Parent and Family Resources
Helping Students Use Social Media in
Their Job Searches
Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
February 18, 2015
Social media has undoubtedly changed the way candidates and employers find and connect with each other. Below are some tips from NACE’s Career Counselor's Guides to Social Media in the Job Search for helping students maximize their opportunities online.
Creating a Strong LinkedIn Profile
- Profile Photo—The best photo for students to use is a professional-looking headshot of just the student alone. Unlike a resume, a LinkedIn description should include a photo since this is a social network. Recruiters who use LinkedIn do have the option to block profile photos so that the issue of discrimination based on protected classes is accounted for.
- Location and Industry—LinkedIn users can select their location and industry in these fields. It is a good idea for students to choose the industry they intend to enter and, if seeking a specific location for work, to choose that location for their profile. This way, they will appear in searches for that area.
- Contact Info—In this section, users can input things like e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses. If a student has a personal website or public Twitter account, it would be a great idea to provide links to those here.
Searching for Jobs on Twitter
- #resume—Suggest the student use the hashtag #resume with a description of himself or herself, or a link to his or her resume.
- Job Listings—Find general job advice and lots of listings through hashtags like #jobs, #recruiting, #jobadvice, #jobposting, #jobhunt, and #jobsearch. To narrow it down, though, seek out more specific hashtags, such as or #prjobs or #salesjobs. Students can even search for hashtags just by college major, such as #biology or #accounting, and job listings as well as conversations relevant to the topic may appear.
- Industry Conferences—Most conferences these days have their own hashtags (such as #NACE15). When a relevant industry conference is approaching, get active with attendees using the hashtag. Whether the student is attending the conference or not, he or she can contribute to the conversation. Many conferences also have live streams, so it's as if one is attending anyway. Suggest that students “live tweet” at the event. They can do this at panels and speeches they are attending or interested in, and connect with other tweeters along the way. By using Twitter for networking within an industry, a student can increase his or her chances of getting hired down the road.
Use NACE’s “train the trainer” guides for career services practitioners to help college students use different social media effectively in their job searches. The Career Counselor's Guides to Social Media in the Job Search are available at www.naceweb.org/knowledge/social-media/career-counselors-guide.aspx.