a job.

Using key words in your tweets will help the relevant people find them more easily. Be aware that anyone can see any of your activity on twitter. That means anything you liked, posted or retweeted for as long as you have had the account.


Blogs are a great way to showcase your expertise, particularly if you're looking for work in the media or tech. Post regularly; manage comments and respond appropriately. Spellcheck before you post.

Find opportunities

Follow organisations and individuals in the industry you want to work in, to keep up with the latest trends.

LinkedIn is a great tool for researching employers. Following an employer on LinkedIn will give you useful updates on recruitment activity within the company.

Some would say that other social media accounts are probably best kept mainly for personal use. However, graduate recruiters are increasingly using social media to publicise their graduate programmes, so look for the ones you are interested in.


The great thing about social media is that they let you communicate with people you might not meet in real life. Create your own networks by making contact with people who work at companies you’re interested in.

Building networks is a long-term process but it is worth investing the time. Interact with people: learn from them, and show what you can contribute. Join LinkedIn groups or specialist forums and share knowledge. Have conversations with like-minded people and build virtual relationships – in fact, this is often easier online than in person. Make sure people know you are looking for work, but don’t push it. Develop relationships before you ask for help.

Social networking do’s and don’ts


  • use a variety of social media.
  • use your real name – you want people to find you.
  • check your privacy settings.
  • be interesting and helpful: share information, insights and resources.
  • update regularly.
  • network – it's social media, so be social!
  • be generous: share information, thanks and praise.


  • spam people.
  • only talk about your job hunt; make sure you are interesting.
  • expect an immediate job offer.
  • forget that potential recruiters can and do Google you too!
  • just be online – remember to meet people in the real world as well.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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